The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Sinner – Maggie Stiefvater

Release date: 1 July 2014
Rating: ★★★★★★★★ – 8/10
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Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #4) blurb:

found.
Cole St. Clair has come to California for one reason: to get Isabel Culpeper back. She fled from his damaged, drained life, and damaged and drained it even more. He doesn’t just want her. He needs her.

lost.
Isabel is trying to build herself a life in Los Angeles. It’s not really working. She can play the game as well as all the other fakes…but what’s the point? What is there to win?

sinner.
Cole and Isabel share a past that never seemed to have a future. They have the power to save each other and the power to tear each other apart. The only thing for certain is that they cannot let go.

Ahh, Sinner. The story of Cole St Clair and Isabel Culpeper. I love this story, but as much as I loved it, I feel like Maggie only wrote it for the fans. Also, Cole can be a dick.

But genuinely, this is a story of how two people that the world has made a bit bitter and a bit twisted, can find each other and be happy – if they let themselves. And you know, aren’t we all a little broken inside?

The story is set the summer after the events of Forever, and Sam and Grace only have the smallest of cameos – so if you’re after another Sam and Grave lovefest of angst and werewolves and bad parenting, this ain’t it. This is the new adult version, where Isabel is on her way to university to become a doctor, and Cole is back to being Cole St Clair, writing music, making hits and generally being annoying in that boundless energy thing he has going on. However, there are other obstacles in their paths, other than themselves. No spoilers, but it’s pretty obvious from the outset.

One of the things I love so much about Maggie’s books is that they are urban fantasies – set in the modern world, with little to no world building required. We all know how this world works. It’s the finer points, like the science of being a werewolf, that make it different from ours. That being said, as this is the fourth book in the series, there’s really no world building here, except to introduce the reader to LA.

The characters are a mix of old and new – obviously the mains are Cole and Isabel; however, we are subjected to other new characters, such as Leon and Baby, and we meet Jeremy for the first time, even though we have fleetingly spoken with him before.  Isabel’s parents also make appearances, likely much to Isabel’s dismay.

The story itself is achingly familiar – you are instantly drawn back into the world of the Wolves of Mercy Falls, but it does have that newness about it as well that intrigues. I really loved this book, but it’s also not part of the original trilogy, and you can tell with the language as well. This, as it’s from Cole and Isabel’s perspectives, is much harsher and sharper, and that may also be because of the environment; as LA would be a much harder playground that Mercy Falls. But probably more fitting to our characters.

All in all, if you’ve read the original trilogy, I recommend it, but it’s not necessary – particularly not if you didn’t love Cole and Isabel!

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