SINNER follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling Shiver Trilogy.
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.
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?
Cole and Isabel share a past that never seemed to have a future. They have the power to love each other and the power to tear each other apart. The only thing for certain is that they cannot let go.Audio CD, Library Edition
Three and a half stars: A gorgeously written book with not a lot going on.
Cole St. Clair has returned to Los Angeles for one reason: to win Isabelle Culpepper's heart. After his time spent in Minnesota hidden away from the world as a wolf, Cole is resurfacing into the world in a big dramatic way. Cole is going to star in a reality tv show and record a new Narcotica album. Really, though, none of this is of importance to Cole, it is just a way to pass time. He wants to make amends with Isabelle and fix their relationship. Isabelle meanwhile, has settled into her life in California happy to be away from Minnesota and the past, but when Cole comes crashing back into her life, she has some big decisions to make. Will she lose her heart again to Cole St. Clair?
What I Liked:
- When I learned that Maggie was returning to her beloved Wolves of Mercy Falls Series with Sinner, I knew I had to get a copy. It took awhile for both Cole and Isabelle to grow on me, but by the end of the series, I loved them. While, I enjoyed that this book was focused on character growth, I missed the action and drama that I loved so much with the original series. Still if you are a fan of Ms. Stiefvater, you know how amazing her writing is and that is the reason I would recommend this book.
- This is a character driven book centered around Cole and Isabelle. There is very little action or drama, so you might be disappointed in that aspect. What it is, though, is a journey of self discovery and change. Both Isabelle and Cole are dragging around an enormous amount of baggage. They each have their demons to battle, and they must do so before they can even attempt to enter into a romantic relationship. In this book you spend a great deal of time in Isabelle's and Cole's heads, seeing what makes them tick as you peel back their layers and move beyond the strong fronts they put on for the rest of the world, to uncover what lies inside as you explore their innermost fears. I loved getting to know both Cole and Isabelle better. They are both such entertaining and fascinating characters. When they are first introduced in The Wolves Books, neither one is particularly likable, especially in contrast to the gentle goodness of both Sam and Grace. I admit, I didn't like either of them in the beginning. Cole is a reckless rock star addicted to drugs and fame and he doesn't give a damn about anyone but himself. Isabelle is stuck up and bitchy and she doesn't like anyone. They are both flawed and broken and so entertaining and somehow they work together. Amazing characters! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them grow and change.
- The romance is just the way I like it. Slow, hesitant and believable. I appreciated the way that Isabelle held back and kept Cole and arm's length even though her heart was screaming to let him in. She is a girl who has been through plenty of hurt and it wasn't easy for her to trust, especially someone like Cole St. Clair. The romance is full of stops and starts and it has lots of those swoony moments that come from a look or a touch. The romance builds and builds to the right moment, and then it takes a couple of surprising turns. It isn't a straight forward romance, but you can't expect that from two characters like Isabelle and Cole.
- Ms. Stiefvater's writing doesn't disappoint. If I were a writer I would be so jealous of Maggie Stiefvater. Her writing is gorgeous and exquisite. She is one of those writers who can string together words in such extraordinary ways that I am sometimes breathless. Her words tickle all of the senses, and she uses your senses to completely plunge you into her stories. I am in awe every time I read one of her books. Her talent is beyond measure. If you are like me and you crave beautiful and amazing writing, you must read Maggie Stiefvater.
- The audiobook is excellent. I listened to the entire Wolves of Mercy Falls Series so I knew I had to listen to this one, and the audiobook doesn't disappoint. Dan Bittner and Emma Galvin return in their roles as Cole and Isabelle. I must say, both narrators are phenomenal. I love their narrations, and I think they make the book so much more memorable. I would highly recommend the entire series on audiobook. Bitner and Galvin are tremendous!
And The Not So Much:
- Sigh.... I so wanted to be swept away and enamored by this book and I just wasn't. I wanted more story, more action, more detail and more explanations, and what I got was two self analytical perspectives. Not that this book is bad, but in comparison to the other books, it falls flat. Again, it is worth reading/listening to for the writing, and for a closure with Isabelle and Cole's story.
- The whole wolf shifting aspect is really not more than a mention, and in fact, it has become a way for Cole to get high. After the rather open ending of Forever, I was hoping for a bit more closure on the whole werewolf thing, and I didn't get it. In fact, the whole wolf storyline is pretty much abandoned which was a disappointment. I wanted to know about the rest of the pack back in Minnesota.
- The reality show was rather ridiculous. I was curious as to how Cole even got hooked up with it in the first place and why on earth he would sign of for something so stupid was beyond me. The whole story line pretty much went nowhere, and I didn't like it.
- I was hoping to catch up with Sam and Grace because their story was left hanging at the end of Forever. I was upset that there was really nothing. Sam and Grace get a couple of small mentions and nothing more. There is no resolution or discussion as to how their lives settled out. I so wanted to know how Grace was doing. Did she get that red coffee pot?
- While I absolutely loved the audiobook and the narrations, my one niggle was that during Cole's chapters Bitner would impersonate Isabelle and then during Isabelle's chapters Galvin would do Cole's voice, and it just didn't work. I know it would have been more work and hassle to have the correct narrators do the voices throughout, but it would have been so much better.
Sinner was a good book, gorgeously written and introspective, but it lacked that excitement and energy that I expected. I appreciated that I got closure as far as Isabelle and Cole are concerned, but I still have many lingering questions from the series, and I am hoping that there will still be another book down the road in this series. If you are a fan of Wolves of Mercy Falls Series, I can recommend this book, but be prepared for a book that focuses on self growth with little action. The amazing writing will keep you entertained if nothing else. I enjoyed the book, but I closed it feeling like I still needed more.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.