This is Baldacci’s second YA novel featuring the character Vega Jane. Picking up where the first novel (reviewed here) left off, Vega and her buddy Delph have successfully escaped her hometown of Wormwood. They have entered the mysterious Quag, which is not the empty space that she was taught it was, and there may even be a land beyond the Quag. There might even be freedom.
But the Quag turns out to be worse than she ever thought it could be. The pair need to battle bloodthirsty beasts of all shapes and sizes, as well as go up against darkly magical forces. They run across another pair of youngsters in the Quag, unsure if they are enemies or allies.
This story certainly had its share of drama and action. There was a death among our main cast, a necessary sacrifice in the battle, but one that I did not expect. But there were way too many similarities to Harry Potter for my taste. For crying out loud, the lead character has a wand and speaks pseudo-Latin to achieve her magical goals. It became hard not to laugh every time this happened.
I enjoy most of Baldacci’s adult novels, and these ones are fine enough, but they just weren’t nearly as good as they could have been. There wasn’t enough original in the story and storytelling to make it a fully satisfying reading experience.