Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)

“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.

Source: Free audiobook from SYNCYA and Borrowed book from library.

My Thoughts:

Note: I listened to more than half of this on audiobook and read the rest. The audiobook was really good. Almost didn't enjoy the book as much after I switched.

The Raven Boys is a beautiful book. The prose is beautifully spoken in the audiobook .This is one of the few audiobooks I would highly recommend as the tone of the narrator matches the setting beautifully. 

I was very reluctant to pick up this book. Maggie's Shiver series was slow, dull and had a lackluster plot. The only reason I picked up this book is because of the beautiful way she wrote in that series and because of the  positive reviews this book received.

The Raven Boys does not have a singular narrator. The perspective keeps shifting from one character to another but the shift is not jarring, it's a thing of beauty.It's hard to believe that the writer is female as the male's voices are authentic and  beautifully spun.

To cut a long story short: Read it for the writing.

The pace of the story is slow and if you don't enjoy the writing, you will not enjoy the book.  The world building is also brilliant.In my opinion the weakest point of this book is it's story and pacing. The characterization is great and you get invested in all the characters but the climax is unmemorable. There is a great build up but the way it is wrapped up is slightly disappointing.

I want to read more about Gansey and Ronan and Adam and Blue. I fell in love with all of them. I would read a story in which they all went on a picnic if Maggie wrote it. The world of mysticism and spirituality that she introduces in this novel is incredible. But, I do realize the weakness of the overall story and the fact that this book is not for everyone.

I would recommend that you read or better yet, listen to some sample chapters (especially if you're fond of audiobooks). See if you enjoy the world building and writing style and then buy or borrow the book.Personally, I really enjoyed it.

My Rating:


Loved the writing style, though not for everyone.

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