Friday, December 11, 2015

Review: Sinner

Published July 1st 2014 by Scholastic Press

Found.
Cole St. Clair has come to California for one reason: to get Isabel Culpeper back. She fled from his damaged, drained life, and damaged and drained it even more. He doesn't just want her. He needs her. 

Lost. 
Isabel is trying to build herself a life in Los Angeles. It's not really working. She can play the game as well as all the other fakes...but what's the point? What is there to win?

Sinner.
Cole and Isabel share a past that never seemed to have a future. They have the power to save each other and the power to tear each other apart. The only thing for certain is that they cannot let go.
*Buddy read with Lee @ Rally the Readers*

Sinner is the final installment in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series, which was released 3 years after the original trilogy concluded. It centers on secondary characters Cole and Isabel exclusively, and is the first book in the series to be set outside of Mercy Falls Minnesota - specifically: California.   Isabel moved to California after the events of Forever and here we find that Cole eventually follows suit. To find Isabel. To find a new life.

I wasn't sure what to expect going in to Sinner. I mean, I already knew that I'd taken to Isabel as soon as she was introduced in Shiver. I also know that since Cole hit the scene in Linger, I was just as fascinated with him as he obviously is with himself. I was looking forward to their characters taking the front seat here, instead of playing second fiddle to the obvious stars of the series before now: my beloved Sam and Grace.  But as much as I was looking forward to a story focussing on Isabel and Cole, it also worried my.  I was concerned that Sam and Grace absence would be too much . I was also wondering about how the series and storyline would work outside of Mercy Falls - without the wolf pack. The atmosphere and setting of this series are basically character all their own and I knew I'd feel their absence.  But...I also know that Maggie Stiefvater's delicious writing style would likely swoop in and save the day like it always does.

And truth be told, I did miss Mercy Falls and the old gang quite a bit, but it was a new kind of fun to explore California through Cole and Isabel's eyes. Predictably, the setting is immaculately portrayed, just as Mercy Falls was. I could feel the oppressive heat, see the palm trees and hear the crowds.  It was fun to witness Isabel being so utterly in her element, I relished in her bitchiness and sarcasm to no end. Every.detail of her new reality as imagined by Stiefvater perfectly fit the bill of how I imagined Isabel's life being - it was uncanny.  As for Cole, well he's the real star of this offering and he certainly steals the show.  Sure he'd gotten himself pretty much 'together' in Mercy Falls, but back in the big city, it isn't long until he's forced to face his demons...and the guy has a hell of a lot of demons.

Combined, Isabel and Cole make a volatile yet incredibly compelling couple. They're a recipe for disaster and a lot of the suspense came from wondering which one of them would implode, or explode, or if their combined issues would combust in an unholy fire that would lay waste to California.  Since they'd never really made any concrete progress as an actual couple in the first three books, it was a fresh start for them in some respects - but with a lot of history in between them, the tension was high from the first pages.  This made for a compulsively readable offering: I read it in 2 sittings, which surprised me since it was quite a bit thicker than the previous installments had been.

I can't say much more here without walking into spoiler territory but Sinner is a fitting companion novel to the original trilogy. I know it's meant  as a sequel but I feel like Forever wrapped things up wonderfully on it's own.  Sinner is a nice addition to the series, but whether you need to read it or not depends on how much love you have for these characters. I had a lot of fun with this one, and even though it didn't quite evoke the same emotions as Shiver, Linger and Forever did, I definitely recommend it for fans of the series - especially those fans who wanted MORE Isabel and Cole. Didn't we all?!

*Not quite a 4 but pretty damn close...more than a 3 or 3.5 in any case!

15 comments:

  1. OK, now it's my turn to say it again: I absolutely LOVED reading this series with you! ♥ I missed Sam and Grace, too, and all the wintry beauty of Mercy Falls, and I was thrilled to see little references to them here and there. But I was also in heaven reading about Cole and Isabel, and I totally get why Queen Maggie felt compelled to write them their own story; I blame all of the St. Clair charm, to which resistance is futile, hahaha! And now we sit and wait for our precioussss Raven King; oh how those character sketches she's been posting have been KILLING. ME!

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    1. I did too Lee ♥ I'm so happy we did this!!! Yeah, I felt Sam and Grace's absence like a punch in my heart...and same goes for the winter wonderland that is Mercy Falls - I kept feeling giddy every time they were mentioned :D Oh man, are we even going to survive The Raven King?! Aren't her sketches phenomenal?! GAH!

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  2. Sorry that this one didn't QUITE live up to the original series, but I'm glad you still enjoyed it!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I definitely did still enjoy it Nicole, but it was a little lacking compared to the first three!

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  3. *sighs* I read the first books in this series back to back, but Sinner has been on my kindle forever! As I haven't read this yet, I didn't read your review, just enough to see that it didn't completely enchant you :(
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Oh I'd be super curious to see how you'd make out with this one Lexxie^^ especially since I know that you did enjoy the first three - hopefully you get a chance to get to it soon :)

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  4. I'm really glad you had fun with this series! Sadly, I did pick up Shiver a few days ago (finally) and had a few issues with it >< I'm trying to decide whether or not I should continue, I really do want to see this Cole character! Nice review :)

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    1. I really did Alise! Oh I'm sorry that Shiver didn't quite deliver for you :( I was hoping it would sink it's teeth into you just like it did for me! Thanks ♥

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  5. I also think this was a nice little "addon" to the main trilogy, though you definitely liked this more than I did! I'm sorry, but Cole was just so insufferably annoying in this one. Isabel is such a great character, I really couldn't figure out why she would want anything to do with a loser/jerk like him! Cole strikes me as someone who would blow all his royalty money on booze and cars by the time he's 30, leaving Isabel to support his lazy ass, lol :P I'm glad you had fun with it though!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. I understand what you mean Mogsy, though I still liked Cole in this one, I found that I wasn't as 'in love' with him like I was in the main trilogy. I did still adore Isabel though and I wish she'd had more page time! Thanks :)

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  6. So I didn't love the trilogy, I liked it but I didn't love it BUT Cole was my favorite part of the books so I definitely want to read this one. Hopefully one of these days I can get around to this one because I so miss Cole a ton!

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    1. Oh man well if Cole was your favorite part of the trilogy, you NEED to read this one Teresa! Sinner is basically The Cole Show XD I hope you get to it soon too!

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  7. That's a very specific rating haha. I really enjoyed this companion when I read it earlier in the year :)

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    1. LMAO it couldn't be helped, it wasn't quite a 4 like the rest of the series was, but I felt like it deserved a bit more than 3.5 >.< I'm glad you liked it too Bec!!

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  8. I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH I CRIED WHEN I FINISHED IT. XD I'm basically a sucker for everything and anything written by Maggie Stiefvater (favourite author of EVERRRR) and this was just...gah, it was like revisiting an old haunt as well. And Isabel and Cole are like two of my favourite things of the universe. *sniffles happily* Although I'm kind of ridiculously happy that it mentioned that Sam and Grace were off at college together. ERMAGERD ALL MY BABIES GROWN UP AND BEING HUMAN (ish?) IT IS SO GOOD.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

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