Image from: www.amazon.co.uk
What the ‘Blurb’ says:
‘Welcome to Wormwood: a place where curiosity is discouraged and no one has ever left.
Until one girl, Vega Jane, discovers a map that suggests a mysterious world beyond the walls. A world with possibilities and creatures beyond her imagining.
But she will be forced to fight for her freedom. And unravelling the truth may cost Vega her life.’
I’m a fan of Fantasy and Sci-fi and, in a recent conversation with a friend on the subject of reading, they recommended and lent me, the ‘Vega Jane’ Series.
Book one started with great promise. Vega Jane and the rest of the characters were very well formed and I liked the initial underlining feminist message, running throughout the story.
However, I found many problems with this novel. Firstly, the writing was a major problem for me, particularly the vocabulary that was used by the characters.
Wormwood is supposedly a fictional place, on an unknown planet. So it didn’t come to surprise, that the characters used a fictional language.
The problem with that was, when a character used a fictional word, as a reader, you had to hazard a guess at to what the characters were talking about. Also, made up words were used, where they weren’t particularly necessary. For example, ”Lights’ were ‘days’ and ‘slivers’ were ‘time’. For me, it wasn’t entirely necessary to use alternative words for these things and this vocabulary was being thrown in, to try and make the setting of the story, more interesting. I would have preferred the use of fictitious words for some of the more exotic things, found in the environment of Wormwood.
Also to confuse things even further, more modern words like ‘bloke’ were used, which gave this weird mish mash, between the modern and the fantasy world, the book took place in. I think what David Baldacci was trying to do, was to make the situation and characters more relatable to its predominately teenage audience. What this combination of language actually did, was to cause me to step out of the world that was being created, rather than being drawn into it.
The plot was generally good. Although, as Vega was learning more about her powers, there were no real explanations as to why she had them. I know this is a series and I suppose that during the course of the novels, there will be more explanation, but I felt like something should have been explained.
Also, Vega inexplicably finds weapons at the exact times she needs them, without any explanation about where they came from. It was as if David Baldacci found Vega in a tight spot, so he decided to drop weapons from the sky. For me, that wasn’t logical and was a bit lazy on the writer’s part.
I did enjoy the tension which ran through the book and that kept me reading until the very end. I was fully prepared, as I neared the end of book one, to continue reading the rest of the series. However, the last three chapters totally put me off reading the rest of the books, for several reasons.
Firstly, Vega Jane was a strong female character, who had guts and fought to survive. So it was totally out of character, at the end, for her to start worrying about what she looked like and what boys thought of her. To me, that totally contradicted the message that the rest of the book was trying to send.
Also the resolution to the novel, like some of the other elements in this book, seemed to come from no where. I felt totally disappointed at the weak ending.
This novel had interesting promise and a great female protagonist, but it missed the mark entirely for me.
If you like reading fantasy novels, with strong female characters, I wouldn’t suggest reading this. Read the ‘Hunger Games’ Trilogy instead.
My Rating: **
Like my Reviews? Or do you prefer reading other types of posts? Go over to my blog poll and vote on what types of posts you would like to see in the future.