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Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review : ‘The Finisher’ by David Baldacci



David Baldacci is an author whom I have heard of in the past but had never read. So, when Pan Macmillan sent over this book, 'The Finisher' I decided to read it without any expectations. Looking at the book cover, I understood that it would be a fantasy novel, and the heroine would have an important part to play in it.

It began with an illustration of Wormwood village with a forest around it and something known as The Quag, in the distance. The cast came next, before we move on to the first page of the novel.

Wormwood is a village, which has never seen or heard of a world beyond it and its leaders are keeping it that way. Vega Jane is a 14 sessions (years) old girl who has a job at the Stacks, wherein she is a Finisher of pretty goods, which she can never hope to buy. She just about manages to live the hard life with her brother, John. Her parents are at a hospital plus institution, and her grandparents have both had their Events (deaths).

Baldacci does not stop with that, he goes on to introduce word after word, such as Wugs (people), Wugmorts and canine (dog), he also uses words such as garms, adars and jabbits, for a whole lot of creatures. And then he introduces Outliers (for unknown creatures). If you get a grip of the fact that there are words, which you cannot use the dictionary for, then you will be on the right track. 

Coming back to Vega; she is at work when Quentin Herms, her mentor disappears one day, without a trace. He offers Vega a chance to follow his lead through a mysterious note. It is up to Vega, in league with her best male friend, Delph, and her dog, Harry Two to follow.

In this male dominated village, Vega has to hunt for clues, fight its evil creatures and the dominant village heads, led by Thansius (the chief of council) and Morrigone (a female lead). She finds her grandfather’s ring and three magical tools to help her in the process.

Once you start the book, you do not find it interesting, at all. But once, you bravely get through the first 100 odd pages, you turn to the more exciting stuff. Vega, who is the one looking for answers, finds them in strange places. Tough, smart and willing to work hard to find solutions, she is forced to take part in an unlikely competition with a lot of strong and willing to beat up Wugs. With the help of Delph and her own brilliant moves, she has to get through.

The strong emotions of Vega along with her strength are not to be ignored. When she cries ever so rarely, you will be moved. The end is fairly predictable, but there is more to come in the next part or parts.

Science fiction and fantasy are a part of this book, and looking forward to the next bit, is this reviewer! Oh, it is soon to be a movie by Sony Pictures.



Author: David Baldacci
Illustrations: Nathan Aardvark
Cover Illustration: Larry Rosant
Genre: Fiction (Children’s Book)
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
ISBN : 978-1-4472-6300-5
Price: Rs 350



 
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