Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: The Raven Boys

Synopsis: “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.

My Review: For whatever reason with Maggie Stiefvater books I have a hard time getting into them.  It's just those first few initial chapters fail to really suck me in.  But this time I stuck with it and pushed on, and I am so glad I did because the book just kept getting better and better.

The story is definitely not your normal paranormal plot line.  It is definitely centered around an older form of magic.  Though Blue and her household of psychic women were definitely a more familiar breed.  And well all the women in that house were just entertaining as hell.  Blue was an interesting MC.  She is definitely one of those people who purposefully strive to be different and out there as opposed to naturally just expressing themselves. And yet while she was always trying to make a statement through her style, she never once seemed fake.

Interestingly enough it was the Raven boys who were the main reason I loved this book so much.  It's rare that having 5 main characters and 3 narrators ever truly enhances the book, but I have to say that Maggie juggled it all very well.  Each boy had their own complicated background and motivation and yet they all worked cohesively together.

Adam is incredibly hard working.  He works odd end jobs so he can pay for his tuition at Aglionby, all the while hiding it from his parents.  His father is abusive and his mother just sits idly by, and he can't just leave.  Adam doesn't want charity from anyone, including Gansey.  I really enjoyed his character.  He's that sweet normal boy who is so often overlooked and so I was rooting for him the entire book.  The only thing that drove me nuts was his inability to accept help.

I absolutely adored Ronan.  Sure he was a bullheaded Irish whelp who was constantly fighting and biting the head off of anyone who tried to talk to him besides Gansey, but there is just so much to his character.  Ever since his father died he's been a different person, and not really for the better.  He's abrasive with people, doesn't give two cents about school, and fights with his older brother almost constantly.  And yet despite all these serious faults, I loved him.  There was just something completely mysterious about him.  Everything from his intricate tattoo to his easy acceptance of the magical realm and his uncanny knowledge of Latin.  And him taking care of a baby raven just endeared him to me forever.  But what truly made me love him was what he did for Adam.  Everyone know's about Adam's situation, and yet Ronan, the seemingly most uncaring of them all, is the one who took action to protect him.

There really isn't much to say about Noah besides the fact that I just want to hug him and that I NEVER saw that plot twist coming.  I feel like I was sidelined by it, quite frankly.

And of course there is Gansey.  I rather enjoyed Gansey and his old manner of speaking and his obsession with ley lines and finding a sleeping king.  He was an old soul in a younger body, and it just made his character more interesting.  The fact that Gansey just so happens to be the only soul that Blue saw on St. Mark's Eve just makes the story all the more interesting.  And of course we don't find out why Blue was able to see his soul.  We only know that for sure he will die in the next year.

Which just makes the wait for the second book all the more dire! I already miss my raven boys :( There is just so much more that needs to happen! The first book was only a taste and I need more to satiate my hunger for this story.


Bookworm1858 said...

Glad to hear that this book just gets better and better as it goes along. The more reviews I read of this, the more excited I get to read it!