14 year old Vega Jane lives in Wormwood and works as a Finisher for the stacks. The job of the Finisher is to take what other workers have done and put on the “finishing touches”, such as sanding wood to painting figurines. Quentin was a Finisher who taught Vega Jane how to do her job. He was a family friend and the two were close, until one night Vega saw him running off into the Quag while attack dogs were chasing him. The Quag is the forest that surrounds Wormwood and it is filled with monsters, so no one knows what is beyond it. Vega simply wants to forger this happened and simply mourn the loss of her family friend, but Quentin keeps contacting her through notes and gives her a map through the Quag. At the same time the Council is questioning people about what led to him running off into the Quag. Now she must enlist her 11 year old brother John and best friend 16 year old Delph as they try to decipher the truth of their village.
Vega Jane is an interesting character. Her parents are dying from an unmentioned disease so she lives with some other people in her village. She is the primary caretaker of her brother, and watches out for her friend Delph who is often teased for his stammer and slow speech.
Delph was a character whose main backstory was unknown for most of the book. He was normal until at age 6 he saw Vega’s grandfather’s “Event”, another thing unexplained until almost the end of the book. Then he grew a stammer, and had what he called “jumbled words” in his head.
Although I tried to summarize the beginning of the book in the most interesting way possible, this book was one of the most boring books I have ever read. The book is 500 pages long, and the first 300 pages was basically fights happening and then they didn’t happen, monsters showing up and then disappearing, and then a whole lot of backstory. It is supposed to be a world of its own, but basically it takes the same story as a ton of other fantasy stories. Humans live in a small area, told not to go into the woods and that there is nothing else out there, someone goes into the woods, and then oh my gosh there is something else in the woods! The author doesn’t even do much to go outside of the norm. I was supposed to be reading this with a friend and doing a review with a few of their pointers in, but after the 50th page we decided to read a different book so that only I would go to the end. The only thing that I do give to this book is that after page 300 the story does pick up a bit, but it took me nearly 2 days of reluctant reading just to get to that point. I just wished to be finished with it instead of being drawn into the story. However, the book does end on a cliffhanger, so if I can get my hands on the other books in the series I might finish it to see if the other books are improved, but otherwise I am pretty much finished with it.
Overall Rating: 1.5/5