Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Linger

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Scholastic

Summary (from Goodreads)

In Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other.  Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack.  And Isabel, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

What’s Good About It

Well, you’ve already had me ranting about how great Shiver was. I won’t bore you with the same spiel.

What was different about Linger? Well, it introduced two new viewpoints. We now not only hear from Sam and Grace, but from Cole and Isabel as well. Having Cole, this completely new character, thrown straight into the mix is a bit disorienting at first, but as ever, Maggie Stiefvater writes her different viewpoints so well. Despite the fact that he’s not a terribly sympathetic character initially, you can’t help but be sucked into his view of the world.

The werewolf mythology is developed even further, with new twists and turns on the temperature shifting thing. These developments were essential to keeping the story fresh, otherwise this would have been a stale rehash of Shiver. As it is, Stiefvater strikes the perfect balance between giving her readers more of the Sam/Grace relationship we’ve come to love, while injecting enough new and exciting to sustain the novel over its 416 pages, and the next 400 odd in the final installment.

Second books in trilogies often suffer simply for being the second book. There’s no real sense of threat, because we know there has to be a third book. But Linger manages to avoid this. I think having the Isabel and Cole perspective introduced left it feeling like a new book, set in the same world, rather than a direct continuation. And by the end, the climactic scenes were so intense it was hard to believe everyone was going to make it to Forever.

Brilliant characters, tense narrative, and the wonderful balance between real life issues and the paranormal – Linger is every bit as good as Shiver, if not better. I now will be wishing my life away for this time next year to arrive so I can lay my hands on Forever.

What’s Not So Good

Maggie Stiefvater’s name is very hard to spell. I am a spelling moron.

Rating: 5/5

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