Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Raven Boys
Series: The Raven Cycle 
Book #: One
Author: Maggie Stiefvater 
Publisher: Scholastic 
Release Date: September 18, 2012 
Source: Local Library  

My Rating: fullfullfullhalfBlank

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. (taken from
After reading Maggie Stiefvater's The Wolves of Mercy Falls series, I already knew that she was a talented writer. Her lyrical phrasing lends an element of magic to any tale she spins. While I wasn't sure what to expect from The Raven Boys, I was pretty positive that I was in for a treat. 

The four main "Raven boys" consist of Ronan (the bad boy), Noah (seemingly forgettable), Adam (insightful and poor), and last but not least, Gansey (the leader). My favorite part of the novel was learning about this friendship's dynamics and watching the boys lean on one another. Blue joins this group of misfits, and while I didn't love her character that much, she added something to the mix. 

The plot was unpredictable and certainly original. A bit on the weird side, it digs up myths and legends of long ago, from ley lines to long forgotten kings. I'd never read anything like it. 

My one, fairly large complaint was that I was bored too often. I don't know why, but I could not get into this book like I wanted to. The spark necessary to really drag me in was missing. I can't put my finger on it, to be honest. The characters were interesting, but not deep enough to really earn my love. The plot was unique, but a little too sluggish to captivate me. While I don't regret reading it, I wish that I had sat down and forced myself through it sooner. 

Overall, I still believe Stiefvater possesses a gift when it comes to her use of language. Her poetic writing is impressive, to say the least. While I didn't enjoy The Raven Boys as much as some of her others, I'd still recommend it to her fans.