It's YA Friday! Yeah! Today I am looking at David Baldacci's latest, The Finisher.
Vega Jane lives in Wormwood, a town surrounded by the Quag, a dark forest no one has ever returned from. As a result, no one ever leaves Wormwood. Vega Jane is a finisher, a talented artist that finishes works of art, pottery and sculpture. Her mentor, Quentin, leads and guides her in her projects.
One morning Vega Jane witnesses a person being chased into the Quag. To her dismay, she catches a glimpse of Quentin as the one being hunted. Members of the town council take a sudden interest in Vega Jane, aware of her friendship with her mentor. Soon, Vega Jane starts discovering clues left by Quentin, clues that hint of a secret way through the Quag. Information the town council wants no one to know.
As Vega Jane delves deeper, she begins to see that her life has been full of lies, and that people who disagree with the council vanish. She learns of her grandfather, a wise man who left the council and knew its secrets. She also learns that she can no longer stay in Wormwood, but must leave to survive.
Okay, so the premise isn't original, but the story is a lot of fun and the characters creative and intriguing. Vega Jane is a strong young girl, determined to uncover the truth and learn the secrets being hid from her. She is spunky and brave, fighting for her rights and those of her younger brother. She stands up to the council and searches in off limit places. I was amazed at how Vega Jane stood up to those against her, even to fight in a tournament in which all odds would place her as killed.
I love stories where you have to uncover the truths and clues with the main character. The author does a great job at revealing only enough to keep the reader interested and building up a crazy amount of side information that you can't wait to puzzle together. We also get a side tale of romance between Vega Jane and a long time friend, Delph. A strong character that sticks with Vega despite hard times.
As the story ends, it is obviously the first in a series. I can't wait to see what happens to Vega Jane and Delph as they enter the Quag. 4 stars!