Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic Audio
Format: Unabridged - 10 Compact Discs / 12 hours 16 min
Narrators: Jenna Lamia, Pierce Cravens, Dan Bittner, Emma Galvin

*Amazon: 3.8 out of 5 Stars (133 reviews)
*GoodReads: 3.99 out of 5 Stars (7,899 Ratings, 2,252 Reviews)
Reading is Fundamental-


*Note- Ratings and statistics at the time of review was written.

On the whole I think this was an excellent series that I highly recommend, but to me, Forever falls far short of its predecessors both as an individual story and especially as a series finale.

As this is the third and final book in the series, I'm loathe to give a synopsis because it would potentially contain spoilers for the books that come before it.  Thus, this will have to do: Forever is about werewolves, but not your typical werewolves.  I would hazard to guess that you've never seen werewolves like these before (unless of course you've read the first two books!).  The story focuses on three particular werewolves and their various interpersonal relationships.  Pretty lame, huh.  Yeah, well, that's all you get, read the series!

Having read and reviewed the first two installments (my review of Shiver is here and of Linger is here), I don't have anything new to say about Maggie's writing mechanics.  I will reiterate that she is a very good writer who does a masterful job of straddling the line between descriptive narrative and purple prose.  Her style is both fluid and mature (which is great to see out of a YA author).

I will not get into a full discussion of the split narrative here as I spoke about it a little bit in my review of Shiver and at length in my review of Linger, but I will point to Forever, as a prime example of the style's inherent short comings.

» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «

Things that I have complained about in the other books are still present in this book.  Not the least of which is gender confusion. I think, Maggie did a better job with this aspect in Linger than she did in Shiver, but it returns again in full measure her in Forever. Sam has consistantly been the girlie boy from the get go, but Cole is much more affected in this book than he was in the last.  I am NOT going to cite specific examples at this time because I am plannning an essay which will focus on the difficulties of authors creating convincing characters of the opposing gender.  This series of books will feature heavily in that piece.

If Forever is more of the same, why three stars instead of four? Well, to start, this one dragged a bit more than the others did.  It seems to be a fairly common complaint, that this one was slow to get started, and I appear to be in the majority (for a change) in that I feel the same way.

Where I appear to be in the minority is that, I didn't feel that this book had the same emotional impact as the earlier ones did. Spoilers inbound!

» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «

Another major flaw I had with Forever, was the ending.  Potential ground work for a possible fourth book aside, what happens in the climax doesn't make alot of sense.  Can't say more without spoilers, soooooo...

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In the end, the final event doesn't really resolve the major situation presented in this book, or the culmination of the series as a whole.  Oh well, we at least get a relatively happy ending.


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