Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 6 - 8Grades 3 - 9n/a5.2129312

Vega Jane was always told no one could leave the town of Wormwood. She was told there was nothing outside but a forest filled with danger and death. And she always believed it -- until the night she saw Quentin Herms run away.

Vega knows Quentin didn't just leave -- he was chased. And he left behind a trail of clues that point to a dark conspiracy at the heart of Wormwood. To follow the clues will attract the attention of influential people willing to kill to keep their secrets. If Vega wants to stay safe, she just needs to keep her head down and her mouth shut. There's only one problem -- Vega Jane never walks away from a fight.

Master storyteller David Baldacci introduces an unforgettable heroine who must think fast, hit hard, and defy all odds to uncover the truth.

Hardcover, 512 pages
Published on March 4, 2014 by Scholastic Press
ISBN-10: 0545652200
ISBN-13: 9780545652209
59 Book Reviews
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  • SusantThursday, July 26, 2018 at 9:40 am
    Ok look the series is pretty good, but I hated the first book of the series come on there was zero action or any mystery. The second book however I finished in one day and the third two days. I didn't even need to read the Finisher
    • esquay
      esquayFriday, June 22, 2018 at 5:08 pm55 stars
      An incredible book filled with magic and wonder. the main character is a rough teen girl. I recommend it for grades 6 to 9.
      • eyp
        eypSaturday, December 24, 2016 at 9:39 am
        The book was a bit creepy but I overall enjoyed it.
        • shinningboy234
          shinningboy234Friday, September 16, 2016 at 10:35 am
          Vega Jane. The way I think about this book. Vega Jane sees her friend Quinton running into the Quag, the mysterious forest surrounding Wormwood.
          • strawberry1234
            strawberry1234Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 6:38 am44 stars
            I really like this book. It was cool when i saw the title the finisher i picked it up and start reading. i enjoyed it a lot. Every day i say the finisher
            • wingfeather
              wingfeatherThursday, July 28, 2016 at 3:51 pm44 stars
              when i first picked up this book i noticed the writing was amazing. i was instantly intrigued. it took me a little while to get used to the word choice, but was sooooo worth it. loved it!
              • zorba
                zorbaTuesday, July 26, 2016 at 10:49 am33 stars
                I LOVED this book! It takes place in Wormwood and the main character is a girl named Vega Jane. Wormwood is in the middle of a forest and protected by a huge wall. Nobody is allowed in the forest and nobody knows what is out there. Until Vega Jane finds a map... This is an excellent book with adventure.
                • anagkan
                  anagkanMonday, July 25, 2016 at 8:01 am55 stars
                  During the course of this book, Vega Jane works at Stacks as a finisher, finishing objects. Her friend Quentin Herms runs away into the Quag, thick forest that surrounds Wormwood. The whole town is surprised by this. Quentin left Vega Jane a map of the Quag and a book about the Quag, if she too was going to run away. Vega then learns to fly and also gains a spear called the Elemental. In can destroy anything in its path. The Council finds out about the book and the map, and she is sent to Valhall, the jail. Her sentence was to win the Duelem, or she would have to stay in Valhall for life. She wins the Duelem. She then gains the money which she gives to her friend Delph, then one who was her best friend, who also trained her to fight in the duelem. Finally, Delph and Vega run away into the Quag, but only after they fight some council members. I can't wait to read The Keeper, the next book in the series.
                  • coreycole
                    coreycoleMonday, July 18, 2016 at 3:30 pm22 stars
                    i like the puzzels in this book but it was like reading a show my dad watches. it would have been better if t was a boy and boys are stronger and could have fought their way out and not had to wait. i think i might try more books in this series
                    • jsmyth
                      jsmythMonday, July 11, 2016 at 12:17 pm44 starsFeatured
                      I have never before read a David Baldacci novel. I know he's incredibly popular (that all his books are on the bestseller lists) but that's not enough reason for me to read a novel. That said, hearing the premise for his first venture into Young Adult fiction was enough reason for me to buy this book. This is a young adult fantasy novel set in one town in the middle of nowhere, a town surrounded by a wild land called the Quag, which it is forbidden to set foot into because of the creatures that live out there. The heroine of the story is Vega Jane and she's a boundary pushing individual who gradually comes to discover the secrets and abilities linked to her bloodline. The ideas of this book are excellent, I loved the grand world-building in every way. I also loved the protagonist, who was a realistic female character trying to make sense of her world. However, I felt there was room to play with some of the themes and ideas a little more. For instance this was another novel that talked about the fears of humans (though these individuals were Wugmorts and not necessarily human they acted as human) and the ways in which we allow walls to be built to protect us from the outside. Walls, which, in reality, keep us trapped inside. It's a theme which is particularly post-9/11 and from an era that includes the war on terror and the rise of social media, yet it is a universally applicable theme that could have been tapped into further. I also did not like the staccato nature of the writing in sections, which felt as if it 'told' the reader too much rather than 'suggested' or 'showed'. In other words, the writing was more or less predictable. All in all there is plenty of untapped potential in this novel and it feels as if there may be a sequel in the works. Though I have not heard anything about this as such. That said I would be interested to read the sequel. Can I recommend this novel then? Well as much as I recommend the average young adult novel: for enjoyment's sake rather than for a deep philosophical venture. If you want something deeper and more well-rounded there are other young adult novels I could point you to.

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