Jul 20, 2010

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Sam & Grace can't really believe their fortune. After thinking they had lost Sam to the woods as a wolf forever, he sauntered out as a real boy. Permanently. Or at least they hope. With every chill wind, Sam braces for the change that never comes. The couple relax into a comfortable routine of school for Grace, work for Sam, and nights spent together.

Then some of the wolves start to shed their pelts. To be specific, Cole is the new wolf who can't seem to hold his wolf form. As a boy he is angry, edgy, and unstable. All he wants is to get lost in his new skin and he's not making his presence any easier on anyone else involved.

None of them are alone in their suffering though. Sam is in a constant struggle with his wolf, Grace is harboring a secret within herself, and Cole is trying to hide his true nature. Everyone is trying to protect someone, but really all they're doing is allowing themselves to linger over what could be.

So, you know how in many series (mainly trilogies) the second book just feels like filler and pretty much sucks (The Lord of the Rings, Twilight Saga, Gemma Doyle Trilogy)? Well Linger decimates that preconceived notion with such force I swear there was an audible sigh when I came to that realization. I knew Maggie was good, but I wasn't aware of the extent of her abilities until this book.

Linger picks up where Shiver left off and begins to answer a lot of questions that plague readers from the beginning. We discover some pack magic, more of Sam's history, and the reality of the wolves' futures. These things are combined to give us a clearer picture of what is in store for our favorite characters as they travel down an unknown path to an uncertain existence.

Of course our favorite people remain very true to character providing tears, laughter, and occasionally a rueful smirk. For example:

"The Boy should watch where he's going," she said.
"Rachel should not manifest in doorways, " (Sam) replied. p. 144 of uncorrected ARC
"That said, we ought to get you some clothing."
His lips curved more. "Eventually?"
I smiled nastily at him. "Yeah, let's get that freak show covered up."
He made a little whoo shape with his lips. "Harsh." p.84 of uncorrected ARC

Isabel is every bit as green as always. She has some real depth to her, but her actions undermine her intelligence sometimes. Sam is the strong, silent type for the most part. We see a more personal side of him through his flashback memories & little habits that we discover. Cole is a force to be reckoned with and someone who can balance the fire & ice personality of Isabel. I have a feeling that we'll see even more of them in the final installment.

Overall, the world of Mercy Falls continues in this spell-binding, mesmerizing tale. I honestly don't know where the story will go from where it left off, but I can assure you that it won't disappoint. Maggie has created something truly unique & magnetic with the story of the wolves of winter in Minnesota. A must read for 2010, Linger will leave you breathless & wanting more. Bravo!


Jennie said...

Cole is just dreamy! I loved the added view of Sam we got from Cole's eyes.

Steph said...

This book is getting such good press, along with Shiver, that I have got to read it, now if I can just fit it in.

Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust

Paromantasy said...

Thanks for the grat review. I'm going to read it this weekend! I was a little concerned with the whole "fluff" notion, and I'm glad that it's not going to follow that receipe for disaster! I can't wait to read it :-)