COLE ST. CLAIRE IS BACK!!! The charismatic and ever charming yet completely flawed Cole has finally come to find and lure Isabel back into his life. But being Cole he can’t just call and say ‘I miss you, I want to be with you’. No,no no Cole St Claire is not that guy. He is the ‘Big Gesture’ guy, the show up unannounced, surprise you when you least expect it and have a reality show on his back as he makes another album guy. ‘Ta-da’….
--"I can’t change the way I’m made. I’m a performer, a singer, a werewolf, a sinner.
Just because I’m singing for a crowd doesn’t make it untrue.
If we make it through this alive, I’m going to tell you the truth of why. And this time you had better believe me.
I came back for you, Isabel."
That is on the 3rd page so not a spoiler.
Maggie Stiefvater (MS) and the beautiful prose of the Shiver series is back in full force. While Grace and Sam’s love story was sweet and sensitive and subtle, Cole and Isabel’s has always been volatile and noisy and slightly bipolar. They definitely have something the pushes them together and ignites when they are on page but both are so broken in one way or another that to make them stick together is practically impossible. But Cole is convinced that now is the time, time to make Isabel his, time to come back on the music scene and time to get his life back together.
The first 3 novels in the Shiver series surround the fight of the wolves, but now they are safe. This novel is just about Cole and Isabel overcoming themselves to find a way to each other. Cole might be clean now from drugs and alcohol but he still has the wolf that he uses like a crutch when he looks for an escape. He has signed up for a reality T.V. show so he can make a new album without a label and he desperately wants to win the girls affections at the same time. Everyone is waiting for him to implode and fall back into his old habits of drugs, alcohol and girls on national T.V. but he is determined to put the past behind him and prove he is a new and improved version of himself, it just might be a little harder than he originally anticipated.
-- "I was so tired of being alone, but I was always alone, even with people around me. And I was tired of being surrounded, but I was always surrounded, even when I was by myself. There was so much talk about how everyone wanted to be gosh-darn special. I was so tired of being the only one of my kind."
I loved the character of Cole St. Claire in the original Shiver series and I love him again in this book. He is a train wreck at times but he and Isabel know each other in a way that is different from the persona that he has shown the word and while they are imperfect people they are beautiful together. Cole’s manic exuberance is infectious and it jumped off the page.
-- Wait” Sam said. “Have you seen Isabel yet?”
My fingers still felt the shape of her. “Da. We embraced. Angels sang, Sam. Those fat ones, Cherubs, Cherubim.
For all the Sam/Grace fans there are a few glimpses into their lives and the state of the wolves of Mercy Falls but nothing major just a couple peripheral glimpses which was good enough for me. The introduction of a few new characters and bringing in someone from Cole’s past was a perfect addition for the Sinner story.
I love a good Bromance and Cole’s bromance with former Narcotica bass guitarist Jeremy and new found friend Leon were fantastic. Jeremy knew Cole before the fame and fortune and spiral out of control and his Zen Buddhist philosophies and true caring of Cole were touching. I loved their moments together.
“Luck,” Jeremy scoffed softly. “There’s no luck.”
“Your feet take you where you need to be.”
I thought about this. “My feet have taken me to some pretty rough places.”
“That was your dick, dragging your feet along with.”
Leon the new addition was a friend/father figure to add into Cole’s life and I liked that Cole had another friend that could look past the fame and the show to see the real man Cole tends to hide sometimes.
This is more a straight up romance novel than any of the others. It is focused on Coles the relationships with other people and his fight with addictions in all shapes and forms. Still I love that guy and I enjoyed reading it.
Side Note: The audio of the Shiver series is one of my favorites and this is no exception. Sinner is one of the best performed audiobooks out there, so if you are a fan of audiobooks at all I recommend listening to the series.