Thursday, 9 August 2012

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain.  Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of a human. For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is a constant struggle between two forces--wolf and human--with love baring its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?

The Cover: As I said in my last review, the thing I love most about these covers is how they relate to the covers of the other books in the series. The inverse of the Shiver cover is really something that becomes more resonant as the book goes on. The reverse represents the reverse of who is more vulnerable in the Sam-Grace relationship. The heart shaped leaf in the corner of the Shiver has transformed into a red paw print - another detail that I think highlights one of the main parts of the struggle in all of the characters (which is, in short, how dangerously intertwined love and the wolves are).

The Characters: Sam and Grace have more depth in this novel, which I love. Sam's relationship with his parents and the pack are explored deliciously - the stark contrast being the thing that really makes it stick in your mind. The chill of the bathroom tiles as opposed to the warmth of the reds and browns of Beck's house. Grace also enters into newer territory as well, with the sudden friction between her and her up-til-now absentee parents. Grace's parents are interesting characters - I don't like them as characters, but they add to the story and the realism of it. Isabel's perspective in this novel makes it even greater. I love her character even though she can be a nasty piece of work. And then there's Cole. Cole St Clair - frontman of NARKOTIKA and all round pain in the butt. I love his longing to lose himself, his humour and his exchanges with Isabel. I sometimes got frustrated with his inability to take much seriously, but that's part of the character so I don't mind so much.

The Setting: Flawless, as ever. The woods and Beck's house remain to be characters in themselves - they even overshadow the characters in the forefront - but I'm a sucker for settings, so I may be biased.

The Overall Story: I love it! The scientific element of the 'werewolf toxin' (to borrow a phrase from Mr St Clair) gives the mythological elements more logic and realism. I love the switch-a-roo of vulnerable characters (I'm being vague to avoid spoilers) and the evolution of the characters that were in Shiver (Sam, Grace and Isabel, mainly) and Cole.

And it only gets better in the third and final installment of the series (which I'll be reviewing next time). I give Linger a 4 out of 5.

- Elsie

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