Saturday, January 1, 2011

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Linger is the second in the wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, soon to be followed by Forever. I was captivated by the first installment, Shiver, by Stiefvater's take on the werewolf phenomenon. Her wolves become wolves for the winter, human for the summer until they eventually stop shifting and remain wolves. In Shiver, it appears that Grace & Sam have found a cure for Sam--to stop shifting and remain human. Linger builds on that premise, focusing more on Sam's adjustment to having a future as a human & on his relationship with Grace. However, Sam's cure may just be a stop-gap solution. Wolves are dying and someone human may be dying as well.

The focus on Sam's adjustment to being a human once more is very interesting. He approaches with caution & often seems to forget that he won't be shifting anymore. His relationship with Grace is tested by the sudden interest of her parents, who were all but absent in Shiver. We are also introduced to Cole, one of the new wolves, who has his own dark past & is drawn to Isabel, who desperately wants what Grace & Sam have. At this point, however, Cole is not the man to give it to her. Cole's character is interesting--his life & background seem incongruous & somewhat convenient to the plot. However, one could argue that Beck specifically chose him for his family history and, therefore, his placement in the pack is specific & intentional.

Overall, I enjoyed Linger & look forward to reading Forever. There were some places where the story was a bit slow & some of the teen angst was a little more than I would have liked. But Stiefvater's story of Sam & Grace is so compelling that it's easy to overlook any minor faults. I'm very interested to see how this all ends in Forever.

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