Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Review: Maggie Stiefvater's Linger
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.