Thursday, 6 December 2012

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


 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 goodreads)



The moment I got my hands on The Raven Boys I abandoned everything else and settled down to be spell bound.

And I was, completely and utterly. 

The start was wonderfully mysterious and, as usual, the writing was flawless. Maggie Steivfater cast a perfect spell and bound me to her amazing characters. When the story slowed down, and even meandered a little, I was already so invested I had to keep reading late into the night because I cared.

The  Goodreads description does make this sound like they'll will be a lot of angst ~ we're so in love but we can not touch type trauma.

It's nothing like that. 

If I had to categorize it, I'd say it's a quest book. It put me very much in mind of The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. Many strange and inexplicable things happen, but the power of the writing, and the brilliant build up make them seem not just possible, but the only way the story could have gone. 

The characters are amazing, so real, so complex and with so much backstory that is simmering just beyond the page. I can't wait to find out more about them all. I liked Blue, although she does remain something of an enigma. I’m really hoping we get to know more about her in future books.

The boys, on the other hand, I fell for hard. Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah - I loved them all and I was left deeply worried about them, and their relationships with each other. I hope their friendship survives, I hope they survive! I know they're all going to be changed; I just hope they’re not unrecognizable.

Although the themes and plot of The Raven Boys are sweeping and epic, it is also a book made up of small moments. You need to be paying attention because it's the little things that change things.

Highly recommended.

7 comments:

  1. Spellbound is such a good way to describe the experience of reading it. And those boys! I wanted to be friends with all of them.

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    1. Be friends with them and take care of them! I'm worried about those boys!

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  2. *sigh* Yes. I keep wanting to tell people, it's not what you think, this book. You need to give it a shot. Because they do.

    I love those boys . . .

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    1. Well lots of people I know will be giving it a shot for Christmas :)

      The boys are just extraordinary!

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  3. OH, YES. This book! This terrific, terrific book!!! Wasn't it just about perfect? I loved it sooooooo much. Those Aglionby boys...

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    1. So perfect. I just wish I had better words to describe the brilliance of it!

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    2. You did pretty darn good with this review, Alexa!

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I adore comments, so thanks so much for taking the time. I'll try and return the favour :D