Did Not Finish, Paranormal

Review: Shiver

Cover of "Shiver," featuring blue vines on a white background and a wolf silhouette behind them
Image from Other Worlds

Title:  Shiver

Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1

Author:  Maggie Stiefvater

Genre:  Paranormal

Back Cover:

Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house.  One yellow-eyed wolf – her wolf – watches back.  Sam has lived two lives.  As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves.  And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace … until now.  For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance, but once spoken, it cannot be denied.  Sam must fight to stay human – and Grace must fight to keep him – even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.


I had not planned on reading this book, because of both the romance plot (I don’t mind romance, but I rarely like a straight romance book) and the fact that werewolves are second only to vampires on my list of least favorite paranormal creature.

But after the awesomeness that was The Raven Boys proved that the fantastic The Scorpio Races wasn’t just a fluke, I decided I’d be up for trying something else by Maggie Stiefvater.

Unfortunately, it was exactly what I was afraid it would be.  I gave it a hundred pages, and then I gave up.

There were some interesting takes on werewolves, sure.  I liked the unique idea that the change from werewolf to human is affected by temperature, not the full moon.  But Sam the werewolf himself was pretty bland.  I expected him to have some sort of personality quirk or something, what with him being a wolf most of the year, but he didn’t.  In fact, he didn’t have much of a personality at all.

Grace was a pretty “vanilla” character, too – not really unique, not really interesting.  At the beginning, what came across most was that she was obsessed with wolves, and by the hundred-page mark, she was…obsessed with wolves.  Sam seemed to think she had a personality, but try as I might, I couldn’t find one.

Overall, though, my major problem with Shiver was the insta-love.  Grace knows Sam only as “her” yellow-eyed wolf, and Sam has never talked to her before, then they finally meet and all the sudden they’re kissing and sharing the same bed (no sex, thankfully) and completely and totally in love.  Even if I get over how boring they are as characters, I still find it completely impossible that they’re so in love after meeting for the first time (with Sam as a human) earlier that day.

I really, really wanted to like this book.  Everything else I’ve read by Maggie Stiefvater was amazing.  But as much as I wanted to enjoy Shiver, I couldn’t.  With bland characters falling in love way too fast, and no major conflict in the first hundred pages, I couldn’t make myself care.

I’m sure there’s somebody out there who loves not only Shiver, but the next two books in the series (Linger and Forever).  Unfortunately, Shiver just didn’t cut it for me.

The Wolves of Mercy Falls series:

  1. Shiver
  2. Linger
  3. Forever
  4. Sinner

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