Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Review: Linger & Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls #2 & #3
Where I got it: Audiobook from the e-library
I decided to combine these two reviews because I find it hard to review sequels sometimes when they repeat a lot of the same characters/plot, and I also read these two in quick succession so it was hard to tell them apart!
Main characters: 5/5
I like Sam and Grace because they're quirky and, while I like them, I definitely want to shout at them sometimes, or I'll catch myself thinking that they're a little strange. But you know what? That's a good thing. Stiefvater captures the real parts of them, even parts that I don't like annoy me. And it's the genuineness: the fact that these could be people I know. I don't know how else to explain it. Sam sometimes seems oddly quiet and awkward, and Grace has this annoying practicality about her, so it's not like I adore them, in fact they kind of get on my nerves. But I appreciate that, and all their other imperfections, and their romance is just stellar.
Secondary characters: 4.5/5
Much like Sam and Grace, I didn't really like Cole and Isabel for most of these sequels. They were fascinating, especially in contrast to Sam and Grace, but they weren't nice people. Regardless, they made for intriguing secondary characters and offset the niceness of Sam and Grace. I also appreciated the way that they grew and changed each other through the course of the novels.
Writing style: 3/5
I think the writing style is my biggest knock against Stiefvater. Her prose is absolutely gorgeous, but the pacing was not my style. The writing dragged in the middle of both novels and I was ready to put them down at some points. Especially in the final action scene in Forever, I was literally screaming at the audiobook because so much was happening and then Stiefvater would stop in the middle of this crazy action and start to describe something. There are some really beautiful scenes of loss and darkness that I applaud (like I said, the writing is gorgeous), but the pacing was too jarring and slow for me in a lot of places.
I've always liked the premise of The Wolves of Mercy Falls series because it does provide a unique spin on the werewolf theme. We get werewolves that are more scientifically created, rather than fantastically. The stories are really more about loss and romance than about werewolves. The conflict that is created is exciting and realistic (as realistic as you can get with werewolves, of course). My problem is the lack of action which, when paired with the slow pacing and the fact that most of the action happens behind the scenes (when another character is narrating and comes back and happens to hear about the actions done by another character), is painfully slow.
I was disappointed. This is not an ending, and knowing that Sinner came out made it both better and worse. You still need to wrap up the series because Sinner is apparently a stand-alone, but yay that there's another book coming out- more answers? There were a lot of things left untied. In general, I like more ambiguous endings, but this series crossed over into laziness. This weren't just left for the reader to wonder or question, they almost seemed forgotten.
Best scene: The final action scene in Forever. I was screaming in my car (and I don't really react to books like that often!)
Positives: Complex, genuine and emotive characters, amazing premise with believable conflict stemming from it, gorgeous prose
Negatives: The ending, the pacing
Cover: I've always been lukewarm about the covers. They're unique looking and interesting, but not very exciting or eye-catching
Verdict: What a fun series! I was definitely disappointed in the way the ending was handled (not what happened, but the lack of answers) and the pacing, but there's no denying that Stiefvater can tell an amazing and heart-wrenching story.
Rating: 6.8 / 10 (4 stars)
Your Thoughts: Have you read it? What did you think? If you haven't, will you be adding it to your TBR list? Let me know!