Monday, March 15, 2010
Then I trundled into Waterstones with my father for a post-birthday book binge, and it was on three for two. I really, really wanted 'The Forest of Hands and Teeth' and 'Hush, hush' and I really, really did not want another carbon copy vampire flick. So, I picked 'Shiver'.
It dove right into the plot from page 1, which had me uneasy at first, but I quickly adjusted to the flow. I did love the fairly new interpretation of werewolves, with them shifting according to temperature- I thought it really brought out their connection with nature, and avoided many 'Mary Sue' traps along the way. Being a mythical creature, in most cases, should not be the most desirable thing, but many authors go ahead and have their characters scream 'Woe is me!' without offering a suitable justification. Dude, you have superpowers, you're kind of immortal and you're pretty controlled about it. What's not to like?
Maggie Stiefvater didn't go down that route. From the uncontrollable shifting to a werewolf's eventual fate, she handled the side effects very well. However, the characters had vague, irritating similarities to (you guessed it) Twilight, what with some super healing going on and Sam being a little too perfect. Sam and Grace's relationship also transitioned a little too fast from friends to more too quickly to be wholly believable from my point of view. I did appreciate the fact that Sam's troubled past was handled much more smoothly than that of a certain sparkly vampire- he had legitimate reason to be a little screwed up.
Don't let the little flaws convince you not to read it. It's still a great read, and I nearly squealed with delight at all the troublesome little situations that popped up every few pages. If an author sticks their character between a rock and a hard place, it really helps them grow and makes me, the reader, a lot more involved with them.
On the stylistic side, I much prefer the UK cover above. The little splashes of red really transition it from dreary to dramatic!
'Shiver' and 'Hush, Hush' are both up on the Teen page of Books by A-K, right here.