I received this book for free from Library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Published by Scholastic Press on September 18th 2012
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy
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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.
I’ll be brief. The problem with The Raven Boys was that it spent so much time getting around to the plot, that I’d lost all interest by the time it did. Note that I’m usually a very patient reader if the writing is good enough and the characters interesting enough. It’s not like I’ve got the attention span of a gnat.
What you can expect from The Raven Boys is a lot of faffing. Faffing about here, faffing about there, chasing down some long dead king so that they can get a wish for… something? The story revolved around Blue and her witchy family, and Gansey and his friends, Random 1, Random 2 and Mister Occasionally-Appears-in-this-book-when-convenient. Only Blue and Gansey don’t actually properly meet until about a third of the way into the novel. Like a said, a whole lot of faffing about.
Once they do meet, the novel finally decides it’s ready to get on with the story and canters at break-neck speed past good character development and good plotting towards it’s completely foreseeable end. So yes, pacing clearly leaves something to be desired. Reading this novel felt akin to being slow punched in the face.
Exactly like this only less cool.
The only thing that carried this mediocre novel for me was Steifvater’s writing which has clearly improved some since her Shiver days. When I stopped to think about the themes and messages of this book, I came away with some vague concept about friendship, even though I didn’t entirely feel why any of these people should have been friends except for lynchpin Gansey there who keeps them all together.
What was the book trying to say about the nature of life, relationships, the world? Sometimes it seemed to have something to say about greed and desperation, about the value of relationships, the power of love, but all these messages get mixed up in such a sloppy story that I found it hard to wade through why the book was even written.
I have been told, repeatedly, that the next book is better, or worse. That the books after that are genius or a mess. So many different things. Yet, I think, for my part I’m done.
But hey, if you are a fan of the books, have you seen these awesome dust jackets you can buy?