Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Forever (Book 3 of The Wolves of Mercy Falls)

Despite my dislike of the first and second book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls saga, I pushed through to the third book. For me, it would be the final book. I knew there was a fourth book out there focusing solely on Isabel and Cole, but I wanted to end this escapade and not spend anymore money on the series. Forever is meant to be Sam and Grace's final say, it's their final book (at least at this moment, I don't know if Stiefvater plans to write more), so I figured I would finish out their story.

For me, Shiver was the love story; Linger was the filler book; Forever was the action-packed tale. We know all the characters at play, we've heard all of their names before, and now we're set for the final battle. It's like making it through a video game and meeting the boss. You know things are going to get real and you hope your main characters come out on top.

Grace is now a wolf while Sam remains a human. He could, after all, join Grace and be a wolf with her but is steadfast in not doing so. To me, this didn't sit well. There's so much emphasis on the love the two have that I feel he should, without a doubt, sacrifice his human comforts to be with Grace and it's selfish and cowardly for him to step back and go, "Nah, I'm ok. I miss Grace and all. My heart aches for her. But I'd rather stay here in my werewolf family's old house."

And it's not like things are that great at Sam's home, either. He battles loneliness with annoyance while Cole is around. He's also suspected of the disappearance of Grace and a friend (who is there only briefly in the first book, becomes a wolf, and then isn't heard of much else until this book when she's used as a plot device). He works at a small bookstore which seems to be the only relatively nice thing about his human life, so I'm not really sure what he's sticking around for. I would've gone back to being a wolf if only to be near my loved one. 

But maybe I don't understand their love as well. Maybe the true level of their love is that Sam can be selfish and not become a wolf again, and Grace can be ok with that and accepting. Who knows.

Meanwhile, I'm at a loss of what time of year it is again. It sounds like everything within the first three books happened between fall and spring of one year but surely I'm wrong, that's far too quick! Nonetheless, Grace is able to turn back into her human form and with general ease. It just seems that so much of this is easy for her while it sounded like an utter torment for Sam. Eventually, she's able to hold onto her form for a long period of time while other new wolves seem incapable of turning back at all. 

So she's back with Sam and they're thrilled to be together. Still, we have Cole doing experiments on himself to see how he can cure werewolf-ism, and Isabel, who's fighting off a lot of passionate feelings directed toward our rock star werewolf. 

Then we're introduced to another character--Shelby. Now, Shelby was around in the first book as a wolf that was about the same age as Sam. She had picked Sam as her mate and was not taking no for an answer. But that was it, she was often tossed to the side and just used to push around a plot. Now in this book, we get to see a lot more of her in more than just her wolf form. Memories of her as a human often flash through Sam's mind and Stiefvater does a great job painting a picture that this girl is messed up. She's protective of Sam but also kind of going mad. She is more wolf than girl and the cause of one of the bigger problems Sam is facing -- being suspected of murdering one of Grace's friends.

And yet, there's countless evidence that a wolf killed the friend and cause various other issues. But people in this town don't seem to see sense and they still pin the blame on Sam. It's maddening. Aside from this all, the town also goes on a witch hunt for wolves. They decide they'll shoot them all down, eliminate the pack, and their worries will be brushed aside.

So that's the boss of this game. Can the pack of wolves be saved before they're destroyed? Thanks to a curious turn of events, one of the local cops approaches Sam and points out that he "knows their secret" and offers some land he has out of the area for the wolves to go to. Great, they found somewhere safe! Now to get all of the wolves there...

They hatch a plan that involves a lot of sacrifice on everyone's part. Grace plans to lead everyone with thoughts but unfortunately turns into a wolf due to a temperature drop. Sam is left to give up his humanity to become a wolf (which is something odd, he can choose to become a wolf but otherwise is not a wolf at all) and with Grace's aid, they lead the pack as Cole helps in human form--until he turns as well. Enter Isabel who tries to distract the hunting party and is partially successful.

By the end of the book, some wolves are dead, some are alive, the pack has been moved, Sam is no longer considered a murder suspect, Grace puts her parents in their place, and all is well. It was a neat enough wrap up of things as everyone seemed to be in their place. All in all, this was Sam's book, as we learned so much more about his internal thoughts and memories. We learned of how he was chosen, the story behind his upbringing, and get to peek further into his "family." So the majority of the book, I feel, was taken up by this back story that could have been explained earlier on. But whatever, better late than never.

So we're done, or so we think. In the very last moments Grace runs off to the woods to change into her wolf form and there's the serum that could potentially cure her left behind. It's hinted that she plans to take it, but you're left wondering if she does or doesn't and whether or not she survives.

There is a fourth book that was recently released. It focuses more on Isabel and Cole's story and apparently features call-ins from Grace (she lived!) and Sam. But for me, the series ends here. I got a decent ending to the couple we most focused on and they can go live out their slightly wolfish lives together in the back of my memory. Isabel and Cole? Have fun, but I won't be visiting you in your future books. I can't help it but be done with the whole thing.

Last Week's Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Next Week's Review: Poetry of Lang Leav

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