Release Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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?
I don't really like team sports unless I've invented both the team and the sport. - Cole
Cole St. Clair, returning rock star, and Isabel Culpeper, emotional assassin, became my eyes and ears. As I wrote the hot-cold relationship of two people who took turns being the sinner and the sin... I hope that those who don't need the truth in it will see only the werewolf, and I hope that those who do need the truth will see only the human.
- Maggie Stiefvater, Foreword, Sinner
I can get addicted to this kind of hot-cold relationship. It's angsty but not slash-my-wrist-with-a-butter-knife kind of angst, it's more like I-love-you-and-it-scares-me. Fans of the series, I know you're with me in saying that WE WANT MORE OF COLE & ISABEL! Maggie Stiefvater, please let them have their spin-off... pretty please with lots of cherry and whip cream on top!
Anyway, SINNER might be tagged as The Wolves of Mercy Falls 3.5 but it's a full-length novel, picking up a couple of years after Forever. The tone is quite different from the original trilogy, it's grown-up, not as ridden with drama and conflict, and paved with tears. I love that MStiefvater didn't dwell on everything that's wrong in Cole and Isabel's respective personal lives, it wasn't glossed over either, rather it felt like closure as these two have been working out the kinks from the start.
As for the paranormal aspect, it's barely there. For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Wolves of Mercy Falls, towards the end of the trilogy the characters were able to find a "cure", if you can call it that, to control their wolves. Cole isn't immune to his wolf's calling and there were moments wherein he surrendered to it but it felt more metaphorical, poetic even, than a detailed or important scene. I thought it would bother me that SINNER's supernatural aspect is watered down but it made a lot of sense based on where the trilogy left us and SINNER's premise called for it to be like that.
Now the blurb may say that this can be read as stand-alone, and I guess you can because this is the next chapter in Cole and Isabel's lives. However I still encourage you to read the first three books so you can get acquainted with their history, the hows, whys, and whats that led them to SINNER. I've been a fan of these two and rooted for them from the beginning because of their intense attraction to each other and their undeniable chemistry. They compliment each other pretty well and it's a no brainer that they should be together. They're both strong individuals who pulled a lot of strength from their problems be it with their family, substance abuse, or personal malfunction, and watching them work through it and gain maturity from all of their shiznit was quite the experience.
I love everything about SINNER! I'm so thankful that Cole and Isabel's muse pushed and inspired MStiefvater to write this installment. This little trip back to the wolf world she created all those years ago sure is both a treat and a gift to us fans. Not only that, MStiefvater is a phenomenal writer, I've always been a fan of her word plays and ability to draw out emotions from her readers at the slightest provocation. SINNER is not as flowery as The Raven Cycle but it's just as pretty albeit more peppy and contemporary thanks to Cole St. Clair's sense of humor and Isabel's signature teen snark.
So whether or not you've read The Wolves of Mercy Falls and/or The Raven Boys, or you only read contemporary new adult/young adult, I assure you that you will LOVE SINNER, it's simply transcendent.