June 23, 2014

Review: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater


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?

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Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5) 
by Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Date:  July 1, 2014
Publisher:  Scholastic Press

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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions  **

Gabby-2013Even though I haven’t gotten the chance to finish the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, I was still dying to read Stiefvater’s stand-alone novel Sinner. It’s been years since I’ve read the novels and there have been lots and lots and lots of books that I’ve read since then. That being said I’ve forgotten the majority of characters and events that occurred in the plot which had me a bit nervous. Luckily, Sinner is everything a stand-alone should be. Readers who haven’t read the Wolves of Mercy Falls series can still read this novel with mostly minimal spoilers. By the time I finished reading it (in exactly four hours, I might add) I can say that Sinner went above and beyond. This is—without a doubt—the best novel that Stiefvater has written yet.

Sinner takes place after the events of the final novel in the series and revolves around the characters Isabel and Cole St. Clair from the series. Isabel has moved to Los Angeles, leaving Mercy Falls behind her and has begun a new life for herself. Cole is a rock star/werewolf who has returned to Los Angeles having made a deal with a psychotic producer to make a reality TV show about his return to celebrity and he’s done all of it to see Isabel again. As their love is ruefully rekindled, Isabel knows that nothing for the two of them will ever be the same and things will either end with them together forever or not at all.

The first thing that got me was the opening of Sinner. It’s a sarcastic, funny, romantic and all-around genuine look at the final result of the novel’s plot at the beginning. Told in Cole’s point of view it totally prepares us for what is to come and for exactly what kind of character he is when you get to see inside his head. From that prologue onward the novel has only one gear and that is forward. Everything gets better and better and better. Sinner is a page-turner. Sinner is pretty much perfect.

What makes Sinner stand out as Stiefvater’s best work yet is Cole St. Clair. His character makes the novel. He’s snarky and funny and sexy and has so many one-liners that left me grinning from ear to ear. I didn’t really remember Cole’s character but seeing him in Sinner has made him unforgettable. Not to mention that he’s both a werewolf and a rock star. A combination you don’t see every day but Cole can pull it off.

Sinner doesn’t even really focus on the supernatural aspect of the novel. The majority of the time I spent reading it felt more like I was reading a novel about a rock star trying to win the heart of the love of his life back. Isabel’s personality clashes perfectly with Cole’s and at the same time you can’t help but want her to be with him. The two have perfect chemistry and a multitude of both romantic and sexy scenes. Best of both worlds.

The last piece of Stiefvater’s works I read was The Raven Boys and thus far I’ve been a bit let down by them just because of the endless pages of unnecessary details. Luckily, her writing in Sinner is flawless. The right amount of detailing, dialogue and conflict. As I’ve said already: Sinner is about as close to perfect as a book has ever gotten for me and could possibly beat out Cassandra Clare’s City of Heavenly Fire for best book of 2014 thus far in my books.

I would recommend Sinner to just about any readers who are open to the supernatural genre. Any readers who want a funny, romantic novel that is perfect for the summertime should pick up Sinner and any readers who want a novel that will give them intense feels. Sinner is a must-read and if it isn’t on your to-be-read list it better be now.



New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Chrissy

    Can’t wait to read this!!! I’m happy to hear that it is just as good, if not better than the other Mercy Falls books.

  2. Viki S.

    I’ve got my copy on order from the library. Looking forward to seeing how these two resolve their issues.

  3. Sophia Rose

    Oh yay! I loved Cole in the Mercy Falls trio so I’m glad his book was good.

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