Book Review of The Finisher by David Baldacci. YA-MG. Published 2014. Action, Fantasy.
“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.” -Goodreads
Most YA books you read that are told from a girl’s perspective (and this is a large majority) the girls in question are either whiny, annoying little twits who need everyone to help them achieve their goals or they are in the complete opposite of the spectrum and are a powerhouse of energy that is so completely unbelievable it’s stupidly unrealistic. And of course, since we’re talking YA here there’s always a boy which the previously stated powerhouse will fall in love and become completely useless without said boy, the whiny girl on the other hand won’t have a boy, she’ll have boys because love triangles are so popular and are an actual thing in real life. In The Finisher the main character Vega Jane is neither of these, kind of.
In the beginning Vega is very average considering her situation. And I can actually say this with complete honesty. She is average. She is not some whiny girl wanting to rise up against the government, she’s not some completely unrealistic powerhouse who is actually plotting to achieve something. She’s a girl who’s taking care of her little brother in their parent’s absence, she’s going to work at a factory as a finisher (Ha, look it’s the title), but wait, what is this her best friend is a guy, oh no!, but not really, because if you can imagine it for a YA she’s not in love with him! OMG, I think the world just broke.
Now you’d think that with all of this normal, realistic stuff going on she would be boring, but you’d be wrong. Vega Jane is actually pretty interesting and I have to hand this Baldacci, he did an excellent job at creating a character that is both realistic and awesome. Vega’s got some spunk and she’s not afraid to throw down with the men if they insult her or her friends. My only beef with her is that she’s actually pretty naive and trusting with the people she knows are lying to her. Her council people persons, them, yeah, you know what I mean. She know’s that they’re lying about some things but then she still believes and trusts everything they say and I’m just like “Are you a complete moron?” but then I just kept reminding myself that she has only had schooling till she was like thirteen and she’s grown up admiring these councilmen so why would she not trust them? It still annoyed me though when it seemed like Baldacci was purposefully dumbing her down. But by the end she wisens up and kind of becomes one of those aforementioned powerhouses (it has yet to be seen if this will actually come to pass)
Speaking of Baldacci, the writing in this book was pretty awesome, okay scratch that, what he’s writing about is pretty awesome. The setting and storyline that he invented is completely wow. The creativity and imagination he used for this fantasy novel really rendered it well. However, his actual writing style, that was confusing as fuck. Listen, if you have to have a glossary in the back of the book then you’re doing something wrong. If you’re glossary isn’t actually helpful in anyway you’re definitely doing something wrong. Trying to decipher this guy’s made up and (I think) british lingo was super taxing. It was like trying to translate Gavin speak except an entire books worth. (Gavin Free from Achievement Hunter for those who don’t get the reference.) But despite that I still enjoyed his writing, Wormwood was so vividly described I can imagine it and it’s inhabitants to the tee, and the impressions are definitely long lasting (considering I’m doing this review half a year after I read it) I can still remember all of the character and places, albeit not exactly the names… This book was really well done.
However, that ending filled me with a certain sense of foreboding. Dare I say it, there might be a love triangle on the horizon. Uh! But Baldacci might continue to amaze me and not do that at all, I’ll just have to wait and see. Overall this story was really good. The plot was interesting and held my interest pretty well. The book is actually intended for MG so I think the author did a good job making it enjoyable for people who are not in MG. The writing, a bit confusing, but worth it to read about the unique characters, creatures, and places that Baldacci describes with first class imagery. The book left me, while at a cliffhanger, not about to weep or throw the book against the wall, but still excited and anticipating the next book. That’s a good way to end a book.
Final Verdict: 4/5