Sunday, 20 September 2015

'The Raven Boys' by Maggie Stiefvater

Book details

Series: The Raven Cycle, #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Press
ISBN: 9780545424929

Synopsis


“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.


Review


This is the first time I’ve ever dared to delve into Maggie Steifvater’s world, and I have to say I’m struggling a little to keep my emotions in check. I have a headache. It feels like all my thoughts about this book are spilling out of my ears because my brain is hyperventilating and throwing around furniture.


What a marvelous story. Stiefvater’s writing is magical. There’s really no other way to describe it. Right from the opening line, Stiefvater began weaving this intricate and electrifying spell that made me dizzy. It may have started off slowly, drawing on more and more of my energy as the story built itself up, but ten pages in I was already entranced. By the time I reached the halfway mark, the world around me felt like it was buzzing with electricity, but for the life of me I couldn’t draw my eyes away from the pages. The final few chapters were an explosion – Blue’s world and my own seemed to shatter into a billion pieces, and then it just… ended.

Note to the author: That is not okay. You broke me. You can’t just drop a bomb like that with such nonchalance, and then skip happily on to the acknowledgements.


The only negative point I have to mention about The Raven Boys is with regards to the characters. While charismatic Gansey and eccentric Blue seemed so enchanting and otherworldly in the beginning, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed in them by the end. They seemed to become increasingly two-dimensional as the novel progressed, whereas Adam, Noah and Ronan did the exact opposite. It was a strange scenario, but I’m sure Stiefvater will rectify it in The Dream Thieves.

Overall, though, this was an incredible novel. I love Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style, and I can’t wait to read more of her work.


Rating: 4/5
Recommended to: Everybody. Everybody. Everybody.

The Last Word



The Noah twist:



Well played, Stiefvater.

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