Book Reviews

Vega Jane and the Secrets of Sorcery (Vega Jane #1) by David Baldacci

It isn’t unusual for a well-known author to write for the Young Adult audience (i.e., Garry Disher, Robert Galbraith) so for that reason I read this first book in the Vega Jane series. It was originally published under the title The Finisher, of which the SMSA holds a copy. This reader has read most of Mr Baldacci’s crime novels (for the grown up audience) and immensely enjoyed his character and plot development, his movement of the story at a clipping pace and the occasional twisty ending.

This reader was very surprised (and pleased) to find the Vega Jane series set, not in the present day Earth, but somewhere else where magic reigns and the general populace (mostly human) held at poverty levels by fear of outsiders. Book 1 introduces the reader to the heroine, a 14 year old girl called Vega Jane. She and her young brother are both orphans within the medieval-type village. She works as a finisher of manufactured products and barely makes enough coin to provide for herself and her brother. However, her curiosity as to the fate of their parents and grandparents leads her to unlocking powers within herself and thence, to a measure of freedom.

This reader was surprised at the quality of this YA story; considering Mr Baldacci doesn’t usually write in the fantasy realm, this story was well plotted, with his trademark character development and aided by a detailed map of Vega’s world, Wormwood.

Recommended for members who might be seeking a good novel for their grandchildren.

Reviewed by Belinda Coombs
Murder and Crime Reading Group

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Vega Jane and the Secrets of Sorcery (Vega Jane #1) by David Baldacci

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