Series Speed Date: Round #5

This section will cover any key details about the series.

Books In Series: Shiver, Linger and Forever 
Companion Books In Series: Sinner
Released: 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 390 pages | 360 pages | 390 pages | 357 pages
What do these covers say about this series?

I've included the redesigned covers above, since they match Sinner, but I kind of hate them. The originals are so much better! While I was never really drawn to these books, I still think the covers were fitting. You can tell that the books involve interaction between people and wolves, and the forest hints at darker themes or that feeling of isolation. However, the new covers essentially depict the same thing - just with a different look.

Based on the summary, what can you expect going into this series?

I knew based on the summary of Shiver that these books were about werewolves. Honestly, that's really not my thing. I've gotten more into fantasy this year, but I was still hesitant to try this series. However, I loved the lyrical writing and well-developed setting in The Scorpio Races and The Raven Boys so I figured it was worth a shot. I also expected an "epic love story" since it sounded like the books revolved around Sam, the yellow-eyed boy who is also a wolf, and Grace, the girl who loves him.

What are some of the highlights of the series?

An independent, determined and smart heroine.
A loyal, protective, and thoughtful boy.
A myth that comes alive and roams in the woods behind your house.
A world that feels like a dark and dangerous fairy tale.
A powerful man and the scared citizens who want to wipe out a threat to their town.
A shift in temperatures and a secret that must stay hidden.
A group of unlikely friends who are bound to one another by the secrets they keep.
An impossible love story and the fight to find a place to belong.

 How will you feel closing the last page?

Technically, Forever is the final book in this series. Although Sinner is a companion book, it doesn't continue the story of Mercy Falls. For me, the story with Sam and Grace - their individual arcs, their progression as a couple and the conflict they were facing in Mercy Falls - was resolved at the end of Forever. It's intense and emotional, and the stakes are higher than ever for these characters. There were a few things that felt a bit off to me, but it finished on a good note overall. However, there are some things that just didn't work for me upon reflection.

The books gradually shifted from focusing on Sam and Grace to really being about Sam, Grace, Isabel and Cole. While I appreciated Isabel and Cole, I did feel like they became a distraction at times. So, I was excited when I learned that Sinner was their story. Since it's set in Los Angeles and is a very different story than the one in The Wolves of Mercy Falls books, I think it can be read as a standalone. You'll miss out on some of the backstory and character development, of course, but it can be done. For as much as I loved Isabel and Cole in the previous books, I wasn't crazy about them in Sinner. I think the drama and angst just became a little too much for me! I thought Sinner was okay, but I didn't love it the way I expected.

Summing up this series in just three words? 

Intense. Creative. Addicting.

Is this series worth your time?

I'm a little torn! These books were incredibly addicting - I think I finished the entire series within a week. I really enjoyed them the entire time I was reading, but I like them a bit less now that some time has passed. Part of my problem is that I didn't connect emotionally to the story and never really understood why Sam and Grace loved one another. I think it kept me from feeling the full impact of the emotional or tense moments in the story - there was never a time where I felt anxious or sad about what was taking place.

I did love the reasoning and complexity behind werewolves in this story, especially the way science and myth intertwined. The setting was also well developed, which I've come to expect with Stiefvater. The writing was lyrical, but it definitely didn't compare to The Scorpio Races or The Raven Cycle for me. I think those stories are just so much more complex! The series also shifts from focusing on Sam and Grace by adding the point of views of a few secondary characters. It's something that I liked but think may bother other readers. This is a series that I'd likely recommend with reservations and not before I suggested some of Stiefvater's other books. I enjoyed them, but I wouldn't re-read them and would suggest sampling the first book before committing.

1 comment

  1. I read the first book in the series and it never really spoke to me. I thought that Sam and Grace moved way too fast and, like you said, never really understood their attraction in the first place. I thought it was a little cheesy and insta-lovey (I don't care that you've been looking at that wolf for years, you don't know him as a person).

    So I think the series is a no for me, but Stiefvater's other books sound really interesting, so I'll have to give them a try!


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