Review of The Finisher by David Baldacci

Welcome to Wormwood: a place where curiosity is discouraged and no one has ever left. 
Until one girl, Vega Jane, discovers a map that suggests a mysterious world beyond the walls. A world with possibilities and creatures beyond her imagining. But she will be forced to fight for her freedom. And unravelling the truth may cost Vega her life. 

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I don't usually pick up books baring the name David Baldacci, as I'm a teen book fan and his books are catered towards the adult genre. However, I spotted this lovely cover in the adult book section of my local Asda and picked it up immediately. I was surprised to find it was actually a teen read, just in the wrong section. The plot grabbed me immediately and the over 50% off RRP was a nice incentive!

The Finisher is a quick paced read, despite having 505 pages, the writing is a little bigger than usual and the chapters very quick, so I finished it quickly. The story is told entirely from Vega Jane's point of view. She's feels and is treated like an outsider in the small village of Wormwood and with her mother and father in a coma, her only family is her little brother, John. She also has a friend, Delph, who has a severe stutter. He was lovely and I liked him immediately. She works in the Stacks as a Finisher, finishing pretty things such as candle sticks and small ornaments. Within the first chapter of the book we discover that Wormwood is hiding some pretty dark secrets, and it's up to Vega Jane to discover them. The book has a lot of twists and turns that I was never able to guess and I enjoyed that it kept me on my toes. It's not often that I can't guess a book's full plot by the end of the first chapter!

The creatures in Wormwood are not like our own, and Vega describes them all vividly – the garm, a giant dinosaur creature with four eyes and a talent for spewing fire, jabbits, a snake like creature with up to 500 heads and a vicious bite, an adar, an intelligent beast that can both fly and talk and many more weird and wonderful things.

As she (and us) had discovered the Big Secret within the first chapter, I was expecting the book to go relatively slowly from there on out and I did have trouble getting into it for the first 100 pages. However, it kept a good pace and I never found myself bored by anything and by the time I got half way through the book I almost couldn't put it down, there was so much going on.

I did have a few irritations with this book. The chapters being named in some sort of pseudo-Latin, so I was never completely sure of which chapter I was on or how many chapters are in the book at all. Speaking of language, there are a few words in Wormwood such as Wugs (humans) and Morta (guns), that seemed strange. I never understood why those few words were renamed but a chain or a cloak stayed the same. And some of the words were so random that they seemed plucked out of a hat, almost.

The society that Vega Jane lives in is very sexist, with the women simply addressed as 'Female' most of the time. I don't understand why, in a fantasy novel, this needs to be a thing. It comes up a lot with no explanation. However, instead of going with the meek and mild female this type of society typically requires, Vega Jane can more than hold her own and never backs down and won't take anyone's crap, so I immediately loved her for that.

The ending does end on a cliffhanger, which caused me to immediately shake my book at my partner and demand a sequel RIGHT NOW! Sadly, I don't know how long I will have to wait for the sequel, there's nothing listed yet. I have high hopes for it, lots of things happened with Jane's brother, John and I'm hoping in the sequel we might see his point of view as well as Jane's.

4/5

2 comments:

  1. I am so happy to find a review for this book, since I bought it this is the first one I have found. I also saw this in my local Asda and picked it up because it looked more YA and the blurb showed it was actually a young adult too. Asda are so cheap on books, I go there a lot to buy new books.

    I am so happy I read this and heard about the cliffhanger, it makes me think that I might wait until the sequel is out before I start it! I HATE CLIFFHANGERS! This does look really interesting and I am happy that it's quick paced read even though it's over 500 pages. Thanks for the great review :)

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    1. My Asda is literally across the street from me, which is pretty cool! Yes, reading this closer to the sequel's release date is probably a good idea as the cliffhanger is HUGE. I'm going to be itching to read the sequel all year...

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