Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Finisher

The Finisher

by David Baldacci

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.
I wasn't quite sure what to think when Suzanne asked me to read this one. It was a "middle grade" book and I out grew those halfway through "middle grade's" supposed age range. I was worried it would be dumbed down and childish, simple and boring. Also, there was the fact that it was like 500 pages long! I am always worried with long books like this one that they might be stretched out, boring, and/or overly descriptive. This book proved me wrong ten times over. The first page was like a slap to the face. The diction and just everything was extremely sophisticated. David used big words, (Even I had to look up one or two!) and everything about the writing screamed, "I am intelligent! I am sophisticated! Big words everywhere!" Surprisingly and thankfully, it wasn't too much. It was tasteful. I loved the writing. I was a little concerned that the words might be too challenging for the average middle grade reader. Supposedly the age range is roughly 8-12 years old. I definitely think that all 8-12 year old should be able to read at this level, but I don't know how many actually can. Not to offend 8-12 year olds or anything. I am sure there are many of you who can, and I don't know for sure, I am just expressing a concern I have. However, I didn't find this to be too concerning because I figure they can look up words they don't know and it will be a very good opportunity for them to learn and challenge themselves. Also, there aren't enough words that are super challenging to make it impossible to read with out knowing the meanings of them all. I was a bit confused at first because David uses many words I know in a different context and uses them to mean different things in the world he has created, without explaining them. So I had to simply guess from the context clues. For example, a "sliver" I think is a minute and a "session" a year. Again, this wasn't too big of a problem and didn't affect my ability to read or understand the story drastically.

If I could use only one adjective to describe this book one of my top picks would have to be original. This is probably one of, if not the, most original and creative books I have ever read. David has created this vivid world from scratch and it didn't remind me of anything else I had ever read before. It was amazing.

The characters were amazingly deep. Again, almost more so than any I have encountered before and they brought out messages and lessons constantly throughout the book. I loved all the characters. The are all real and human, and relateable, and loveable, and just plain awesomesauce! Their relationships were real and their experiences and hardships often hit close to home. Vega's fiery spirit, flaws, insecurities, and hunger for the knowledge and the truth, along with her deep love for others was beautiful to watch and fun to read. It was great to see her, Delph and all the characters grow. Her brother's development showed another side of society and humanity and I was impressed how well it was portrayed and expressed. David left a soft side to him so that you could love him despite his flaws. Delph was endearing, and so sweet to everyone even when his community had done nothing but bully him almost his entire life. He grew to stand up for his loved ones but he was never mean or cruel.

The plot impressed me. Yes, the book was long but it didn't feel long! The pages went by in a blur and I ate them up. I couldn't get enough. Every single thing that happened was absolutely necessary and I was never bored. Not once in all of the nearly 500 pages. That is when you know an author is amazing at what they do. Also, I never once called what was going to happen. Each twist and surprise was truly shocking.

I was on the edge of my seat, wildly guessing at what was going to happen next through the entire book. My mind was spinning and I ate up every word. It was fabulous and I give it the highest of recommendations. It wasn't just fun it was powerful it contained more lessons and messages than maybe any book I've ever read. David's writing was astounding and I can only hope to write like he does. He captured the hearts and minds of his readers within the first few sentences. His creativity is unparalleled in modern writings, he is the Dr.Suess of modern day fiction. Authors everywhere could learn so much from him. This book is a must read for adventure lovers of all ages. I give it a solid five stars, it is the best book I have read this year.

Add it on Goodreads and get it through Liberty Bay Books here =>The Finisher.

1 comment:

  1. It has just come to my attention that this book might be Young Adult rather than Middle Grade. It is still suitable for Middle Grade though for sure!