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Vega Jane Books In Order

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Publication Order of Vega Jane Books

The Finisher (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Keeper (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Width of the World (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Stars Below (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

The name ‘Vega Jane’ refers to a series of young adult fantasy novels written by David Baldacci. Vega Jane is also the name of the series protagonist.

+The Story
Vega Jane is fifteen and Wormwood is all she has ever known. The bleak little village is surrounded by a wall called the Quag, a barrier that is supposedly filled with monsters. Life in wormwood could be worse but it is hardly ideal.

Vega gets by as a finisher, a person whose job it is to add the final touches to handicrafts before they are purchased. The work allows Vega and her little brother to survive on their own without their parents who have been sequestered away in a care center, having been struck ill by a mysterious illness.

Strong, confident and a little too smart for her own good, Vega has never questioned the ways of her village or even the rulings of her leaders. But then her mentor disappears and everything changes.

Vega saw him get dragged into the Quag. Whats more, Quentin left behind a trail of clues and a map, each of which opened Vega’s eyes to the fact that there was more to wormwood than its façade suggested.

The Vega Jane series follows Vega Jane around as she makes it her mission in life to escape Wormwood, having determined that she would rather take her chances with the monsters in the Quag if it means attaining her freedom.

Along the way, the little girl tries to make sense of the mystery surrounding her parents and their unspecified illness, not to mention the secrets the council of Wormwood has kept from its citizens.

Vega is joined on her adventure by a stuttering boy called Delph and their strange dog Harry. While most young adult novels tend to prioritize the romance and the love triangles over most other story elements, the Vega Jane series emphasizes the adventure.

In fact, there is very little romance, to begin with. David Baldacci sets Vega Jane up as a girl that just wants to discover who she is, not to mention attaining freedom from her bleak town.

One of only a few girls willing to face the strong, misogynistic men around her in combat, Vega has a tendency to push all the wrong buttons in all the wrong people. But she isn’t afraid to contend with the perilous consequences she often attracts.

The heroine normally attracts mixed reviews from readers. While some audience members love her spunk and tenacity, others think she is a little too cliché, very typical of the sorts of heroines that YA novels like the Hunger Games create.

Baldacci, the author, often cites his wife as the inspiration for the Vega Jane series. Baldacci was a very chatty child. His mother only silenced him when she got him a journal, this, in turn, driving him to experiment with writing.

So Baldacci was already experienced in the use of journals when his wife got him one in 2008. He was still excited about the prospects it offered and quickly fled to his office from where he immediately wrote the name ‘Vega Jane’ on the first page.

By that point in time, Baldacci was best known for his adult fiction. Writing that name in the journal his wife gave him and finally deciding that he was ready to experiment with fantasy paved the way for the author’s foray into the young adult genre.

It took Baldacci four years to research the Vega Jane series. It wasn’t just the language and the culture of his new world that he wanted to get right but also his heroine’s voice.

Of course, because Wormwood wasn’t a real place, Baldacci couldn’t exactly check out books on the setting. So he settled for fantasy novels that mirrored the story he wished to write.

And because the language used in the Vega Jane series is comparable to Scottish, he also read up on British slang. By 2012, Baldacci had gathered all the essential pieces of the Vega story and thus, finally sat down to write.

The author has admitted to finding the fantasy YA genre far more exciting to write for than the thrillers which made him famous, primarily because the field gives him the freedom to ignore the logic and rationale that the real world demands.

When it came to publishing, Baldacci attempted to submit his first manuscript under a pen name. But his involvement in the series eventually came out, garnering the Vega Jane property even more attention.

+The Author
David Baldacci became a published author in 1996. He proceeded to write and publish several dozen novels in the years that followed. A former student of the Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia Law School, Baldacci started out in law, operating out of D.C.

He eventually gave into a love for writing that was sparked when, as a child, his mother gave him a notebook within which he could put all his stories.

+The Finisher
Vega Jane was an ordinary girl working as a Finisher in Wormwood. Then her mentor disappeared and everything changed. Wormwood is a little community surrounded by a barrier called the Quag.

No one ever leaves Wormwood because to do so would mean facing all the monsters and fiends hiding in the Quag. Vega never thought to question her incarceration in wormwood, certain that it was the only way to survive the dangers waiting outside.

But then Quentin was dragged into the Quag and Vega discovered a map promising a safe way through the barrier. Now Vega will stop at nothing to escape wormwood, regardless of the efforts by the council of wormwood to keep her in her place.

+The Keeper
From the moment she could talk, Vega Jane was told that she could never leave Wormwood, her hometown and that attempting to do so would expose her to the dangers of the wilderness beyond.

Vega was happy to toe the line until she found evidence proving that the council of her town had lied to her.

Now Vega is on her way out of wormwood. Joined by her friend and his dog, when Vega finally faces the Quag, she quickly realizes that the dangers lurking within might be far worse than she could have imagined.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Vega Jane

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