Tuesday 14 June 2016

Series #Review: The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater


For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1
Source: Purchased from Lakeside Books and Art
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: August 1, 2009
I really really liked this one. I think I almost liked this one more than The Raven Boys but shhh don't tell it that. I thought this was as magical and wonderful as every other Stiefvater book but the romance was weird and awkward at the beginning and at some points throughout. As well, the secondary characters were meh. But the mythology was so good and, as I've said before, what Stiefvater does best is take what is "common knowledge" and twist it to be her own story.

I really liked Grace and Sam. I liked how easy their relationship became after a couple weeks. But I was a little weary at the beginning. Even though they "knew" one another, they didn't really know one another and the rush from "hey I think I know you" to "we're in love" was a bit much for me. I thought they had a good relationship and they were very supportive of one another but I just couldn't get there at the beginning and that left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth for the rest. But!! If you want to take me on a date to buy me a book, hit me up.

The mythology in this was SO GOOD. I loved the idea that cold weather changed the wolves. I also liked that it was looked at from all sides and that the wolves tried to get around it by going to warmer climates but didn't succeed. I liked that it wasn't a quick and easy "fix" and that there really wasn't a fix for it because it made it that much more believable for me. I liked that the wolves communicated via images and that Sam had a hard time explaining one form and the other to Grace when he was in opposite forms. I also really liked that they came up with temporary solutions to keep him human.

I think one of Stiefvater's biggest downfalls in all the books I've read by her is that her secondary characters are meh and this is very true in this one as well. There is such opportunity for these characters to play important roles in the story, especially Jack, Olivia, and Shelby, and it almost feels like they are overlooked and only brought in when it is convenient to the plot. I feel like we don't get to spend enough time with them to understand them or to care about them at all. We only see them through the eyes of the MCs and only when it is important for the MCs to see them. But I would have loved so much more about Olivia and Jack trying to figure out the bite and cure! I feel like having Olivia's POV in this one would have just added that extra depth of mythology and care for the characters that I felt was missing.

Overall though, this is a great introduction to a series. I am so glad I have the rest of the books at home so I can continue on with them immediately. I feel like there hasn't been anything this well done in terms of werewolves in a long time so I am really excited by the prospect of what is to come out of this series.


the longing.

Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain.

the loss.

Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being a human. 

the linger.

For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life a constant struggle between two forces--wolf and human--with love baring its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough? 

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2
Source: Purchased from Lakeside Books and Art
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: July 13, 2010
I think this is becoming my new favourite Stiefvater series. Where The Raven Cycle has great characters, The Wolves of Mercy Falls has amazing mythology. I am #obsessed with the werewolf mythology and the shifting. I had a couple issues with this one but overall I would highly recommend this series to people.

I thought Grace and Sam acted like children in this one. I understand that Grace's parents weren't previously around but the way she acted and treated them was ridiculous and made her seem like a kid having a tantrum, not someone in love. I feel like during the arguments she had, it would have been better for her to keep a level head and be more rational about things rather than just exploding. I was okay with her breaking her grounding and stuff but having her run away made me roll my eyes. 

I thought the characters this time around were definitely more fleshed out. I am simultaneously happy and irritated that we got more povs because we got to learn more about the secondary characters. I liked Isabel a lot this time. She is easily my favourite character. I did not like Cole but I think I am on the minority of this one. He had his issues and backstory and blah blah blah but he did not turn my crank. I would have liked more Sam screentime than any of the time we got with Cole. I think Sam and Grace kinda stayed static in this one which would account for why their povs were the shortest.

The fact that we had so many povs was really jarring though. It felt like we switched to a different pov every couple of pages. I also didn't like switching povs in the middle of a chapter or a scene to see someone else's opinion on the exact same scene. It didn't feel necessary to me.

But MAN THE MYTHOLOGY IS SO GREAT. SO GREAT. I love them trying to figure out what is happening and why and omg I am just so in love with the shifting system and all that jazz. I am so excited to see what happens and if Sam can find a cure and !!! I am just really into the mythology. Honestly, the characters are a little weak for me, but it is made up for with the fact that this mythology is so engrossing and is something just a little different and new from what has been seen before.

I am so excited to continue on with the rest of this series! I can't wait to see what happens and where the story continues on from here. I know that the original trilogy ends after the next book, Forever, but I also have Sinner sitting on my bookshelves. I am hoping to finish off the next two books by the end of the weekend


When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their loved moved from curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.

That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.


Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment--a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3
Source: Purchased at Lakeside Books and Art
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: July 12, 2011
I really liked this series. I know there is another one, but it is more of a companion, if I'm not mistaken, so I am going to read that next. I actually think this ending was better than the one for The Raven Cycle. I didn't mind the bit of the open-ended-ness because it allows us to decide for ourselves what happens to Grace and Sam at the end. I also think having a concrete answer would have ruined the mythology a bit for me.

Stiefvater's writing, as always, is perfect. I love how engaging her writing is and how descriptive and beautiful. I thought she really fleshed out the series in this one and made me really happy. I definitely understand why this series was the breakout for Stiefvater because it is magical. The writing really draws you in and makes you feel as though you are running through the woods with wolves. You're basically Kevin Costner.

I still really like Grace and Sam as individuals. I also like their relationship but whenever she talks to her parents I'm just like "no bby no." I still think they were rushing into things and I definitely rolled my eyes when Grace was like "I don't know what to say to Sam" and then ten seconds later said to him, "Want to get married?" I was confused by the 180 there. And then their relationship just went downhill from there for me. I did get pulled back into them when they were wolves together at the end, but it still almost wasn't enough for me. But individually, I REALLY enjoyed them. I liked that Grace wanted to finish school and go to college. I liked that Sam wanted to take care of the wolves and work in the bookstore. I liked that they both had their own dreams that semi-overlapped with one another. I just couldn't get there with some of the other things they discussed.

I also really liked Isabel. I mean, she was the best character in this series. I was really glad that she was a part of this story. I just felt like she was only around when someone else needed something. I felt like she was under-utilized until the very end and even then it wasn't enough for me. I needed more Isabel (and less Cole). Because honestly, Cole didn't do it for me. He took a lot of risks that weren't necessary. I liked that he was science driven and realized he didn't want to die. But I just didn't get it. I don't get the appeal. At all. And every time we were in his POV I wanted to skip ahead. 

There were also a lot of other things that happened in this one that just kinda felt out of place. I understand that the police probably would suspect Sam but it felt like it was thrown in there last minute and not really developed in a way that made sense. It also ... went away pretty easily. A lot of things that were introduced either in the late part of the last book or the beginning of this book were easily cleaned up at the end and that was meh to me. But I am okay with the overall ending of it, so I wasn't too hung up on this.

I highly recommend this series! The mythology is SUPERB and I have discussed it in both of my reviews for Shiver and Linger so I don't feel the need to restate it here. If you are looking for something a little different in terms of werewolf mythology, check out this series!

1 comment:

  1. I read this series a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Glad to see you did too. Great reviews!