Friday, September 6, 2013

Shiver, Linger and Forever


First book in the trilogy…

Okay, I must admit I was very stricken by how many similarities there were in this story compared to Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, and it biased me for a while, because, quite frankly, I am “super sick” of the whole teenage love/angst paranormal scene.  But I persevered, and found that, even though there are some likenesses here, there are also quite a few differences, and that the similarities aren’t a bad thing because Stiefvater chose the things that I particularly liked about the Twilight books.  For example, a strong female protagonist who is smart and independent.  The use of poetry and mention of other good works that teens might not even think about reading (but might now!), and the show of respect and restraint on the male protagonist’s part when it comes to having sex, and even when it does come up, it is in the right conditions and all about love (as it ideally should be). I Liked how both protagonists, Grace and Sam, had a share of page time, I got to see and understand both characters from their points of view.
 All in all Shiver, though heavily steeped in romantic metaphor (all on the male protagonists part!), is just about perfect for the girl who wants these ingredients in her next romantic book after Twilight. 

On to part two in the trilogy, it didn’t behave as I expect most trilogies to behave, this wasn’t really a filler piece… there was loads of action, the usual gooey, romantic metaphors, and a cliff hanger at the end.  Unlike Shiver, you cannot just leave now if you wished because it wasn’t wrapped up in a neat conclusive parcel. 
I would like to say that I am glad that this time there were four people telling the story, apart from Sam and Grace, there is now Isabel and Cole,   because it really made the difference I think in the pace and interest of the ‘middle’ part.   I have to say that I am pleased with how little steeped it was in werewolf lore.  The wolves are just the catalyst for the story and stay in the background behind the character development of the four protagonists. 

Forever, the last book in the series, maintains the same tempo as the first two, concluding satisfactorily all four threads of the story.  I am relieved to have finished them, though it wasn’t too hard for me (despite so many corny metaphors).  This is a wolf story that I did’t mind (because the other were books making the rounds these days  seem to be so gritty and aggressive).  The story was nice and the wolves were just wolves, doing natural wolfy things, not human ones.  That is what made the difference for me when reading this.

Darwin's Radio

I have always had a hard time with the type of science fiction books which are really more about the science than the fiction.  Understandably there had to be a lot of science for the subjects in this book (evolution and biology), but it felt like a punishment for me to have to slog through it, which takes from my enjoyment and interest. 
Griping aside, this book was food for thought, and made me wonder what we will evolve into eventually.  We have lots of options thanks to popular fiction (Isaac Asimov’s future history is my favourite choice here...when there was robots naturally...) and television shows (the Star Trek universe), but in the actual future, how will we really turn out?  I can’t possibly predict.  Any ideas?