Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review: Maggie Stiefvater's Linger

Some books are inextricably tied to your reading experience. I fell into this one like a drowning person looking for air, searching for a sweet and satisfying escape. Instead, I asphyxiated. Silly me. I had forgotten the Second Book in a Trilogy Commandment: Thou shalt destroy what thou hast built.

Forget the victories of the initial adventure. Second books don’t care that you cheated death in a brutal arena. You just made things worse for yourself. You did something no one else can do? Cool, now people are hunting you. Second books don’t care that you found true love or saved the day or recovered a priceless artifact. You’re going to be trapped in a love triangle, discover that you helped the wrong side, or learn that something vital has been stolen from you. Perhaps all three at the same time. Things tend to get dark and twisty and complicated.

…Which is exactly what happens to Sam and Grace. All is not as it seems. I don’t want to give away a lot, but the mythology changes. I’m not sure if I love the switch from a natural cause (temperature) to a scientific explanation for shifting, but I’m down to see where it goes. How deep is the rabbit hole and why are there wolves at the bottom?

I appreciated seeing our main characters, the lovers we fell in love with, through the eyes of others. (Cole St. Clair and Isabel are intriguing new voices to add to the story, even if I am a little tired of the Bad Boy trope.) The glimpses of Sam and Grace’s hidden depths, ones that they may not yet understand or explain objectively, were subtle and reassuring. They’re evolving and so is their relationship.

As always, the prose is lovely. (Ditto cover art.) Everything had a frosty bite in Shiver, but there was a bit more heat here. (It was so odd to read warm, thawing words instead of cold.) The only thing that threw me was noticing the text was green! It was a tad disorienting to come back to the book after a break (not that I took many) and wait for the color to “fade” to black in my brain.

All in all, this book did what it was supposed to do. It mucked things up for the characters and will keep me waiting impatiently for Book 3: The Conclusion. The wait’s going to feel like Forever, har har.


  1. I so wish that someone had told to just WAIT to read all three after Forever came out! Talk about a cliff-hanger!

    Also, Maggie Stiefvater has a video on her blog of herself reading the first page of Forever. I have determined that I am going to wait to watch this video until much closer to the release date of Forever (because I am weak and will torture myself if I get even the tiniest hint of Forever...and 5 months is a long time to wait!)

  2. It's too late for me! I already watched it. I'm weak when it comes to books.

  3. How was it? Should I watch it or try to stay strong?

  4. Um, um...I am good at compartmentalizing, so I am trying to block it out. If you're in the mood to torture yourself, by all means. :)

    (It was really happy-making. I love when authors read their books aloud.)

    Also, MAGGIE STIEFVATER read my review and replied in a Tweet: "You also forgot that I was evil." I'm feeling a little giddy right now.

  5. Whoa....I'm so jealous...and I've had to stay home from work sick this entire week, so I might need some happy-making...

    You're a super-reviewer! So cool!

  6. Haha, I wish! It's just that Twitter is such a democratic medium. I do love it so. <3