When we last saw Vega Jane in The Finisher, she had left her very “Giver” life in Wormwood, for possible freedom (and death) in the Quag that surrounded it, with her canine Harry 2, and her gorgeous (former stutterer) best friend, Delph. That’s not all she has with her. She still has Destin, the chain that allows her to fly, the Adder Stone that can heal all wounds (cannot regrow limbs or bring back the dead – she tried), and the Elemental, when combined with the glove can change its shape, and seems to be what she needs at the time that she needs it (not fully explored yet). Vega Jane, et al., had just leapt off a cliff to escape the herd of garms and armarocs that had been chasing them – a literal cliffhanger. Now, in The Keeper, David Baldacci continues her story at that exact moment.
Vega Jane (quite possible the coolest name ever) is a 14 session female Wug. She lives in Wormwood with her brother, works as a finisher at Stacks, and spends time with the stuttering Delph. Everybody’s dirty, everybody’s hungry, and everybody exhausted….everybody….except the Council, of course. Surrounding Wormwood is the Quag, the whole Quag and nothing but the Quag. If you dare to even stick a pinky toe into the Quag, the garms, jabbits, and colossals will get you in a sliver if the freks don’t get you first. Or will they?
Vega Jane is not sure.
David Baldacci’s The Finisher is literally another world from the adult thriller novels he usually writes. This YA first of an obvious series has a very slow start as one tries to navigate the made-up language. It ends up pulling you out of the story in order to decode, rather than allowing you to fully immerse yourself into Wug life. Stick it out though. Baldacci ends most chapters with teasers, urging you to read on like:
“None of them would turn out to be right.”
“Until I knew my fate there would be no rest for me.”