Friday, September 14, 2012

The Raven Boys ~ Maggie Stiefvater (earc) review

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)
Scholastic Press
September 18, 2012
416 pages
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“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.”

Living with a family of psychics, Blue doesn't have her own powers, but she does have energy that helps the power of those around her. Every year she accompanies her sits by her mother, in the ruins of the old church as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue doesn't see them, her presence only helping the other's vision.

At least until this year.

The boy she sees will only tell her his name is Gansey.

Blue soon finds out that Gansey is a student at Aglionby, the local private school. Told by every clairvoyant she's ever encountered - those in her home and not - that if she kisses her true love, he'll die, Blue's decided boys are trouble. Aglionby boys,the Raven Boys, more that that are bastards.

Staying away from the ultra-rich Gansey should be no problem. Yet, Blue finds herself drawn to him - and his friends: Adam, the one Aglionby boy who doesn't seem to have money or be pretentious; Ronan, the angry one who can't let go of his pain; Noah who's quiet but always noticing things.

When Blue finds out Gansey's on his own quest - one very unexpected, she finds herself drawn into their lives and their search. Whether it's safe for any of them or not.

Some books grab me from page one, I'll admit that The Raven Boys didn't have quite grab me until the end of the first chapter. The prologue and the first chapter were okay, but I didn't love them. The end of the first chapter and after that, that's when things picked up. The Raven Boys is a book that got better and better as it went on.

The Raven Boys isn't a book that reveals everything right away. Sometimes the result will be told before the action that caused it, leaving things either a bit confusing, or with some wondering going on. In particular, I was curious as to a character's motivation for so long that I almost quit caring. Yet, when it was revealed, it became clear that it couldn't have been told in any other (or any earlier) part of the story. It was exactly where it needed to be. That's also true with the rest of the novel, it's told in exactly the order it needs to be.

That's a bit how The Raven Boys is, even the times when the story was a bit confusing  (as to how things worked together or why someone was doing, or not doing, something, etc.) the writing and the novel in general are so enjoyable, you don't care.

The characters were well developed and each time something new was revealed about them, it made sense. When it was something that had been hinted at earlier, the clues that may have gone unnoticed, suddenly made sense. When it was something meant to be surprising, it was.

Blue's family - the whole dynamic of her house, really - was great fun and worked incredibly well. It wasn't a kitsch, cliche portrayal of a house of psychics. They were different, yet with something linking them together and had their own bit of mystery.

A book that gets better with each turn of the page, one that leaves you wondering a bit (sometimes more), and one with some different magical elements, The Raven Boys is a great read.

Rating: 9/10

Other books you might also enjoy: The Blood Keeper by Tessa Gratton and Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

thank you Scholastic and NetGalley for my e-galley of this title


  1. This one sounds really good. I have been reading in quite a few reviews that it doesn't grab you immediately so I'll have to keep that in mind when I read it. Great review!

    1. The very beginning was kind of off for me but then there was just enough to grab my interest while it got better. It's definitely one that I liked more (and more) as the story progressed.

      Thank you :)

  2. Ooh, looking forward to this one, a friend told me that it wasn't that good, but I'm glad that you liked it!

    1. I wasn't so sure about the beginning but liked it much more as the story went on. I'd be interested in hearing what you think of it.

  3. I really really want to read this one. I love the way Maggie Steifvater writes, it's beautiful. I read the first two books in her Wolves of Mercy Falls series, but I just did not like the characters in that series. I'm hoping I enjoy the characters in The Raven Boys more!

    1. I haven't managed to quite get into he Wolves of Mercy Falls series so I'd love to see how you think the Raven Boys characters stack-up against those characters. Loving characters (usually over plot) like I do, they weren't my favorites but they each had their own story - and I HATE when secondary characters are flat and just there to prop up the mc's.

  4. Great review, it sounds well worth a read! I still haven't read anything from MS beyond The Wolves of Mercy Falls, but I have The Scorpio Races on my bookshelf, so will make myself read that before I pick up The Raven Boys.

  5. I needed time to get into this one as well, but you're absolutely right that it gets better with each page. Stiefvater is among my favorite authors, her words are always so magical, and The Raven Boys continued that tradition.
    Lovely review!


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