Review: Shiver

2.5 out of 5 stars Shiver, by Maggie Stievater (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1)

I really don’t care about werewolves. So despite a deep appreciation for Maggie Stievater’s other work, I had never picked up the Shiver series. Then circumstance kicked in: it was $0.50 at Goodwill, with a strong chance I’d have to leave it behind at a South American airport to make a luggage weight restriction. So I read.

Grace is a girl. Sam is a boy, who is also a werewolf. He’s not the only one. Grace and Sam are in love, and in danger.

Shiver is a fine book. If it were written by a lesser author, I might be even more generous. It’s got very likable characters, solid action, and a mild eerie-ness that inspires curiosity, like the woods on a moonlit night. It’s also not too “werewolf-y”; this isn’t Twilight. (For better or worse.) It’s very realistic, even practical, for the topic.

But it’s doesn’t have the reality-bending brilliance of The Raven Cycle, or the witty, wacky darkness of All the Crooked Saints. It reads like – and is, in fact – a less magical precursor to Scorpio Races, exploring a supernatural human/animal bond at what feels like the edge of the world.

This is an enjoyable, if forgettable, read. It’s worth your time mostly if you’ve enjoyed Stievater’s more advanced work, and want to see her evolution as a writer. If the author of this wrote Ronan and Blue and , there’s hope for all of our true talents to emerge.

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