The Literature Hub
Reviewed by Ivy
Author: David Baldacci
Publisher & Pages: Macmillan Children’s Book, 506 pages
Audience: Young Adult
Why would Quentin Herms flee into the Quag? There was nothing in the Quag except certain death.
Vega Jane has never left the village of Wormwood. But this isn’t unusual — nobody has ever left the village of Wormwood. At least not until Quentin Herms vanishes into the unknown.
Vega knows Quentin didn’t just leave — he was chased. And he’s left behind a very dangerous trail of clues that only she can decode.
The Quag is a dark forest filled with terrifying beasts and bloodthirsty Outliers. But just as deadly are the threats that exist within the walls of Wormwood. It is a place built on lies, where influential people are willing to kill to keep their secrets. Vega is determined to uncover the truth — but the closer she gets, the more she risks her life.
~David Baldacci's website description.
Highlight: You get entangled in the webs of mystery.
Caution: The mysteries are just as frustrating as it is intriguing.
Highlight: The raw dynamics of the village system will sting your vital organs.
Caution: You have the option of taking your chances with the beasts in the vast forest.
Entering a world where your safety is your prison, one girl, Vega, ventures further into her own curiosity. A curiosity that poses a danger to the village and those in power.
The story starts with an incident which is the foundation of its own demise. Then you're hand feed exposition as the narrator provides you with first-hand information on characters and their quirks. Fortunately, each character has their secrets which is a small piece of the puzzle. This puzzle changes landscapes as the fluctuations of the characters and their priorities promote great development and reinforce their personality. Although many of the characters lack depth, they make up for it in personal conflict and change.
Being told about a character you haven’t gotten to know is blunt and seems violating, but as the story progresses you fall into the world of creatures beyond the walls, and powers at work dictating fate.
The Finisher starts off rough and progresses as fast as a snail for a good third of the book. Fortunately the snail transforms into a butterfly which swoops and flutters beautifully. The mystery of the village and what lies beyond the wall spikes your curiosity, where you’re only feed small fragments of knowledge through riddles on the pages. Despite being confusing with one mystery after another, you'll find yourself tied up with the characters as they try to follow their dreams but stay safe at the same time.
Vega’s desire to be surrounded by loved ones and live a happy life hangs upon her ability to stay out of trouble. Unfortunately, fate plays its hand which disrupts her plans. With multiple players on the field you can never be sure whose side they’re on and what they really want. In a high stakes game Vega gambles her life against the knowledge of the past, present and future.
The mixture between action and plot is put on a slow simmer leading to a great reward at the end. Like an innocent child in a forest, The Finisher learns with experience and strengthens over time. You’re left wanting more and on the edge of unveiling its deepest secrets.
Star Rating: 4 stars
Available in: Hardcover, paperback, e-book and audio CD.