cover image Sinner


Maggie Stiefvater. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-545-65457-9

Stiefvater expands on her bestselling Wolves of Mercy Falls novels with a side story built around Cole St. Clair, werewolf front man of the defunct band Narkotika. Now sober, Cole attempts to resurrect his career and his dysfunctional love affair with Isabel Culpeper, who’s working retail in Los Angeles. From a vacuous live phone interview in the opening pages to the semi-trashy web series Cole winds up starring in, the glitzy, manic tropes of TMZ culture dominate. For the most part, attachment to these characters (and knowledge of their history) must be carried over from the original trilogy. But Stiefvater’s talent for wordcraft and her powers of observation are as sharp as ever, and the L.A. setting gives her even more cause than usual to treat cars like characters. It’s less a romance than a conjuration of the monolith that is mass-market entertainment, the trappings of fame, and the narrow spaces they leave for being human. Or wolf, sometimes. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (July)