Review – The Raven Boys

the raven boysTitle:  The Raven Boys

Series:  The Raven Cycle #1

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre:  YA Paranormal

Source:  Library Digital Audiobook


From GoodReads:  “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

What I thought:

I know we have been told not to judge a book by its cover.  However, when I saw this book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, I knew I had to read it.  Once I read the cover, it was done.  I struggled over wanting to buy the book because I was there to pick up a school book for one of my children and this one was not in the budget.  But after a search on my library’s digital website, I found an audiobook and immediately downloaded.

I love audiobooks but I find the narrator makes or breaks the book.  This narrator was perfect.  He had exactly the right voice and style to make listening to Maggie’s magical words a treat!

Maggie Stiefvater has written a very detailed novel with a complicated, layered storyline that is full of mystery.  Throw in a long list of characters and I often find myself lost and flipping back though previously read pages to figure out what I missed.  This is a task impossible with an audiobook.  However, I didn’t need it!  Somehow Maggie managed to not only write her story beautifully but also clearly.  I never felt lost or confused at who a character was.  Maggie’s characters are so unique and well developed that it was easy to keep them straight.

Blue Sargent comes from a family of women psychics.  She lives with her mother, Maura, and aunts, Persephone, Calla and Neeve.  While Blue herself isn’t psychic, she somehow acts as a magnifier for others’ psychic abilities and phenomenon and is often brought along for this reason.  Which is how she finds herself at a small church on the “corpse road” with Neeve on St. Marks’ Eve, waiting for the soon-to-be dead to walk by, and it is also how she, a non-seer, sees her first spirit, an Aglionby boy named Gansey, who falls to his knees in front of her.   Blue has been told her entire life that she is destined to kill her true love with a kiss, and she learns that the only reason she should be able to see a spirit on St. Mark’s even is that he is either her true love or she will somehow kill him.

Blue soon finds herself involved with Gansey and his fellow Raven Boys, as students of Aglionby Academy are known, as they follow an obsessive quest of Gansey’s involving ley lines and a long dead king.  Blue’s friendship with the four boys is sweet one.  Elegant, wealthy Gansey, Adam, the scholarship earner who is keenly aware of the affluence of his friends, dark mysterious Ronan, and quiet Noah, all invite Blue in and include her in their adventure.  The hint of romance takes a back seat as friendship and trust grows which I love as way too many YA books careen into a desperate love at first sight pace.

I completely enjoyed this book and upon finishing, immediately went and downloaded the sequel, The Dream Thieves, also on audiobook.  I’m interested in seeing where this story goes!


5 thoughts on “Review – The Raven Boys

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