Enter a village imprisoned by its fear of the unknown. Where curiosity is discouraged, and no one has ever left – or wanted to. Until now.
Then a mysterious bequest turns one teenage girl’s life upside down. A curious map and a ring which connects Vega to another time lead her to discover an unknown world beyond the perimeter walls. A world filled with possibilities, and creatures beyond her imagining. But before Vega can experience it, she will be forced to fight for her freedom. And unravelling the truth of what exists beyond the confines of her village may cost Vega her life ...
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I have read quite a few David Baldacci novels and have enjoyed them immensely. So when his first Young Adult book came out, I was quite anxious to get my hands on it.
Vega Jane is a teenage Wug and a resident of Wormwood village. She is a ‘finisher’ at the Stacks where she puts the finishing touches on a variety of products. She works under Quentin Herms, a man who knew her family. Vega’s parents are on the last leg of their lives and are in The Care. Vega is now responsible for her little brother. She is used to her daily routine but then Quentin goes missing, leaving behind a map for Vega. This changes everything and Vega and her friend Delph are thrown into the adventure of their lives where they discover truths that the council would rather keep buried.
Vega Jane is an interesting character, to say the least. She is curious and stubborn, which make a lethal combination in a dystopian world. While I enjoyed getting to know her, I found her to be perturbing at times, mainly because of her arrogant nature. I loved Delph too. The world building is amazing. Instead of giving us the history beforehand, we get to learn about this dystopian world as we follow Vega on her journey. The town of Wormwood is a secluded place with a dense jungle serving as its boundary. It is certainly an intriguing place. Also the various monsters add to the story… I loved the illustrations that came with the book.
Given everything, the book lagged in pace. I guess the world building takes time, but still couldn’t help feel like things were moving a bit too slowly. But yes, the pace does pick up towards the end and I hope that the pace will keep up in the next book, now that the world is established. The narration is done beautifully including the vivid description of places and people that help fuel a reader’s imagination. However, I would have loved to know more details and history about the artifacts that appear in the book.
The book ends with many unanswered questions ensuring that I will pick up the next installment. Overall, though it makes for an interesting book, it fails to match the expectations that I have from David Baldacci book.