My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Shiver Trilogy by Maggie Steifvater
Instead of reviewing this book by book, I am going to review it as a trilogy, one work. Because lets face it much like there are three parts to a novel, the trilogy also follows the same path – Beginning: learning about the world and our characters; Middle: Shit happens; Ending: The world explodes and we fix it.
This first book introduces us to Sam and Grace. Sam as the wolf, and Grace as the girl who should have been a wolf but wasn’t. There is a wolf attack on a boy and he is presumed dead. Then there is an unofficial wolf hunt, and this is the point where shit gets real yo!!! Sam shifts back to human and goes to Grace for help and this is the first time they really meat, except for back in the forest when he saved her from being eaten by the back as a little girl, and then she never shifter even though she had been bitten.
Then we follow the incredibly sweet story of Sam and Grace falling in love as boy and girl and not just wolf and girl. But we are also pressed with the fact that it is fall and Sam is going to shift again and it will be his last shift. There is a holding on to humanity and it is both scary and endearing.
Sam writes snippets of lyrics in moments, and reads German poetry. He is a heart on his sleeve kind of guy and watching him an Grace connect is one of the sweetest things to bare witness too.
The story is told from the rotating perspectives of Sam and Grace, and while the voice doesn’t necessarily differentiate, their love is still very beautiful. Also kudos on the responsible sex.
The ending of this book could have very well been a standalone novel. There was closure and we believed that everything would be happily ever after. That is not to say though that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the rest of the series. I was very pleased with how the series progressed and the characters had a chance to grow and that we also got to meet some other very interesting characters only hinted at in book one.
This is the book that took all of that other stuff that was happening in book one and brought it to the fore front. We have the repercussions of recruiting new members to the pack, and what kind of person would choose to be a wolf?
We are introduced to two new POV characters, Cole and Isabel. Cole is a new wolf, and Isabel watched her brother die of the cure for being a wolf. They are two tragically broken forces that keep slamming into one another.
We also get a better view of the family situation. How even though Sam is starting to figure out that Beck stole his childhood from him, he did a far better job at being a family to Sam then Graces parents have for her.
And most importantly we are also dealing with the fact that Grace’s supposed cure is killing her as the wolf in her still needs to come out.
I easily picked up book 2 from book 3, but was a bit hesitant because I didn’t want to see what was fixed at the end of book one be broken by book 2 you know? I was not disappointed.
What I think I like best about Maggie’s books is that she takes you of to the precipice at the end but she doesn’t write you the happily ever after and then they led a boring life. Don’t get me wrong. I aspire to a boring life of my own, but I don’t aspire to that in my fiction. I like to imagine my happily ever after for the characters, which may be different than someone else’s happily ever after for them.
I think this is by far my favorite of the three books. It brings to ahead the wolf plot. It takes all the layers from the previous two books and turns the fire up to a million degrees and watches as things fall apart and they find their way.
I also felt that the writing in this book was stronger than the first two. The moments of realization each of the characters have and how real and different and evolved they have become is impressive. And it all feels so damned natural considering what is happening around them.
Also kudos to Maggie for not being afraid to kill people. She did not take the nameless face death route. She took characters that our characters cared about deeply and she killed them as the story demanded. And the people sacrificed for the plot made sense, it wasn’t just shock and awe.
Mostly I picked up this trilogy because I was still waiting for Raven Boys to Come out and I was still mourning over The Scorpio Races. I was expecting to love it as much as The Scorpio Races, merely be entertained while I was waiting. And I don’t love it as much as the Scorpio Races. I love it in a very different way. The way that Sam and Graces love is very different than Puck and Sean’s love, but that their isn’t one right or one wrong way to love a person and that each relationship is different and uniquely its own.
Also I realized that I like reading trilogy’s all at once. I like them more that way. I find reading them on a one book per year or whoever long between publication really leaves a lot of lag time to fall out love with the book, so you need to do a whole lot of impressing and wooing again to have them back in love with you. And it’s a great way to get through a lot of books in a short time period, as you rip from one ending to the next beginning.