When Grace was ten years old, she was pulled from her tire swing by ravenous wolves. She knows they are going to kill her, but then the unimaginable happens—they don’t. They’ve been stopped by one of their own. Grace grows up watching the wolves behind her house, especially the one who saved her, the one with the stark yellow eyes. When Jack Culpeper, star athlete and grade-A jerk from Grace’s school is seemingly killed by the wolves, the town goes up in arms. It’s all Grace can do to stop a group of men from hunting down her beautiful wolves—but not before some shots are fired. It’s then that she returns home to find a boy, naked and bleeding on her porch. A boy with shockingly familiar yellow eyes.
And that, of course, is where the story really begins.
Maggie Stiefvater has been on my radar for a while now. Obviously, not just mine—when I put a hold on this novel at the library there were already a couple dozen people ahead of me, and this book has been out for months. Finally my turn came, though, and I just devoured this book. I thought it was fantastic. At moments it was almost too poetic—but then it would catch itself, and then again there are moments that are very nearly gory. As a whole though, the book is wonderfully done. The characters are smart, multi-dimensional, and constantly surprising. The ones you expect might be archetypes are anything but, and the questions I had about the storyline (like, if Sam turns into a wolf when it’s cold, why doesn’t he just move somewhere warmer?) were answered in satisfying and surprising ways. This book took many a turn that I wasn’t expecting, and while I had an idea all along of how it might end, it was definitely a fantastical ride getting there.
And in the midst of the wonderfully smooth plot twists and turns, there was Grace and Sam, two characters that were entirely enticing all throughout. Grace, stoical and book-smart, older than her years thanks to her absent-minded (and usually physically absent) parental units, and Sam, whose human parents were dangerously afraid of him—and who was saved only by the overwhelming love of the pack mentality. Together they form a lovely, sweet and endearing pair, able to fully be themselves only with each other. All the time, though, the weather is dropping, and this winter the cold may take Sam away from himself forever.
I won’t tell you how this ends, of course, but I will tell you that I can’t wait to read the sequel, Linger, due out next year. That, and that I’m excited that I have another Stiefvater book (Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception) waiting for me in my TBR pile.
This is a solid A.