Review: The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver, Linger, Forever)

The Wolves of Mercy Falls is a YA science-fiction/paranormal romance series by Maggie Stiefvater. The premise is this: Girl gets bitten by wolf. Girl is saved by other wolf. Girl falls in love with wolf. Wolf becomes boy. Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy. Boy struggles with impending death/wolfness. Think Princess and the Frog meets Twilight.

I wanted to love this series. I liked the idea, in theory. Paranormal love story involving werewolves. My mind initially wandered to a Jacob/Bella sort of thing, where the wolf actually gets the girl. It was enough to make me put the series on my wishlist & eventually buy it. But I wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be.

Aside from the awesome cover art, which really is stunning, I felt myself let down about halfway through book one. Now, I can usually get through a 300-400 page book in about 3-4 days (assuming it’s not a weekend). So, this series should have taken me about two weeks, if I had other more important things to do as well.

I started reading Shiver the first week of February. That’s, like, four weeks.

My reason? I’m blaming the characterization of Sam and Grace. Shiver was manageable, and I usually forgive first books for being a bit slow. But these two? There was zero passion between them, which just isn’t believable for two teenagers in love. The whole idea was that they had this magnificent, swoon-worthy connection. But… I didn’t swoon. Every time I got to a Sam or Grace chapter, I groaned internally.

Sam’s character was so depressing, which, yes, was understandable, but still. The lyrics and the moping were just too much. I wanted him to be more than he was. Then there was Grace, who was supposed to be strong and analytical and wise,  but was written as weird and needy. I was disappointed that she was turned into that girl once she fell in love. I like my female characters strong, even when they’re broken.

Cue Isabel. I LOVED Isabel. She had about 10,000 demons. But she was still badass, and strong when it counted. I found her struggle relatable and intense, which is what I like to get from my YA books.

I loved Cole, too. Actually, Cole was my #1 in this series, and I wish there had been more of him. His were the lines that made me laugh and smile and say awww. Cole made me think.

The only other redeemable part of the series was the characterization of Grace’s parents. They made me feel actual anger. I shouted at the book more than once, completely frustrated. They were so unrealistic that they were realistic. Had the series erased Sam and Grace (The Bella/Edward wannabes) and replaced them with Isabel and Cole, my rating for the series would be much, much higher.

Not least, but technically last, I found the ending to be underwhelming, which shouldn’t have been a shock given my feelings throughout. Too many things were left unanswered. Too many loose ends. I’m hoping that Sinner, the add-on book to the series, will fill in those blanks (sans Sam and Grace) and be the book that the previous three had the potential to be. It’s currently on my next-to-read list, and I’m hoping it won’t take me two weeks to work through.

Overall rating: 6/10



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