Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book Review: Sinner (Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5) by Maggie Stiefvater

Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5
Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5
Maggie Stiefvater
Published: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Age Demographic: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Pages: 368

A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy. 

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?

To PreOrder Sinner (Wolves of Mercy Falls  #3.5) 
by Maggie Stiefvater please visit: Amazon & B&N

(Note: I received an ARC of this book via ATW ARC Tours, in exchange for an honest review.)

The Wolves of Mercy Falls is one of my favorite paranormal romance series. It's beautifully written, gorgeously compelling, and just full of amazing characters that you can't help but love. So, I was extremely excited when I discovered that Maggie Stiefvater was going to write another book featuring characters from that particular series. Sinner is a gorgeous stand alone companion novel to this awesome series, that is beautifully poetic, and full of raw emotional turmoil that will grip readers hearts in the palm of its hand and squeeze them until they burst. Cole St. Claire and Isabel will leave you absolutely breathless and gasping for more.

Right off the bat, Maggie Stiefvater, pulls readers in with the opening line "I'm a werewolf in L.A." and keeps them captivated with the thrilling tale she has spun so beautifully and imaginatively. It's probably the best line in the entire novel, if you want to know the truth. It helps to set the tone right away and showcase Cole St. Claire in a way that defines his character throughout the full length of the story being told. It's a dangerous, terrifying, illustrious love affair that's full of pain, despair, heartache, and amazing emotion that will hook you from the beginning and keep you turning the pages until the last one has been read. It gives you a different perspective on two characters lives in such a way that you can't help but become entangled in their epic affair.

This isn't Mercy Falls anymore, this is L.A. to borrow a lyric from Sheryl Crow, and what you get is something different, mysterious, dark, tantalizing, and alluring. Cole and Isabel are incredibly raw, edgy, broken, and full of strong differing opinions that sometimes it causes havoc in their tumultuous relationship. They are so intensely emotional that it's hard not to fall in love with the idea of the two of them together. As rough as Isabel is, her tough exterior somehow manages to cloak how much pain and hurt she possesses beneath the rough and tumble facade she displays to the world. Cole has made and continues to make so many mistakes in his life, his emotional issues run much deeper than they were ever explored in the Wolves of Mercy Falls and it's heartbreaking to watch his struggles throughout Sinner. Yet, it's one of the most beautiful aspects of the book, how he tries his best to navigate the complicated waters of his relationship with Isabel, reconcile with his past, and rise above everything else. 

As much as Cole is touted the "sinner" in this novel, I was very happy to see that this story didn't exactly fall prey to the "savior complex" troph that I usually see in books of this nature. It was more the route of Isabel and Cole helping one another to save themselves, rather than to save the other one. Or, at least, that's the way that I read it. They both seem to have this uncanny ability to make the other one better, even though their relationship was definitely messy and heartbreakingly complicated at times. Aside from Cole and Isabel, there are some other wonderful characters that Stiefvater introduced that will fill in those few spaces of your heart, characters like Leon, Jeremy, and Sofia. Out of them all, I think that Leon, is the one who really managed to steal my heart. There was just something so magical and right about him, I just couldn't help but love everything that he brought to the story. 

Sinner is so much more than just another paranormal fantasy book about werewolves, it's a story that's incredibly real and raw in more ways than one. It's a story that isn't afraid to highlight the dangers of addiction, the highs and lows of fame, complicated relationships that are full of so much pain and anguish, and heartbreak. It's a story that's teaming with so many realistic real-world issues that you can't help but forget that you're reading a story about werewolves, because it feels as if these things could actually happen. They did happen, they happened to Cole and Isabel and getting to read their story was definitely one of the highlights of my summer, so far. If you're a fan of young adult paranormal fantasy and you enjoy reading books that induce many feels, then this would definitely be the novel for you to pick up. Even though Sinner is a stand alone companion novel to the Wolves of Mercy Falls I would recommend that you read that series first, before you read this book just so that you can understand the back story for Cole and Isabel.

Maggie Stiefvater

New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater's life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you're a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she's tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. 

She's made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

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