23 December 2014

Today's Read: The Finisher by David Baldacci

The Finisher by David BaldacciWhat if you saw something in the middle of the night that made you question everything you thought was true about your world? Vega Jane has led a conventional life in the village of Wormwood, but when she witnesses a friend do the seemingly impossible, she begins to suspect that her community is being held together by a pack of lies.

I was dozing when I heard the scream. It pierced my head like a morta round, doing terribly befuddling things to my mind, as loud and terrifying as though it were all happening right there and then.

After the sound came the vision: the blue, the color blue. It was in a mist like a cloud on the ground. It enveloped my mind, pushing out all other thoughts, all memories. When it finally disappeared, my befuddlement cleared as well. Yet I always believed there was something of great importance that had simply not come back to me.
The Finisher by David Baldacci (Scholastic Press, 2014, p. 1)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: village of Wormwood; an isolated community
  • Circumstances: When Vega Jane starts questioning the rules and traditions of her village, she discovers surprising things about herself, her family, and her community leaders. Just how far will she go to find truth and freedom?
  • Characters: Vega Jane, a fourteen-year-old living on her own; John, Vega's younger brother; Daniel Delphia, Vega's friend; Vega's co-workers; community leaders; neighbors
  • Genre: fantasy; young adult with adult appeal
  • Themes: family, finding truth, freedom, power, independence, good vs. evil
  • General thoughts: I was hooked on this fantasy almost from the first page. Vega's world was familiar enough that I could easily relate (she worried about her little brother, tried to be a good friend, cared for her sick parents) but different enough that I was transported to a new realm. The magical elements drove the plot rather than being the point of the story. The characters were complex and well developed, and it wasn't always easy to tell friend from foe. There was good action, an intriguing mystery, and a satisfying end (although there will be more books in this series).
  • Note on the title: Vega works in a factory that makes various items (useful and ornamental). She applies the decorative finishes to these objects and is highly skilled at her job.
  • Recommendations: You'll like The Finisher if you like fantasy, strong female leads, good action, deep history, and secrets to puzzle out. There is a dystopian feel to Vega's world, which makes us want to learn more about Wormwood's past.
  • Miscellaneous: Although Baldacci is known for his adult spy thrillers, The Finisher is not his first book for younger readers. It is, however, his first fantasy, and he promises several more titles in the series. I had the opportunity to interview David Baldacci (click on the link), and he noted that this book took years to write and research.


rhapsodyinbooks 12/23/14, 7:09 AM  

Well okay fine. I have never read his books, but now I have heard too many good things about him to keep avoiding him.

JoAnn 12/23/14, 7:41 AM  

Hmmm, I don't even remember the last time I read fantasy...

Harvee 12/23/14, 8:11 AM  

like your comprehensive review.

Laurel-Rain Snow 12/23/14, 9:31 AM  

I don't often read fantasy, but your thoughts and excerpts are tempting me about this one.

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

grammajudyb 12/23/14, 9:48 AM  

I do not read a lot of fantasy, but I do really like Baldacci. I would read this one just because he wrote it.

bermudaonion 12/23/14, 10:10 AM  

I love Baldacci's work but don't think I'll read this one because of the fantasy aspect.

Suzie Quint 12/23/14, 12:56 PM  

Baldacci writing fantasy. I have a hard time imagining it.

Belle Wong 12/23/14, 1:15 PM  

This looks interesting. I've read his adult thrillers, but none of his younger books. And a fantasy, too! Must check this one out.

Literary Feline 12/23/14, 3:20 PM  

This sounds like something I would really like. The intro grabbed me right away. And I do like strong female leads. Not to mention fantasy.

Vicki 12/23/14, 3:54 PM  

I haven't read a Baldacci book in a few years. I think I'll have to pass on this because of the fantasy aspect. I bet my granddaughter would love it though!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 12/23/14, 8:55 PM  

I didn't realize he was into fantasy writing as well?? I like his thrillers.

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 12/23/14, 9:47 PM  

I've read a few of his Camel Club books -- this one sounds totally different for him. I'd give it a go.

Thanks for sharing it and for visiting my blog.

Daryl 12/26/14, 4:52 PM  

my mom loved his books .. i think maybe i ought to give this a try .. thanks

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