The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater was a book I’d heard everyone online gushing about for months before I got the chance to read it.
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.
I enjoyed Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and completely fell for The Scorpio Races, but wasn’t super excited about the summary for The Raven Boys. But I randomly came across the audiobook at my local public library and decided it was meant to be.
I wasn’t so sure about the narrator at first. I tend to like female narrators for female characters…call me crazy! I have no idea why they didn’t use two narrators (one male and one female) for the Blue and the boys (probably because it’s more expensive…). Anyway, the narrator totally threw me for a loop at first. Not just because he’s male speaking for a girl, but because his accent was so annoying! He had this whistle to his ‘S’s and it drove me craaaaazy! But eventually I got so into the story, that I started to get used to his voice. I wouldn’t say I liked his narration, but I got used to it.
Stiefvater is such a unique author. No one is as creative as she is. She takes the supernatural genre and twists it around into something all her own. Supernatural doesn’t just mean vampires, ghosts or fallen angels guys! It can also mean psychic powers and ancient energies! I was like “Woah! this is interesting!” Actually psychic stuff freaks me out WAY more than vampires ever could so I really, really liked this take on things.
I will say that I feel like Stiefvater put more energy into building the actual characters of The Raven Boys themselves, over Blue’s character. Blue, who could have been much more interesting, fell a little flat at times. I just feel like we didn’t get into her head as much as we did with the boys. I felt like I really saw a multifaceted Adam, Gansey and even Ronan, but didn’t get the same depth from Blue. With this said, I would still love to hear more about their adventures!
Stiefvater’s strong point (in all of her books) is her poetic descriptions of nature. This author doesn’t simply tell you the woods are dark and foreboding yet beautiful, she draws you into these woods so you can imagine yourself smack dab in the middle of them with the characters. Seriously. This ability puts Stiefvater in a league of her own.
I don’t think I enjoyed The Raven Boys as much as I did The Scorpio Races (see my review), but it was still an incredibly intriguing story! I really do look forward to the second book, which is scheduled to release sometime in 2013 (closer to 2014 I imagine). All in all, if you’re searching for a new take on the supernatural YA genre, I’d definitely give The Raven Boys a try!
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (Sept. 18, 2012)
Length: 11 hours and 8 mins
Narrator(s): Will Patton
Series: First in The Raven Cycle series
Buy the Book: The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle)