Cathy Keaton's Reviews > Linger

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
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's review
Mar 13, 2015

liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2014, reviewed
Read from March 31 to April 12, 2014

Glad I finally caught up with this series, but the story isn't really a story, is it? We have here a story arc that only ever gives us Act 1, failing to continue on to Acts 2 and 3. This is my main complaint about Linger, but other than that, I really liked this installment.

The richness of the prose always satisfies. The main characters feel like real people, not stereotypes, even if they are based on archetypes. We get a good dose of world building, characterization, and character development within this plot-less story, so at least the extra space is not being wasted on a bunch of pointless filler scenes. And, I like Cole. He's an interesting, complex character who feels very visceral. He and Isabel are a dynamic pair. I look forward to seeing more of them.

But, back to the problem with the plot. All I detected here was what would usually be found within the very beginning of any other normally plotted book. The Inciting Incident, which occurred somewhere within the first half of the story, a ton of set-up scenes, and then a Catalyst. But, that's where the story ends. It fizzles out from there, promising you more to the story without actually giving it to you.

The Catalyst is being confused with the Climax. The difference between the two is that a Catalyst is the first truly life-altering moment for the protagonist, which is why it should happen at the beginning. A Climax is like the other end of the spectrum--it is the event, usually very dramatic, that resolves what the Catalyst created way back at the beginning. A true end to that ordeal, not necessarily the end of the over-arching story arc of a trilogy, though.

I get the feeling that the author only meant for Shiver, Book 1, to be a stand-alone novel, and was told by her publisher that she would have to write a trilogy in order to secure a book deal. Thus, she really had nothing important left to say about all these characters once Shiver was completed. Book 2 feels droopy like a lot of other Book 2's in trilogies (for the same reason, I'm sure :P), but I still really enjoyed reading this book. It has incredible strength in every other aspect and is, thankfully, not ruined by the lack of a fully realized plot.
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03/30/2014 marked as: currently-reading
04/12/2014 marked as: read
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