Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


The Raven Boys
The Raven Cycle #1
Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA Paranormal
“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.

There’s something strange about The Raven Boys. The book and the boys themselves. At first, I couldn’t put a finger on it, but as I kept reading, I began to notice a kind of whimsy that was woven all throughout. It reminded me of something similar that I read a long time ago, and it wasn’t when I was halfway through that it reminded me of another Stiefvater, Books of Faerie. It seems odd that I would compare books from the same author with the same adjective, yet I did say that the last book I’ve read of Stiefvater was years ago. What’s more odd is using the word whimsy or whimsical because it usually conjures up an image more associated with the Sugarplum Fairy.

But it was, sort of, whimsical. First, the writing had this fluid quality reminiscent of those folktales and fairytales told by grandmothers and grandfathers to gathered children around the fireplace. The kind of storytelling where you listen with rapt attention and you were transferred to a timeless place. There were a lot of times I reminded myself that the setting for the story was contemporary but –but- playing with something not quite ordinary. I don’t think I could even classify this as paranormal. Nor fantasy. If there was valid genre called whimsical then I would place it there (along with the Books of Faerie, Arrow of the Mist, and Forest of Whispers).

Then, there were the boys themselves. For boys who go to an exclusive boarding school, two of them from privileged, wealthy families, driving expensive cars and helicopters, mentions of Starbucks and pizza, well, you get the drift, for boys like them, whom you expect to be like those boys who are often portrayed stereotypically, they sure had an otherworld quality about them. And that was with Ronan being who he was and before Noah’s revelation as a ghost. Oh, there were hints scattered about of them being… odd, highlighted when they had that reading at 300 Fox Way. I’m still clinging to Gansey.

Is there even a point of mentioning those who lived in 300 Fox Way including the heroine, Blue Sargent? Cool name, by the way. That house was possibly the coolest and most eccentric I’d ever come across. And that is not even touching upon the fact on the strangeness of the begetting of Blue Sargent which may or not be related to Cabeswater, ley lines and Glendower. The book’s allure is in it being unusual.

To sum up, I’d share with you the message I texted to my friend:
So it’s not clear yet who’s Blue’s true love and finishing The Raven Boys left me with a look of confused ‘what just happened’ on my face.
Trust me, it’s a good thing. Just please, please, no love triangles.
Ayanami Faerudo

2 comments:

  1. You reminded me of how I've been dying to pick this series up! Awesome review!! Can't wait to read it! (:

    Pearl @ AsteriskPearl's Book Blog

    ReplyDelete

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