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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review: The Raven Boys

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
The Raven Boys
by Maggie Stiefvater

Plot Summary:

“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.


The premise of this book is really intriguing, and I love the cover, but I was a little disappointed by the story.  I think personally Maggie Stiefvater's writing style isn't suited to me, as most of the book moved at too slow a pace, and although she does a great job setting up vivid, complex characters, I sometimes didn't understand their motivations or felt very frustrated by their actions.  It is hinted that Gansey will be Blue's love interest, but their connection is very slight in this book (but this novel felt more like a set-up for the next in the series) while I felt Adam's involvement with Blue a little sad, since their relationship wasn't going anywhere.  The romance aspect of this novel is not at all the focus of the story.  It's more about the mythology Blue and the boys are trying to uncover which makes the plot summary a little bit misleading, especially since Blue is not really the main character in my opinion.  The relationship between the Raven Boys is great to read about, and their camaraderie and dynamic are so varied.  I felt bad for Gansey though since people seemed to judge him so easily and so harshly for his upbringing.  It really didn't seem fair.

The novel seemed to flit between romance, paranormal aspects and mythology while also having a thriller and murder mystery element.  I don't generally mind books juggling many different genres, but in this story, I felt there was a lack of cohesiveness and it made the book hard to get into because the changes in tone affected the pace.  For me, the strongest aspect is the mythology, and the scenes where the Raven boys and Blue find the ley line, were the most interesting part of the book.  It's a great set-up for the rest of the series, as I really want to learn more about what the characters are awakening.  And the time-traveling aspect is very intriguing.

And to be fair there is a twist in the middle of the book, that had me pretty gleeful, because it's a such an awesome twist.  But it couldn't carry the whole book for me.  I feel like the story would have appealed to me more if the writing felt less rambling, and the ending answered a few more questions about the mysteries.  There are a few great moments in this book, but overall, I had to push myself to listen to the audiobook every day.

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  1. I hate being dissapointed! This book never got my attention. I don't know why, but it just didn't stayed long on my radar. I read the first two books in her other series, Wolves of Mercy Falls (I think it's called that way) & enjoyed them. I do still need to finish it. :)

    Great review.

    1. Oh I am glad to hear that, cause I know a lot of people loved this book, so I kinda felt left out. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Aww, okay I am toning down my expectations! Have you ever read the Shiver series? I just loved that series so much and so I had high expectations for this one..though the pacing on those are slow as well but the romance is lovely and really appealed to me!

    1. I did read Shiver (the first book), and I think you liked it more than I did, so you might have a completely different opinion on The Raven Boys!

  3. This is a very slow book. I absolutely loved it. And maybe that's because I'm such a huge Maggie fan. I've grown used to her writing and give it more time than I would other authors.
    You're right - there's an awesome twist :-)

    1. It did feel slow and it really felt like this book was the build-up for the next one, so maybe if I had the second book as well I would like it more. :) Thanks for stopping by!