Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Published: September 18 2012
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 408
Copy: Courtesy of the publisher
Summary: 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.

Ms. Stiefvater has once again tackled those myths that everyone forgot about. Everyone, except of course, the characters in her novels. The Raven Boys is beautiful and haunting in the same way that The Scorpio Races and Shiver/Linger/Forever were, and again gives us characters that we love and hate. I have always had a disdain for the obscenely rich character in a book – their purpose seems to be to allow the author the freedom to have the characters do absolutely anything, because one of them is stinking rich and ergo we question nothing. But that’s not the case with Gansey. There is some flaunting – something about a helicopter, and some cars that I only knew of because of my family’s background, and I’ll be surprised if other readers don’t need to Google the names – but she gives us reasons as to why. She puts some accountability on the characters, and they are no longer devices, but once again characters.

Enough about that – I don’t need to tell you that you’ll love Blue and Gansey, and Adam and Noah, and even Ronan (because we always love the bad boy, especially when he has a soft streak) – anyone who has read Stiefvater’s other books knows she builds fabulous characters. Instead, the part of this book (the first in a series) that grips you is the difficulty at grasping something that seems to be so simple, and right in front of you. Gansey is addicted to his hunt for the ley lines, but as much as he knows, and as close as he comes, he can never quite reach them. It takes a particular set of circumstances for him to inch even closer, and in the end, it takes a simple notion to bring it all back down. Sacrifice becomes a large part of this novel, but it leads you places you didn’t expect. And that ending. Whoa. I read an advance copy of this book, but I really hope they don’t change that last line. Stunner. (I won’t quote it for you because a) spoiler! and b) it was an advance copy.).

I adored this book – it didn’t move me in the way The Scorpio Races did, but it made me think – but there were some big gaps in information that I was dying to have. I’m hoping they will be revealed to me in future books, but while I’m fresh off the read, they’re driving me insane. A sample: we touch on Blue’s interesting name a few times – but no explanation!
Ah well. Maggie Stiefvater, you’ve hooked me once again. The writing is beautiful, the characters are dynamic, and you’re tackling mythology that is new and refreshing. Wonderful read.

Thank you Special K for another stellar review  Don't forget to enter our GIVEAWAY for Pushing the Limits


  1. I LOVED 'The Scorpio Races', so I'm excited to try out anything else from Stiefvater. Great review!

    1. Same! If you loved Scorpio Races, you should also love The Raven Boys - same lost myths premise, same haunting almost poetic writing that we know and love!