Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: 5 Stars
Release Date: July 20, 2010
The race against winter came and went-the penetrating cold seeped into our veins with every page turned. Slowly, but surely, the leaden snow blanketed and crystallized every surface…the forest, the tangled branches of Boundary Wood, and the aching ground. Our hearts were torn apart with every drop in temperature and gave up the ghost to the heart of frost when the last leaf fell.
Shiver was all of these things-a continual bated breath as Maggie Stiefvater flung us to the edge over and over again while we watched the mercury drop-a bittersweet love story held capture by the seasons: Grace perpetually human with a few wolfish traits and Sam, her vigilant protector, destined to watch from afar, imprisoned in a form he could never fully be released from.
This enduring connection between Sam and Grace was tender, steeped in the internal turmoil of a world they enveloped us in. And Stiefvater left a few unresolved issues at the end of Shiver, Sam’s anger at Beck for his recruitment of new wolves to the pack, the morphing of Olive into a wolf, how would the authorities handle her disappearance? Would there be any lingering issues with the meningitis “wolf” cure? Would others be compelled to try it?
This time, in Linger, Maggie Stiefvater's shining sequel, brings us further into the psychology of the motives about Mercy Falls very own pack, on an intimate and individual level. The newest recruits, especially that of Cole St. Clair has highlighted the desperate angst each wolf has gone through-at one time or another. Cole, who plummeted down the rabbit hole after a trail of drugs and booze as the lead singer in Narkotika will do anything to escape the pain he feels in everyday life. Even if that means to lose himself into the oblivion of being a wolf-forever. What will happen when this famous loser gets found by the paparazzi and exposes the pack?
And in the middle of this gorgeous hot mess, Stiefvater has dropped a few cluster bombs on our fairytale couple-Grace, whose road has never been easy, is ill. As in life threatening. And in this eerie role reversal of a sequel, Grace must face this new threat on borrowed time and brutal conflict-her notoriously absentee parents have decided to separate Sam from their daughter-at any cost. With Grace declining quickly, Tom Culpeper hell-bent on shooting anything with four legs, and Sam thrust into a guardian role over the wolves, there is an overwhelming sense of impotence in the air-an intended lack of real action on the part of the characters that fuels the reader into a frenzy. What will happen? What can only end up happening at the end of Linger?
Linger was amazingly brilliant-tumultuous, brave, and as full of sorrow as it is full of joy and hope. Stiefvater’s wolves are painfully real, born in heartache and destined to live their lives trapped within animal form, their human counterparts forgotten and withered. But within that hopeless conundrum, Stiefvater has managed to embody hope-manifested in the love of Grace and Sam. No matter what fate has in store for them, the connection that these two share will circumvent any boundaries placed before them. Or whatever shape they might take. Forever (out 2011) Stiefvater’s final installment to the Wolves of Mercy Falls will most likely be packed with an explosive and teary ending. Positively cannot wait!
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)