Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5
Published by Scholastic Inc. Australia on July 1, 2014
Source: Publisher, Purchased
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
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A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.
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?
While I was reading about the washed up rockstar Cole St. Clair, and the beautiful ice queen Isabel, the storyline felt incredibly familiar. It felt like a NA book about two damaged characters filled with issues and angst. They want to be together, but throughout the book they’re going to make up reasons not to be. Cole, because he’s struggling with past demons and trying to get through a reality TV show, and Isabel, just because she’s unfeeling and dead inside.
These two characters took a while to warm up to, and while Cole ended up redeeming himself throughout the novel, Isabel did not. They were difficult to connect to throughout the novel, especially Isabel.
And here was what I was most afraid of: that Cole St. Clair would fall in love with me, and I’d fall in love with him, both of us human weapons, and we’d both end up with broken hearts.
She’s a completely damaged, bitchy character who puts a shield around herself and other people, and she would walk out on Cole or hurt him for no apparent reason other than her own insecurity. I hated her lousy attitude and ice queen persona, about how beautiful she was and how she would use others to better herself. At one point, she takes Cole and his producer Baby to a restaurant in Korea Town, only to lash out at him for getting kicked out, and not being able to go to her favourite restaurant again. Did she find out the reason why he did, or did it even occur to him how lousy he would have felt himself? No, because that’s just how Isabel operates.
Cole on the other hand, was a cliche damaged rockstar who has come clean and trying to come back into the music scene. He’s slept with countless women, taken countless substances, and lost some of his old band buddies. The only thing not Justin Bieber about it is that Cole’s escape is now turning into a wolf, where he risks losing control. His struggles felt real and authentic though, especially since everyone had preconceived thoughts about his character, but the only person to know who he really is was Isabel.
I thought about how quickly I could be a wolf. How completely it would empty my mind. Just for a few minutes. And unlike any of my other chemical selves, it left no marks and demanded nothing more from me. It wasn’t an addiction.
My favourite thing about Sinner, was the rockstar view of LA, with it’s beautiful beaches, sprawling houses, parties in excess, famous people, music and drugs. LA is perhaps the only place in the world that has its unique persona, and Sinner covered it magnificently.
The writing was beautiful as Maggie Stiefvater does, but for the most part, it didn’t quite suit the contemporary NA feel about the book. It was too flowery for Cole and Isabel’s angst and (lack of) emotion, and I found myself bored and distracted while reading it. There’s only so much self hate you could read about before you start thinking their rich, excessive lives are just a front for their emptiness inside.
Sinner is about rockstars and music, filled with a lot of angst, self loathing and pure drama. It only contains a little bit of paranormal, in a rockstar LA setting. The NA feel of the book with the two damaged characters was a departure from the paranormal Wolves of Mercy Falls series, and I found it draggy and boring.
Rating: 2 out of 5
Thank you to Scholastic Australia for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
I felt like this book shouldn’t have been written for this series. Yes, the general bookish public has gone mad for The Wolves of Mercy Falls, but I still think that a 3.5 novel shouldn’t have been written. Cole’s and Isabel’s story ended well, and it’s okay if we didn’t figure out what happened to them later on. I always thought that they ended up together before this!
“I’d only become a werewolf because every other drug’s purported kicks had ceased to kick and I needed something that wouldn’t let me down. Because I’d hit the absolute bottom. Because I just wanted out and was a coward, always a coward.”
Cole and Isabel are your average YA paranormal couple. They have their problems, they’re both equally alike (ice king and queen?) and their relationship is at stake. Ta da.
This is basically just a slow-as-a-snail novel with flaws and icy characters, but pretty romance. From Maggie Stiefvater’s other novels, I expected this to be a slow paced book. All of the novels in this series have been the same, but became more awesome and faster in the middle. This was slow all throughout until the end. I literally felt like I wanted to DNF this book, but I felt bad (yes, I’m a guilty person) because I loved this series and Cole was one of my favourite characters. This was a thin-plotted book. Nothing much to read about here.
So basically, this is about Cole and Isabel, two bitched-up characters trying to find themselves and their love for each other after they were separated. Cole has dealt with a lot of drugs in his recent past which let him out of his superstar life for a while and into “rehab.” Isabel is living a quiet life in Santa Monica with her party friends and family, but things between her parents aren’t looking so good and that’s depressing her. When Cole arrives in LA after his mysterious disappearance, the first person he wants to see is Isabel, his lover from his werewolf days. These two icy characters will bring on a story that’s all about their love and a superstar life.
“When I was a wolf, the space felt smaller. My senses felt fragmented. I kept remembering a young man with a jittering pulse and I saw the world out of his eyes, higher, and then I forgot him.”
Cole was a very deep character who had a troubled past behind him, as you can tell from the past novels. His life went straight to hell and he came back to his old life looking for something new. Isabel was someone who truly changed him, and he wants to find her and be with her. I totally understand that. It’s no question when you think about what love can do to you. Sure, Cole was bitchy at times, but he was a far better character than Isabel was. He, at least, had some sense of direction and knew what to do in the darkest times.
Isabel was a sociopath. I loved her for that, though. With a girl like her, you’d expect a party girl who goes beyond the boundaries, always. She was a total icy bitch who wanted to play hard-to-get when she sucks at it, but I’d say she wasn’t the worst protagonist I’d read about in a paranormal romance.
From Cole’s POV, this is a novel looking at the troubles of being in the rockstar world and dealing with drugs, alcoholism, and all of those crazy things that can happen in LA. Isabel’s POV was very deep, and depressing, because she was a depressed character. Angst in LA? Yes.
The thing I loved about this book was the romance. It was believable, and gorgeous at the same time. We’re looking at something real here, and if you loved Colsbel in the trilogy, then here their love is stronger than ever because the whole book focuses on them.
Overall, there was a lack of emotion here and I felt that this was a pointless novel. It did have its beauty but the characters were full of angst and were strange and unrelatable. If you loved the previous novels in the series and love Isabel and Cole, then you should read this, but beware.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
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