Dec 27, 2012

The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: Raven Cycle (#1)
Publisher: Scholastic
How Received: BookExpo America

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love... or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

While not my favorite Stiefvater book, The Raven Boys once again cements Stiefvater as an author whose books I will always pick up.

Full of mystery and intrigue, The Raven Boys may take a while to get into, but once you've settled into the plot, you're dragged into a paranormal mystery that knows just when to drop the next hint. The plot is luxuriously drawn out over the course of the book. Just enough questions are answered to be satisfied while just enough new ones are introduced to leave you wanting more.

The best part of the book isn't the plot, for all it's awesome; it's the characters. Each one stands out on their own, interesting and detailed in their own right. Ronan Lynch terrified the hell out of me; Adam intrigued me and I'm excited to see where his story goes; Gansey's internal plight had me curious; Blue's overall personality had me grinning from ear-to-ear. My favorite characters, Blue's mother and 'sisters,' had me laughing every time they appeared on page.

I think the only thing that put me off is the 'villain' of the story, who I won't name for the sake of spoilers even though you find out who he is 1/4 of the way into the story. While seeing through his point of view was interesting and set up for a little bit of foreshadowing, it didn't really add too much to the story that we didn't find out in other ways. I almost would have liked it more to take out his part and just add in a few little things here and there - enough foreshadowing with much more surprise.

Overall Rating & Final Comments: 9/10. While it takes a little while to settle into, it's ultimately a great mystery that handles its characters and story beautifully.

In a Christmas miracle, I finished a book! I apologize for the lack of reviews the past two weeks - school caught up with me. But don't worry; I've got plenty of time to do nothing but read over winter break!

Have any of you guys read The Raven Boys? What did you think?

8 comments:

  1. Maggie's a very intriguing author. Her books are diverse and beautifully written, with fantastic settings and characters. I really enjoyed this story and totally agree about Blue -- loved her and her family. Looking forward to what's going to happen next!

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  2. We felt totally the same way as you, actually. After loving SCORPIO RACES, we had high hopes for this, and at first we were afraid it wouldn't live up. But then, as you said, the book settles into itself and we got a sense of its rhythm and tone; then we totally got sucked in and fell in love with the characters. Looking forward to seeing how the rest of the series goes!

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  3. I absolutely loved this one; the characters really are so incredibly well done. And I'm so, so intrigued by the last sentence.

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  4. I loved this book so much. I was nervous after a slow start but it ended up being my favorite Stiefvater because of the great characters!

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  5. I absolutely agree with you, this is nowhere near Stiefvater's best work, but I completely fell in love with her characters and I ended up loving the plot I had no idea what to think about at first.
    Wonderful review!
    Oh, and I'm a new follower. :)

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  6. I did really love this one, and it's my favorite of Maggie's books. I loved all the characters and the very complex plot.

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  7. This was a book that has to slowly grow on you which is one of the things I loved about it. I was also nervous going into it, being a huge fan of the Scorpio Races, but I loved The Raven Boys too!

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  8. I absolutely ADORED this book. It was another brilliantly written novel from Maggie (who I absolutely LOVE), but The Scorpio Races still beats it out as my favorite. I can't wait for the next book in this series though!

    Maycee Greene (Skagway AK

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