The Finisher [NOOK Book]

Overview

#1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author David Baldacci as you've never seen him before.

Why would Quentin Herms flee into the Quag? There was nothing in the Quag except certain death.

Vega Jane has never left the village of Wormwood. But this isn't unusual -- nobody has ever left the village of Wormwood. At ...
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The Finisher

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Overview

#1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author David Baldacci as you've never seen him before.

Why would Quentin Herms flee into the Quag? There was nothing in the Quag except certain death.

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.

With THE FINISHER, master storyteller David Baldacci conjures a thrilling, imaginative world where things are as wrong as wrong can be -- and introduces us to an unforgettable heroine who must think fast, look close, and defy all odds in her fight to do what's right.

Advance Praise for THE FINISHER:

"What happens when an international best-selling crime novelist tries his hand at a youth fantasy? Well, in this case, success." -- BOOKLIST, starred review

"Best known for his adult crime novels, Baldacci makes a detour into middle-grade with this wildly fanciful and darkly intriguing tale of a girl forced to fight for her life as she investigates the secrets of her tiny community.” -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"This vividly described tale takes readers to an original fantasy world full of strange creatures, intriguing relationships, and long-lost secrets. Baldacci knows how to deliver thrills." -- Brandon Mull, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Fablehaven series

"THE FINISHER is an enchanting romp through a fantastical world worthy of Rowling or Brooks. Baldacci proves that his pen can engage youth as well as adults." – Richard Paul Evans, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Michael Vey series

David Baldacci is the author of twenty-seven books for adults, each of which has become both a national and international bestseller. His astonishing career started with ABSOLUTE POWER, which was adapted into a major motion picture starring Clint Eastwood. David's books have sold more than 110 million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than forty-five languages. Together with his wife, Michelle, David established the Wish You Well Foundation to promote family literacy. David and his family live in Virginia.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Fourteen-year-old Vega Jane had a very clear sense that no one would ever leave her village. Wormwood, after all, is surrounded by a dark forest teeming with monsters. But then one day, the unthinkable happens: Quentin Herms, her teacher, disappears into the woods after Vega witnesses a disturbing sight, and leaves behind a message that alerts her to the secrets he tried to leave behind. Bound to be a runaway bestseller; editor's recommendation.

School Library Journal
03/01/2014
Gr 6–9—Wormwood is full of secrets, known mostly by members of the Council. The rest of the villagers live oblivious, regimented lives. They've been told there's nothing outside of the village except for a forest inhabited by deadly creatures. Vega Jane, 14, is understandably alarmed when she sees her mentor, Quentin Herms, running straight for the Quag. If Council members find out that he left her a note and a map of the forest, who knows what would become of her? Frustrated by the prescribed secrecy that shrouds the village, Vega takes matters into her own hands, embarking on an adventure to investigate the mysteries surrounding Wormwood, the Quag, and Quentin's departure. She grows in confidence and knowledge with each clue she uncovers and makes more than a few enemies along the way. Vega's investigations reveal that little in Wormwood is as it appears. Fans of action-packed fantasy will enjoy her mystical adventures. At almost 500 pages, with sophisticated vocabulary, the book is best suited for strong readers. The pace is occasionally uneven, with redundant descriptions of Vega's daily life in Wormwood, and the large cast of minor characters can be challenging to track. The imaginative and multilayered world is the novel's strength, with the bleak, ancient village serving as a stark contrast to the fantastical adventures and challenges the teen faces in her quest for the truth. Readers will be rooting for her but will not find much resolution in The Finisher, as the last chapter seems to set the stage for the next installment.—Juliet Morefield, Multnomah County Library, OR
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-29
Baldacci takes a late and none-too-nimble leap aboard the children's-fantasy bandwagon with this tale of a rebellious teenager in a town surrounded by a monster-ridden forest. Vega Jane gets by putting the finishing touches on high-quality manufactured goods (which, she later discovers, are thrown into a pit). She gets inklings both that Wormwood has a hidden past and isn't the world's only settlement after the town's other Finisher flees into the deadly Quag, leaving behind a map and a bestiary that catalogs its creatures. Before she finally follows him, hundreds of pages later, she is forced to compete in the town's Duelum, which is a regular round of previously males-only bare-knuckle fights for which there is no clear rationale. In labored efforts to create a sense of otherness, the author trots in a host of invented animals (garms, adars, jabbits and so on) and uses British cant ("The niff that bloke sent off…"). He also replaces all mention of "man," "woman," "human" and "dog" with, respectively, "male," "female," "Wug" or "Wugmort," and "canine," as in: "a male had killed his female for no cause other than he was a vile Wug" and "I didn't like my stuff male-handled." Despite these efforts, this is all familiar territory, from the isolated town with secretive leaders bent on preserving the status quo to violent visions, hidden rooms and libraries, characters with ambiguous agendas, a hot-tempered teen protagonist with nascent magical powers and three magical tools that practically fall into her hands. There's even a ring. With some perfunctory martial training from her boyfriend, Vega Jane improbably defeats several ravening monsters as well as a string of much larger and more experienced males, then flies off over the town walls to have future adventures. Like many crossover efforts from name-brand authors: overstuffed and underinspired. (Fantasy. 11-13)
Publishers Weekly
01/20/2014
Best known for his adult crime novels, Baldacci makes a detour into middle-grade with this wildly fanciful and darkly intriguing tale of a girl forced to fight for her life as she investigates the secrets of her tiny community. Fourteen-year-old Vega Jane works as a “Finisher,” creating goods she’ll never be able to afford and leading a hardscrabble life with her little brother. Like all other “Wugmorts,” they have never left the town of Wormwood, trapped there by the deadly Quag surrounding it. When Vega discovers a map leading through the Quag, she suspects there’s more to Wormwood than believed. Consistently using smarts, cunning, and improvisation, Vega proves herself a strong, admirable heroine as she’s thrown through time, uncovers lies and mysteries, and takes possession of magical artifacts. Her narration blends Wugmort slang with oddly formal speech and thought patterns, helping shape an enigmatic setting filled with unfamiliar terms, bizarre creatures, and memorable characters, as Baldacci pulls in elements of fantasy, science fiction, and myth. A cliffhanger ending leaves many explanations for future installments. Ages 10–14. Agent: Aaron Priest, Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"What happens when an international best-selling crime novelist tries his hand at a youth fantasy? Well, in this case, success." -- BOOKLIST, starred review

"This vividly described tale takes readers to an original fantasy world full of strange creatures, intriguing relationships, and long-lost secrets. Baldacci knows how to deliver thrills." -- Brandon Mull, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Fablehaven series

"THE FINISHER is an enchanting romp through a fantastical world worthy of Rowling or Brooks. Baldacci proves that his pen can engage youth as well as adults." ? Richard Paul Evans, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Michael Vey series

From the Publisher

“This vividly described tale takes readers to an original fantasy world full of strange creatures, intriguing relationships, and long-lost secrets. Baldacci knows how to deliver thrills.” – Brandon Mull, New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven series
VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Jan Chapman
This new dystopia from best-selling novelist Baldacci has all the elements needed to create a devoted teen following. Fourteen-year-old Vega Jane lives in a tightly circumscribed world—the small hamlet of Wormwood—where everyone is expected to work hard and never venture outside the village limits. But Vega Jane has seen a fellow villager enter the forbidden and deadly Quag forest adjacent to Wormwood and begins to wonder if leaving her frustratingly constrained world is actually possible. The only things keeping her in Wormwood are her brother John, and her best friend, Delph. But Vega Jane was born to question authority, and her desire to know more about her world keeps landing her in dangerous situations, including a fighting competition called the Duelum, where combatants are often killed. Baldacci’s world-building is vivid and exciting, drawing the reader effortlessly into the story. The characters are carefully and richly drawn, with a very sympathetic and appealing female protagonist in Vega Jane. The plot, although filled with the usual dystopian tropes, is complex and fast paced enough to keep the reader eagerly turning the page. The author also includes a tantalizing backstory that deepens and enriches the plot. The ending is fairly predictable, but Baldacci’s skillful expertise in creating a riveting story elevates this beyond a mere retelling of The Hunger Games. Teen readers who cannot get enough of dystopias will embrace this one enthusiastically and eagerly await the sequel. Reviewer: Jan Chapman; Ages 11 to 18.
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Tweens and teens have a new female champion in Vega Jane, an unprepossessing Wug from Wormwood who finds herself fighting for her life in the combat ring. At first, this freshman children’s book by acclaimed adult mystery writer, David Baldacci, seems to be mired in a created fantasy language of monsters that live in a netherworld, “the Quag,” and count time in “slivers” and “lights.” It’s a rookie fantasy writer trap that requires a Wormwood lexicon to keep all the invented terms and entities straight. The world that Baldacci has created has more in common with Middle Earth than, say, Hogwarts. It takes nearly a third of the book for Baldacci to settle into his story and grow Vega Jane as a character, a competitor, and a highly perceptive heroine. Baldacci honors fantasy tradition by following the rule of three. Vega has three magical weapons to assist her in combat and three competitors against whom to prove her mettle. There is also a wonderful female villain, Morrigone, who has Maleficent vibe about her that will fit in nicely with this summer’s blockbuster movie. At one point in the book, Vega Jane questions, “what comes after,” for a Wog, as the book seems to briefly stray into C.S. Lewis’ religious allegory. Is there an afterworld for human-like Wogs who attend Sunday “steeple” services? What actually happens to the members of the Jane family who suffer “events” in which they burst into flame that totally consumes them out of existence? Clearly there are sequels planned because Vega and her shy, stuttering boy-who-is-a-friend, Delph, go into the Quag looking for adventure while Morrigone, in a final contradictory act, waves them a benedictory farewell. Despite the book’s rough patches, Vega is a winning heroine and is sure to draw fans to her legend. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross; Ages 11 to 16.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545652360
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 3,253
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author


David Baldacci is the author of twenty-seven books for adults, each of which has become both a national and international bestseller. His astonishing career started with ABSOLUTE POWER, which was adapted into a major motion picture starring Clint Eastwood. David's books have sold more than 110 million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than forty-five languages. Together with his wife, Michelle, David established the Wish You Well Foundation to promote family literacy. David and his family live in Northern Virginia.

Biography

David Baldacci's authoritative legal thrillers operate on the irresistible notion that a sinister undercurrent threads through the country's most powerful institutions.

While his stories hinge on the complex machinations behind the presidency, the FBI, the Supreme Court and other spheres of influence, Baldacci (a former Washington, D.C.-based attorney) finds his way into a mystery through the eyes of the innocents. Semi-innocents, at least: small players who often don't realize they're players at all end up hunting down answers, and their hunt becomes the reader's.

According to Baldacci, reading John Irving's The World According to Garp convinced him that he wanted to be a novelist. Absolute Power -- in which a thief finds himself accidentally connected to a murder involving the president and the ensuing coverup -- was hardly Irvingesque; but it did begin Baldacci's friendly relationship with the bestseller lists, which has continued over his writing career.

Baldacci's style is brief and plot-driven, but he's not afraid to linger on macabre and vivid details, such as a rosary clenched in a plane crash victim's hand, or hard-learned lessons from a sniper's life (pack your food so you can find it at night, by touch). These small but memorable -- indeed, almost cinematic -- details give his books another layer that distinguishes them from the average potboiler.

Although the author has occasionally departed from his usual fare (examples include the tenderhearted coming-of-age tale Wish You Well and the holiday-themed adventure The Christmas Train), it is high-octane thrillers that are his true stock in trade. Whether it's a taut stand-alone or a new installment in his Camel Club series, readers know when they crack the spine of a new Baldacci book, they're in for an action-packed page-turner.

.

Good To Know

Baldacci was a trial lawyer and a corporate lawyer for nine years in Washington, D.C.

He worked his way through college as a Pinkerton security guard and by washing and detailing 18-wheel trucks.

Baldacci writes under his own name except when published in Italy, where he uses a pseudonym because it is the homeland of his ancestors.

Bill Clinton selected The Simple Truth as his favorite novel of 1998, according to Baldacci's web site.

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    1. Hometown:
      Northern Virginia
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 5, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Richmond, VIrginia
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1982; J.D., University of Virginia, 1986
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    GREAT

    I'm 13 and I loved this book it took me longer to read this book because because its written in old english but its a great read I love Vega jane and Delph
    I hope they get together they kiss a couple of times in the book there is no sex so it good for younger kids . Veg a jane brother John turns into a jerk . This is a good book .

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    Why is it that nobody writes a book with an ending anymore. Pers

    Why is it that nobody writes a book with an ending anymore. Personally I would like to know when I'm getting sucked into a trilogy etc. This book takes a long time to start being interesting and if I read the word sliver one more time I was going to scream. Certainly does NOT rate with the greats and if you hate waiting for the next book...don't bother with this one!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 31, 2014

    What a disappointment!

    This latest offering from one of my favorite authors was such
    a disappointment. I struggled through it thinking at any page
    the characters would wake up from a nightmare; but it did not
    happen. I have his next book on preorder and hope he is back
    to his self.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Awesome! I love Vega Jane!

    Awesome! I love Vega Jane!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    My girlfriend and I keep passing this book around our high schoo

    My girlfriend and I keep passing this book around our high schools. Freaking great

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Billcamera, You are aware that this book was written for childre

    Billcamera, You are aware that this book was written for children between the ages of 10 and 14, right?

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014

    No Stars for this one. I couldn't post without a star.

    I couldn't finish the first 1/3 rd of the book before I just quit. I've read everything this man ever published and liked them all until this. I wouldn't recommend this book to an enemy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    Great!

    It was awesome!! I just wish John would come back to his senses. Moragon is evil i tell you...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    Hard to get inti, but dont give up

    When at first, i was super bored with the slowness. I mean i have read a great deal of boring books, but many had never gotten quite as great as this book was. The whole language was even different, as were the creatures. And thats why it has such a boring beginning is because some of the stuff in the beginning came back tslap you in the face in the end.
    If there does happen tl be a sequal, ill be first in line to grab it and start ack into the fantastiworld of vega jane

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2014

    Terrible Service

    The book came damaged. All the pages were bent and/or ripped. The cover was dented and ripped as well. I had to return with the other books in my order because they as well came damaged. This is the 4th time this has happened to me and I am really displeased. I have stopped ordering from you because of your poor delivery service.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    What a read! I loved it and can't wait for the next one!

    What a read! I loved it and can't wait for the next one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2014

    Just the beginning.....I Hope

    I enjoyed this book. I can see this place in my mind and I hope that its just the beginning of a series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    I enjoyed the imagination it took to create a world!

    I enjoyed the imagination it took to create a world!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2014

    Stick to the thrillers.  

    Stick to the thrillers.  

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2014

    To Jaz

    A new camper has arrived!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2014

    Jaz

    Jasmine sat along the coastline holding her head, staring at the wreckage of her raft. "Kyleah? Izzy?" She called out. When there was no response, she stood shakily. "Kyleah! Izzy!"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2014

    Pretty Good

    This was a really good book. The only bad part about it was the the author made up so many words that were unfamiliar and that made it less enjoyable. I love Vega Jane and Delph! It took a while for me to get into it, but I loved the ending.I hope that the author continues this series, but that they use less words like "sliver" and "quag" so that it is more understandable. Good for ages 10-14 I would say.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2014

    Is there a second book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    QAZWXVSBNMMNNTOYDFFGGAAQQWWEEHHJJKKLL

    Dcdsdaidkvjvhiidixffhryrgdhx,,ucgtdopuuaauiwsyf,,gkxukx

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2014

    Get a Pink ipad

    Kiss your hand three times, post this on three other books, and look under your pillow.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews

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