Thursday, June 28, 2012
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
This is the third in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy about humans who shapeshift into wolves. I suppose most would place this series in the paranormal/werewolf category. Including it in the werefolf category doesn't seem quite right, however. There are no human-wolf monsters anywhere in these books. The shapeshifter turn into full blown wolves, indistinguishable (for the most part) from natural born wolves. And the full moon has nothing to do with it. Instead temperature is the catalyst. During the cold winters of Minnesota the shapeshifters become wolves, and in the summer sun they once again resume their human forms. During the fluctuating temperatures of spring and fall, shapeshifters shift between their human and wolf forms involuntarily.
Although the wolf story is important, at heart this is a teenage love story, with Sam and Grace at its center. It is difficult to discuss this installment in the trilogy without giving away too much. It cannot be read alone; it really is necessary to read the first two books in the series, Shiver and Linger. One needs to know the history of Sam and Grace, how their roles have flipped, and about their parents and friends in order for Forever to make any sense. I will say Ms. Stiefvater has delivered a satisfactory ending to the trilogy, giving the characters and reads a happy, but not perfect ending.
Before I read any of the books I was attracted to the look of the books. Each book has a theme color, soft blue for Shiver, green for Linger and red for Forever. On the inside the fonts are in the same corresponding color. I was worried that the red font of Forever would be difficult to read, but it was a soft red and I forgot about the color pretty quickly. Someone spent a lot of time thinking about the presentation of this book, to good effect.