The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater | Book Review

Book cove of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #1)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Format: ARC (courtesy of Scholastic Press)
Genre: Supernatural, Young Adult
Publication Date: 18 September 2012

“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 colt 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 colts. Known as Raven Colts, 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 Colts: 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 Colts, 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 can't believe I put off finishing this book for so long. When I first began reading it back in September, I was completely taken by Blue's experience in the first chapter. I hurried on the the next chapters, only to find myself bored, and wanting to pick up something new. So I did...and it has sadly taken me this long to pick the book back up again, only to find that I should have done it a lot sooner!

After picking it back up, I was once again mesmerized by Maggie Stiefvater's writing. The story moves a bit slower than I imagined it would, leaving time for the story to really sink into your bones. Once I had started reading again, I was lost in the lives of the eccentric and--in some cases--haunting characters Maggie created. I fell in love with the magical qualities of the land, and the people in it.

There are many characters in The Raven Boys, with all of their lives and ambitions intertwining. Just when I thought I knew what was going on, the past actions of a character would swoop in and change everything. I was constantly guessing how each action would affect another person in the story (or had already). Maggie ties things together in ways that you don't see until it's already happened. Each character has his or her own personality and personal issues that makes them all very distinctive. This made it interesting to see how the dynamics of Gansey's group of friends changes as the story goes on--one of the things I love the most about The Raven Boys.

Another thing I love is the historical facts, and the mysteries of it all. The ley lines allude to magic and power. There are psychics, ghosts, and spirits, and then there is the promise of more; of power, and...something that hints at darkness. These little hints at the unknown kept giving me shivers, and I absolutely loved it. :)

As for the lesser parts to the story, I would have liked to see more development with Blue and Gansey's "prophecy," but I can't say much about it without giving away too many spoilers. The focus of the story is not so much on Blue and Gansey (as the synopsis leads you to believe) as it is on the supernatural, so there are many questions left unanswered at the end. It definitely moves in that general direction, though, so I'm holding out for the next book to reveal some answers!

If I could describe The Raven Boys in a sentence, I would call it an ominous supernatural treasure hunt. There are mysteries, magic, prophecies, spirits, many twists (especially one twist that left me chilled to the bone for a long time afterward), and many losses.

Trespassers beware.

Reading Fever Meter 101.6
Temp. Guide
Read this if:
...you crave power, and aren't frightened by the supernatural.

Content Warning
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Highlight between the brackets to reveal the text.
{Violence (a character is abused by his father--an issue that he later overcomes), murder, some underage drinking, and there is a reference to an attempted suicide.}

Other Books By Maggie:

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  1. You had me at treasure hunt! ;) Great review.

  2. I love historical facts in a book! And a supernatural treasure hunt? I'm hooked! I hear nothing but good about this book and I'm looking forward to read it. The characters sound great :) Awesome review!

  3. Oooh it sounds really good! I love your one-line description!

    Susan @ The Feather and the Rose

  4. This book was so, so fab, even though it was definitely slower paced. I think a lot of people get thrown off by the fact that the description is a bit misleading... I liked where the book went with the ley lines and treasure hunting and friendship, but it was definitely different from the more romantic book expected based on that blurb.

  5. I've been drawn to this book recently but I've seen mixed reviews. I still want to read it though.

  6. I've seen this book all over the bookstores. The cover looks really enticing. I would have to say based on your review I need to pick up a copy ASAP. You really make me want to pick it up now!!!


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