cover image The Finisher

The Finisher

David Baldacci, read by Nicola Barber. Scholastic Audiobooks, , unabridged, 13 CDs, 14 hrs., $42.99 ISBN 978-0-545-69016-4

Crime novelist Baldacci detours into middle-grade fiction with a dark and wild mixture of fantasy, science fiction, and myth. The story begins as 14-year-old Vega Jane realizes her mentor, Quentin Herms, has gone missing. Vega knows there is danger about and her magic skills are not enough to handle it. Her world soon begins to crumble as she discovers the lies of her town, Wormwood, and it’s council, but she has a long way to go before she is safe. Barbara narrates in a charming and vibrant voice that captures Vega’s personality and guides listeners through this magical world. Her soft delivery and English accent are inviting. She creates clear and distinguished voices for the characters that stand apart from Vega’s first-person perspective. Equally important, she balances timing, projection, and tone to create some fantastic moments of tension and excitement throughout the book. Ages 10–14. A Scholastic hardcover. (Mar.)