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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Linger By Maggie Stiefvater, July 25, 2010
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This review is from: Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 2) (Hardcover)
In Linger, (the sequel to Shiver) the story picks up as life resumes for Grace and her love Sam who appears to have been cured of the werewolf curse. Having made it through the last days of winter and now entering spring, Sam and Grace are on the watch for early shifters especially those newly created like Cole St. Clair.

Cole is restless, dark, damaged. He chose this life; wanted the escape. So why was he in human form and why couldn't he shift back into the wolf? Unfathomable to Sam, who risked death to become perpetually human, Cole tries everything he can think of to make his shift into wolf form permanent. The last thing Sam needs to be worrying about is a loose canon like Cole when his entire life is on the precipice of unthinkable change.

Something is wrong with Grace. A strange illness awakens within her, depleting her body and leaving her weakened and afraid. As she slowly deteriorates, Sam who's been ordered to stay away from her after being discovered in her room one night, fears he's about to lose the only girl he has ever loved.

Not quite as riveting as the first novel, Linger has some seeming errors in logic (see spoiler alert below) that I found rather distracting. Those detractors aside, Stiefvater delivers a compelling and sometimes poignant continuation of the storyline and I look forward to the next sequel in the series.

Spoiler Alert: The following paragraph contains information that may giveaway certain details of the stories mystery or suspense...

A few problems: In Shiver Grace is 17 and in chapter 3 reflects on her wolf attack experience 6 years ago, which would have made her 11 at the time of the attack. In Linger, Grace is still 17 but she is supposed to have been originally bitten over a decade ago. Another blaring problem is that in chapter 37 of Shiver, Grace is attacked by the wolf Shelby in her kitchen and bitten on the arm. In Linger Cole hypothesizes that Grace needs to be re-infected with the wolf poison essentially resetting Grace's shifting. However, that would have already occurred with the wolf bite from Shelby if that were true. I'm hopeful that these issues will be "cleaned up" in the next sequel.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 25, 2010 6:42:13 PM PDT
**Beware spoilery comment below.**

Good catch on the bite with Shelby in SHIVER! Based on your chapter reference, I just looked it up in my copy and saw that Grace describes the gash as not needing stitches in the next chapter. I wonder if it could be reconciled that the skin wasn't broken enough for a sufficient amount of saliva to penetrate and re-infect, whereas the characters in LINGER made a distinct effort to put saliva directly into her. I agree, though, that this still seems questionable.

Secondly, I'd love to know where you saw the reference to Grace's attack happening more than a decade ago. Usually, I catch little things like this, so I feel like I should have noticed that too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2010 9:13:59 PM PDT
W. Burke says:
**Spoiler commentary continued...**

Thanks for your commentary Neutron Luver. First, I am hoping that there will be more to the bite/saliva plot in the next book of the series that will actually reconcile this "seeming" inconsistency. In addition, you'll remember that Shelby, although shot (and presumed dead) by Grace's father actually disappears when they aren't looking, so I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of that sinister character either.

Secondly, the reference to Grace having been bitten over a decade ago is in chapter 52, last paragraph. I'll let you look that up so I don't spoil it anymore than I already have.

It is my belief that the math got mixed up somewhere. Stiefvater probably meant for Graces attack to have originally taken place when she was 6 years old instead of 11. That would have made the attack 11 years ago instead of 6 which is obviously the decade needed for this theory to work. The problem with this is the reference in Shiver of Grace (at age 17) having been haunted by the wolves for the 6 years since the attack (making the age at the time of biting 11).

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2010 9:42:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 25, 2010 9:44:05 PM PDT
**Continued spoilery.**

Within minutes of posting my original reply, I remembered the discussion from the end of the book about the old wolf (and possibly Grace) dying because it hadn't shifted in 10 -15 years. And, as you pointed out in chapter 52, it most definitely says "decade" at the bottom of the chapter and then again refers to this time period re: how much time Sam has left now that he's cured.

Again, good catch. For many purposes, I agree that having Grace being bitten at age six would have worked better, most notably b/c her being left in a hot car didn't make sense for a child as old as 11 (and it still doesn't even make sense for a six year old who would be capable, in most cases, of getting out of a vehicle by herself). However, the mere six years of a time line wouldn't have worked for Sam and the history that was created for him.

So, I guess it's a mishmash of years and dates that don't match unfortunately. It would have been fine if LINGER had stated that the wolves died 5 - 10 years after not shifting again, as opposed to this 10 - 15 year span which was supposed to represent the natural life expectancy of a regular wolf, but that wouldn't have matched what was said in SHIVER.

Just like you, I wonder if this will be caught and "fixed" in the final book, or whether it would be irrevocably hard to do so b/c of the discrepancy. And I too think that Shelby may make a comeback, especially since there can now be a wolf-on-wolf showdown between her and Grace.

While flaws like this normally drive me mad, I'm trying to not let this bother me as much b/c I'm so impressed with Stiefvater's writing overall. Though I enjoy the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, I strongly prefer her faerie books and her short stories, as posted on the Merry Sisters of Fate blog. If you still like her writing enough to check them out, I would encourage you to do so.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2010 10:51:06 PM PDT
W. Burke says:
Though these are the first works I have read by Stiefvater, I quickly fell in love with the lyrical quality of her writing and the depth of her character development. As a lover of good crime thrillers I tend to pick up on little obscurities that others may not, so I certainly wont hold these inconsistencies against her and hope that others will be blissfully unaware of them at all.

I appreciate your recommendation to delve into Stiefvater's faerie books, and will definitely give those a try. I read your review of Linger and was very impressed. I am new to writing these types of reviews and gained a lot of insight by viewing your work. I hope you don't mind, I added you to my "People of Interest" group (your my 1st) so I can stay abreast of your future recommendations and perhaps learn a thing or two about what types of reviews evoke peoples interest. Thanks for the great discussion. I look forward to the final book!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2010 5:00:41 AM PDT
Being a detail-oriented person myself, I was surprised that I didn't catch the errors that you did, but I'm trying to chalk it up to it being nearly a year since I read SHIVER, not my failing intellect. ;)

I'm glad to hear that you'll consider reading Stiefvater's other works, and if you do ever read them, I'll be interested to hear your opinion, even if you don't agree with my positive assessment of them. Having read a lot of young adult paranormal and romantic fiction in the past year, I can attest that her writing and character development is leaps and bounds among most others writers in the genre.

Also, thank you for your compliment about my LINGER review! I spend a lot of time thinking about my reviews and writing/editing them, so I appreciate that you noticed that and found it helpful. I know that my style is more critical than others, but that's how I evaluate things. Also, though I don't expect it, if you ever find a review helpful (mine or anyone else's), consider giving it a "helpful" vote if you're so inclined. It seems like a small, silly thing, but it really tickles me and other reviewers to see those votes add up and know that others have found a review useful and helpful. Because of your even and substantiated review, I'm about to "up vote" it. :) Thank YOU for providing a warning about spoilers in your review and for putting them at the very end. One of my pet peeves is when a review spoils a book for a reader by not providing any warning or by simply being a review that does nothing but tell major plot points about the book.

And finally, you're very welcome to add me as a person of interest or as a friend, and do check in on my reviews whenever you have the chance. Unfortunately, I don't post as consistently as I would like to due to real-life obligations, but I do like to contribute when I can. Now back to one of those obligations, finishing a paper for class that's due in four hours.... :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2010 9:06:46 PM PDT
to add the discussion about being left in the hot car, it said that she was asleep, so didnt notice the heat.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2010 9:58:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 31, 2010 9:58:51 PM PDT
W. Burke says:
True. What do you think of the age question? Do think she was actually meant to be 6 years old at the time of the initial attack or 11?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2010 7:22:36 PM PDT
A book lover says:
I haven't read "Linger" yet, but I just finished "Shiver" and it's very clear that Grace was attacked 6 years ago, at age 11. It was Sam who was attacked 11 years ago, at age 7. I think the reviewer is confusing the two narratives.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2010 7:49:26 PM PDT
W. Burke says:
Thanks for taking the time to comment on this post. I love that Amazon readers are so passionate about their reviews and discussions; it's what makes these forums so powerful! As I'm sure you noticed in the previous discussions, we provided specific chapters and pages in which the commentary was based. I would love it if you could also provide the specific chapter and pages in which your critique is based so that readers of this post will be ensured of the accuracy of both of our commentaries.

I'm sorry you found the review unhelpful but look forward to your reply.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2010 5:46:26 AM PDT
@A book lover: The reviewer is not confusing the two narratives, as she/he provided specific references from LINGER to back up her/his claims and which I have checked. That's the reviewer's concern: that the ages at which Sam and Grace are bitten are very clear in SHIVER but then's there's an apparent contradiction in LINGER re: Grace. After you've read LINGER yourself, I'd encourage you to check back here and look up the chapter references yourself.
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