Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thriller Pick: The Finisher

 
Book Giveaway:
 
I have FIVE free copies of this middle grade-high school fantasy pick. Balacci steps into the YA arena with his latest book. Although almost 500 page count, The Finisher is a quick read with action, mystery and intrigue. For your chance to grab a FREE copy, post a comment to the blog. Include first name, city, state and email address (addresses must be USA addresses and no post office boxes, sorry). Winners are chosen randomly by Randomizer. Deadline for posts is noon MST May 15. Winners will be notified via email shortly after noon on that date. Please check your email. Winners have 24 hours to respond to my email. Books will ship from New York courtesy of Scholastic.
 
 
What I say:
 
The Finisher
by David Baldacci
Scholastic Press
2014
497 pages

Vega Jane lives in the  small, backward village of Wormwood. She is one of the few females who survive there. Her family is broken--both her mother and father are ill and in nursing care, her grandfather is "dead" having had an Event some years back. Vega helps out her younger brother John when she is able. Working long hours as a finisher in the Stacks, Vega is surprised when her mentor vanishes into the deadly Quag. Even more surprising is the parchment message Quentin leaves for Vega.

The village elders known as the Council offer a huge reward for the return of Quentin....dead or alive. Vega is afraid for her mentor and even more afraid for herself; for now, she has more than one secret. As Vega discovers the secrets of Wormwood and the dangerous evils that surround it, she realizes that everything is a lie.

Strange names for all sorts of beasts and animals, magical elements, sci-fi like holes in time and space, language that seems archaic to our ears: befuddlement, arse,  brethren, tis, and the quaint, almost sleepy village of Wormwood where the Council controls life and death give The Finisher an almost Tolkien/Lowry feel.

Vega Jane as a strong female protagonist seems compelled for far greater things, but she remains in Wormwood instead of venturing into the Quag. The Quag for all its secrets and danger is not a central part of the story, but I wished it had been. The elements for an amazing series are all here, but Baldacci takes his time developing the world around Vega Jane without setting her up to be the great, feisty female of YA fantasy. She is not Katniss Everdeen; on the other hand, Vega beats out Bella Swan easily.

Recommended for fans of fantasy. Book two looks promising to tell more about the secrets of the Quag which will be a welcome departure from sleepy Wormwood.

Suitable for middle grades-high school.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.



This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)





27 comments:

  1. I would love to be entered into the giveaway. Thanks for doing this.

    blemon@473mail.net

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love his adult books and looking forward to putting his work into the hands of my students!

    Barbara
    Bloomsburg PA
    bfritzlibrary at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would love a free copy of this book!!!!

    Rosalia Carraba
    West Seneca East Middle School
    1445 Center Road
    West Seneca NY 14224
    rcarraba@wscschools.org

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds interesting!

    Barb Gogan
    Sudbury Public School (MA)
    barbgogan @ gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love Baldacci!

    Brian Johnson
    Lakeside Junior High School
    bjohnson3@sdale.org

    ReplyDelete
  6. Who wouldn't love a new strong female protagonist?!

    Barbara Haas
    Boushall Middle School
    3400 Hopkins Road
    Richmond, VA 23234

    ReplyDelete
  7. Loved The Winner. The students and I would love to review this.

    Robin
    rshoup@musd20.org

    ReplyDelete
  8. This one sounds so good! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Susan Light
    Christiansburg High School
    Christiansburg VA
    books4susie@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the chance to win. Sounds good!
    Jane
    jperry@aos92.org

    ReplyDelete
  10. Looks like a fun one!
    Terry
    tholyoke@breweredu.org
    Brewer, ME

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am intrigued by the story and curious to see how David Baldacci handles YA. Thanks for the opportunity!

    Rachel
    Allston, MA
    holdenr@simmons.edu

    ReplyDelete
  12. Looks like a great book!

    Joleen
    Aberdeen, ID
    waltmaj@aberdeen58.org

    ReplyDelete
  13. Perfect for the fantasy readers at my school!
    Sarah
    Horseheads, NY
    sjones@horseheadsdistrict.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sounds like a great read!
    Janet
    Winfield, MO
    jbader3@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for the chance to win a book!
    Maggie Knapp
    Fort Worth, TX
    Maggie.knapp@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sounds like a great read! Maybe I'll win!
    Barbara
    Washington, VA
    bwheatley@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. While I'm not a fan of these fantasy books, I know many of my students are.
    Jackie Meyer
    Melrose, MN
    jackiemeyer7@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Pam
    Heidelberg, Germany
    pam.clower@hischool.de

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks again for your great reviews and your exciting giveaways.

    Heidi Lewis
    Guinyard Butler Middle School
    779 Allen Street
    Barnwell, SC 29812
    hlewis@barnwell45.k12.sc.us

    ReplyDelete
  20. Kathryn
    Binghamton, NY
    kfrech@syrdiocese.org

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sounds like another wonderul entry in YA fantasy.

    DB cooper
    Chatham, VA 124531
    cooperd@hargrave.edu

    ReplyDelete
  22. I can't wait to read this book! Fingers crossed.
    Sindy
    Rochester, NY
    sindycun@rochester.rr.com
    sindycun@rochester.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Appreciate your reviews! They are always spot on!
    Terrie
    Pasadena, TX
    thinojosa@pasadenaisd.org

    ReplyDelete
  24. You always give such good recommendations. I look forward to reading this one myself, especially with summer vacation coming up!
    David
    New Milford, Ct
    bilmesd@newmilfordps.org

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've heard a lot of good things about this title, but haven't had a chance to read it yet. I have some students who devour chapter books overnight, so I am always on the lookout for more.
    Suzanne
    Maryville, TN
    suzannercostner@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sounds like a great book!
    Janet
    Dover, AR
    janet.kanady@doverschools.net

    ReplyDelete
  27. I heard david baldacci give a lecture in Syracuse last year and he was fantastic! I'd love to win his book for my jr/sr library!

    ReplyDelete