I have loved this series from the beginning. Shiver, book one in The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy was one of the first YA (Young Adult) books I ever picked up and read. I had no use for Twilight Saga at the time (but after Maggie I did try more YA novels, including Twilight) and I really had no interest in books aimed at teenage girls. I had been there, done that already, and I wasn't a fan of those kinds of books. I soon came to realize that books aimed at teens nowadays are a lot different than the books that were aimed at teens when I was a teenager...which was about two decades ago now. Man I'm old...
As much as people say don't judge a book by it's cover, I have to admit I was drawn to Shiver by it's cover.
You see, I adore wolves. Actually adore might be too light a term, slightly obsessed might be more accurate. That lonely little silhouetted wolf on the cover, in blue tones, with the title Shiver...well that's what I did...I shivered. I tuned the book over and the blurb immediately captured my attention.
I have great memories of a time spent at a friend's house who had wolves wander their property. I often imagined what it would be like just to sit there and watch them. I knew after reading that blurb I just had to read the rest of the book. The final prize was opening to the first page and seeing the beautiful blue font the book was printed in. The whole book was just a complete piece of artwork. I was sold.
Linger, the second book, pulled me deeper into the woods. With it's green cover and green print it was another piece of artwork beautifully done. I have a review of Linger on my blog if you are interested in reading my thoughts on it.
And that brings us to Forever. What a great title for the end of such a wonderful series.
I actually had to take some time after finishing the book to reflect on my feelings of the book, and the series overall. At first I wasn't entirely sure if I was happy with everything, but in the end I admitted I mostly like how the author tied things up. There could have been more, but it could have been much worse as well (knowing how Maggie likes to torment and torture her readers - as she has admitted personally). It was a bit too open to interpretation, but at least it wasn't a horrid cliffhanger.
As is always typical in Maggie's books, the language and writing style is stunningly beautiful, like lyrics, like poetry, just flowing on the pages. Her wolf imagery is so realistic, and after hearing her speak and reading some of her recommended wolf titles I see she put in many hours of research on the topic. As I have mentioned before I am quite obsessed with wolves and love when authors can pull them off well. I hate when they fail miserably. Maggie Stiefvater and Kelley Armstrong are the two writers who I feel write wolves very well (realistic).
The realistic nature of the wolves, and the people who fear them, becomes even more frightfully alive near the end of the book. I literally held my breath through the last 20 pages or so. When it was all over and I had closed the book I noticed I wasn't breathing, my chest hurt, and my heart was racing. Yes, it was that emotional for me.
I was very happy to see more depth added to Isabella and Cole's characters, and their connection to each other. I felt they were sidelined way too much in the previous novel. It was also interesting to see Sam and Grace's relationship flipped around as Sam was sat waiting around and worrying in his human form as Grace frolicked in the wintry woods.