Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls 3.5
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Read via: ARC received at Book Con (thanks!)
Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole’s story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole’s darkest secret — his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel’s life. Can this sinner be saved?
If there was one thing that would have made the chaos of Book Con worth it, it was receiving an advanced copy of Sinner. Cole and Isabel were my favorite characters in Linger and Forever, and I was disappointed with the ending they had in Forever. Therefore, you can imagine how I thrilled I was when plans for Sinner were announced, and I’m happy to say that it was so worth the wait. I am utterly in love with this book, and it completely killed me.
Cole and Isabel are just as broken, raw, and amazing as they were before. Cole, especially, repeatedly broke my heart. His emotional struggles felt so incredibly real, and I empathized with him immensely. However, Isabel remains my favorite character. She’s rough, brutal at times, but her tough exterior hides so much pain and heart. The relationship between the two of them is complicated if nothing else, but for some reason these two seem to make each other better. It’s a messy road they travel though. In addition to Isabel and Cole, Sinner is filled with a marvelous cast of characters. Leon, Jeremy, and Sofia were amazing. All of them provided brilliant moments of humor, but also heartbreaking and fun glimpses into their own lives.
From the moment I began reading, Sinner was impossible to put down. It has Maggie Stiefvater’s usual gorgeous writing full of dramatic storytelling and lyrical prose. While this may classify as fantasy (there are werewolves after all), honestly, there were moments when I forgot about this because these characters and their struggles could easily exist in the “real world.” There may be wolves, but Sinner is truly an in-depth look at addiction, fame, relationships, and pain in so many forms.
In the end, Sinner may be my new favorite of The Wolves of Mercy Falls. I cannot explain how brutally intense and emotional this book was, and I would highly recommend it. Occasionally, when authors decide to continue on a completed series it doesn’t work, but Sinner only improves upon the books that came before. However, I would warn that some moments could be triggering.
Overall: 4.1 out of 5