Monday, September 10, 2012

ARC Review: The Raven Boys

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA Fantasy, Supernatural
Release Date: September 18th

See it at 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.

The Raven Boys was perhaps one of the year’s most anticipated titles for many readers, myself included. I almost gave this one a 3.5 star rating though after my expectations fell a little flat. There is absolutely no doubt that Stiefvater can write. Anytime I read work with her name attached, I’m mesmerized by the lyrical style she writes in and the beautiful and stunning visuals she provides for a reader. It’s rather inspiring as a reader and a writer, to be honest.

On a personal side note here, I wasn’t a big fan of Shiver. The writing, of course, was amazing, but I just didn’t get into the story. The Scorpio Races is by far one of my favorites though (not just of her work, but one of my all-time faves), and I still constantly think of it. When I’d heard of The Raven Boys, like many readers, I became excited with the premise and looked forward to picking it up as soon as I could get my tiny hands on it.

Still, even though I may not have had the most satisfying experience, I find myself appreciating the fact that Ms. Stiefvater still knows how to pull readers in with her words and exceptional craft.

My problem with The Raven Boys was that there was a lot going on and at times, it happened a bit faster than I’d like and sometimes became a bit out of focus until I picked up pace again. There are a lot of characters to keep up with, and each are structured and developed quite well, but I also felt that sometimes they appeared to me (on a personal vision) as much older than the intention. I had to remind myself a few times they were high school age, and often it felt they were beyond that from impressions. I totally get that teens are quite mature and come off as adults, too. I was like that when I was that age also, but it would have been nice to see some “quirks” here and there that did show their age (like even the most mature/adult-like teens still have).

What I really loved was the writing, of course. It flows beautifully and lyrically, and each scene is painted for the reader with well-crafted visuals. I liked the characters, especially the family of psychics that were quirky. Blue is intelligent and witty. I liked reading her. She wasn’t shy or clumsy, and certainly wasn’t a typical Mary Sue. She was a no-nonsense type of girl that just went right along with the unusual mystery she was given and I loved that she didn’t stutter and fumble, and that she did what she knew she needed to do.

The Raven Boys starts the story off right from the start. I liked that. Once I began reading, I couldn’t put it down. It’s a unique complex story with interesting characters. If you’re a fan, you’ll definitely enjoy this one. Even if you’re not a fan, but thinking about it: give it a try. Especially if you love mystery, paranormal, magic, and romance.



  1. I am currently reading this one and agree that Maggie has an exceptional writing ability!

  2. Looking forward to this although I'm still catching up on a lot of books. I'm going to see her speak at an Anderson's Books YA event at the end of the month, I think she's a keynote. :)

  3. I didn't like shiver but really enjoyed the scorpion races I may pick this one up to see which way I go :)

  4. I have SO MUCH READING TO DO. Ahhhhh!

    On another note: I've read the first two Mercy Falls books (picked up Forever and could not handle the melodrama after a couple of chapters) and her earlier lesser known series (Lament and Ballad). I wasn't impressed with any of them. However, her concepts are awesome, and her writing itself is good, so I keep trying. I hear good things about The Scorpio Races.

    I have an ARC of this one, so I'm hoping I'll finally like one. I think I can handle a lot of stuff going on if the characters aren't as insufferable as in her other books. We'll see!


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