Linger, Forever

Linger + Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2 + #3), by Maggie Stiefvater • Scholastic Press • ★★★ • Goodreads
Most bookish people I talk to enjoy Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle series and “enjoy” is probably understating the love they have for it. I had read just the first book of it and then my interest in it lapsed into other things, because starting and never finishing series is something I do very well. (If only the opposite was also true…) The same goes for Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. However, since I’m on a mission to blaze through a lot of series that I’ve started but yet to complete reading -- backlist titles become a higher priority than latest publications.

I’m not sure how I feel about this series. I like it enough, yet not enough to love. Much like I know how strong the bond between Grace and Sam is, but I love Cole so much more upon his entrance in Linger. It was probably me and my bias for broken characters.

Stiefvater’s writing is very encouraging. By that I mean that even though my mind got a little worn out from reading the many bursting back and forth into human and/or wolf skins, the writing coax me into continuing. There were a few awkward structures but I wasn’t sure if it was due to the eBook formatting that messed it up or something else - but nothing too intrusive upon the reader.

The main characters are very strong in their presence, but I also cannot help feeling that there are characters of convenience as well. For example, I couldn’t see the point of Rachel - unless to add a bit of variety to Grace’s post-wolf social circle. Koenig’s conveniently available peninsula for wolf migration is also questionable, especially when he could just guess about the wolves. It almost feels like he’s a mean to an end.

On the other hand, I like how Tom Culpeper is a constant antagonizer throughout the series. He’s not the I-wanna-see-you-suffer kind of villain, but a very human and realistic kind. In current times of animal protection (think: Cecil the lion case), Tom is that hunter whom everyone hates. You might think that he’s also a victim, considering Jack’s plight, but remember that he enjoyed hunting already before Jack.

Lastly, I also enjoyed Stiefvater’s making of the wolf… thing as a disease. There have been many books glorifying or humanizing the werewolf or the shape-shifting wolf, and don’t get me wrong, I love them. But Stiefvater’s version is really refreshing for a change.

I will probably read the standalone (“Sinner”) featuring Cole and Isabel because I have a soft spot for Cole, though I am not sure when. The Wolves of Mercy Falls is a series with rather predictable plots, not something I would recommend for people looking for adventures and surprises. But if you want some steadfast love that will not give you diabetes, then maybe give it a go. Though honestly, The Raven Cycle series will probably give you more satisfaction than this.

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