For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf – her wolf – is a chilling presence that she can’t seem to live without.
Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.
Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human – or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
‘Shiver’ felt a little long for me – only because it was hard to get into; the pace was slow and not a lot happened. I did enjoy the relationship element between Grace and Sam, even if it was a little stalker-esque. I’d hoped for a darker tone with the werewolf treatment for this novel, but it focused more on the pack mentality and ‘canine’ forms rather than something monstrous and half-human-half-wolf, fighting against an inner evil vying for control over the physical body. It was very light and fluffy and failed to hook me in.
Maggie Stiefvater does have a beautiful way of writing though, she has a lyrical turn of phrase which helps paint beautiful scenes in the imagination. She also has a great knack for world building and underlying mythology in her novels, and where ‘Shiver’ failed to captivate me, it was still an interesting concept.
As far as story goes, I found it ultimately very predictable and unoriginal. It followed a formula rife in YA paranormal romances; which I could have overlooked if there was something that hooked me, but unfortunately ‘Shiver’ fell short.
Grace was a strong character, which is the most redeeming quality of this book. She is intelligent and observant, juxtaposing Sam’s alternate point of view (which I had a little trouble relating to). As the narration alternated between Grace and Sam, I kept getting pulled out of the novel, distracted by trying to find a connection and get my bearings. I felt if the novel had remained with a single character and was only half its length, it would have been a far superior story.
There have been a lot of parallels drawn between this book and ‘Twilight’ by Stephenie Meyer – and even the sparkly vampires were more menacing than the wolves of Mercy Falls. I wouldn’t particularly recommend this book; maybe to a younger audience – early teens – but I’m uncertain if many would have the attention span to complete the novel.
© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.