Friday, October 18, 2013

Review | The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Review by Aeryn
July 2013 by Scholastic Paperbacks
416 pages
Amazon + Good Reads

"“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.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before."
-Good Reads

Like all of Maggie Stiefvater’s work, The Raven Boys brings something new and genuine to the YA world. The story follows Blue, the daughter of a psychic, and her “Raven Boys”—Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah. Through a series of mysterious “coincidences,” the boys, all students at a local, upscale boarding school, adopt Blue into their odd troupe, where she becomes an integral part of their search for the Welsh king, Owen Glendower—who Gansey believes to be magically slumbering the centuries away somewhere in the vicinity. 

I originally picked up The Raven Boys in attempt to sate my hunger for more of Stiefvater’s writing. While I was somewhat entranced—enough to finish the Shiver series—by her take on werewolves, I found this book after reading (and LOVING) The Scorpio Races. BUT (!) I will admit that after reading the description, I was wary. I’d never read a book in which the primary plot revolved around psychics…but I’d never read a book about water horses, either, and that turned out well. Needless to say, after only a few chapters I was hooked. 

The POV passes between Blue, Gansey, and Adam. Each character has a solid personality that comes through in their chapters, and the reader really gets a sense of what drives them. I found myself alternately cheering, screaming, and empathizing with each one of them in turn. 

My favorite part of the book, overall, was that the relationships—including the barely-there romance portion—took time to mature. It wasn’t like Blue met these boys and was instantly enamored with them. It took a lot of convincing on her part, and it was interesting to read from all perspectives as the relationships changed. 

While Stiefvater tied up some of the more minor storylines, the book ended in all sorts of excitement that left me urgently awaiting the sequel. I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the realm of psychics, the magical and mythical, history, and ghosts—with a taste for ridiculously rich boys and their adventures.

Did you enjoy Aeryn's review? Visit her blog for more by her!

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