I am lucky to have read Shiver recently because there was an incredible cliffhanger and I can't even imagine having to wait for Linger to hit shelves. I was curious though as to how the story might progress, and I will admit I was a little worried. I have always found that the second book in a trilogy is never as strong as the first or as exciting as the last. This was not the case for Maggie Stiefvater. Linger outshines Shiver like I never imagined possible. Her writing is even more enticing, the characters even more defined, and the cliffhanger even more drastic. Linger is about the fate of the pack as Sam remains human and Grace slips further into the wolf world. Linger is about growing up and being able to distinguish between what one wants and what one needs. Linger is about change.
As I mentioned before, Shiver appealed to my sense of touch, but Linger, Linger appealed to my sense of smell. The description of all of the smells was so detailed that I was sure the source of the scent was just under my nose. It was like I could smell everything; from the wolves, to almonds, to coffee, to blood. The smells described in Linger are similar to the temperature in Shiver, they both ground the events of the book and clarify the state of the characters. The changes occurring in Linger relied on one's sense of smell just as Shiver relied on one's sense of touch. It makes me wonder what Stiefvater will use to describe changes in the final book!
In Linger, Stiefvater continues to allow both Grace and Same to narrate, but she mixes it up with two other characters who are given the chance to have their say. (THIS. This is why Linger is so utterly incredible!) The two new narrators are Isabel and Cole, who are both vastly different from Grace and Sam. Readers will remember Isabel from Shiver where she suffered tremendous loss and in doing so befriended Grace. The other narrator, Cole, is new to the series and is a bad ass rock star. These four perspectives are a tremendous way for readers to enter the minds of each of the main characters and to view situations the way they do, even if just for a couple of pages. While reading Linger I found something to enjoy in each character's narration. I enjoyed being in Cole's head because he is incredibly tortured in a way that Sam would have difficulty expressing. He's also just so cocky and clever, a total bad ass. Then there's Isabel who I really felt like I got to know. I love how honest she is. With Grace and Sam I found they had a lot less fun this time around but it only made sense. In comparison to Shiver their narration was heartwrenching, but beautifully written.
So, I don't know where the story will take me, or who will be left together in the end, but I do know that Linger will grip you from start to finish. It is raw and edgy in a way that Shiver only touched on and it is a wonderful second book in the series. The end will leave you feeling sick and heartbroken, but in the best way possible. Maggie Stiefvater's unique writing style is something that you can't help but appreciate and I for one will be waiting patiently for the final story in the trilogy, Forever, which is out July 2011!
Summary of Linger from Maggie Stiefvater's site:
This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one. Just a few months ago, it was Sam who was the mythical creature. But now it is spring. With the heat, the remaining wolves will soon be falling out of their wolf pelts and back into their human bodies...