Monday, September 12, 2011

"Chasing the summer I spent with you, I pass through the end of winter."

by Maggie Stiefvater

I previously reviewed The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy this spring and had been eagerly awaiting the final installment, which was slated for publication in July. As soon as I received proof of residency and was able to obtain my library card here, I put the book on reserve, with 42 people ahead of me. Last week, I received the e-mail stating it was on hold for me, and I picked it up on Thursday night, finding time to read it this weekend.

Was it worth the wait? Definitely. I have to admit, after reading Linger, I felt that Shiver would have been better served as a stand-alone novel. I didn't like the addition of new characters and the switch between POV each chapter, not to mention the mad science and the increasing implausibility of the entire scenario. While those things are still present in Forever (and the solution to the pack's problems feels like a total deus ex machina), Ms. Stiefvater's brilliant writing convinces even the most skeptical reader that certain actions are feasible.

Just as in Linger, the narrative is split four ways between Sam, Grace, Isabel, and Cole, who channels more of his mad scientist persona than his rock star one in this installment. While the trilogy predictably ends happily, there are some twists and turns along the way.

What I especially enjoyed with this installment was the writing of the wolves. It can be rather difficult to portray animal intelligence accurately, but I think Ms. Stiefvater hit the nail on the head.

While I stand by my earlier statement that the idea works best as a stand-alone, since the trilogy does exist, I wouldn't want its last installment to be any other way.

Grade: A-

*Note: The title of this post comes from the translated song lyrics of "Cloud 9", a song from the TV anime Wolf's Rain, which I highly recommend if you're looking for another wolf-related property, or simply a great show.

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