“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 theShiver 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.
Hardcover, 408 pages
Expected publication: September 18th 2012 by Scholastic Press
Three and a half stars a paranormal read with fortune tellers, ghosts, ley lines and more!
Blue is the daughter of a psychic. She comes from a family of psychics, but she does not have the gift. Blue has been told by every fortune teller that she will kiss and lose her true love to death. For Blue, this is certainly a troubling future, but she has put it in the back of her mind. That is until she visits the church graveyard on St. Mark's Day. A night when the spirits of those who will die in the next year travel along the Corpse Road. Every year, Blue sits in the graveyard with her mother, unable to see or hear the ghosts. This year is different, though. Blue unexpectedly sees the spirit of a young boy, a Raven Boy. She pesters him until she gets his name, Gansey. Neeve, her aunt, tells her that the reason she sees the spirit is because Gansey is destined to be her true love. Blue has a strict policy of staying away from Raven Boys, as they tend to be spoiled, rich prats. Yet, if she can somehow prevent this boy's death.....Blue suddenly finds herself friends with Gansey and his three best friends: Adam, Ronan and Noah. The group soon finds things are changing in their town. The winds of change bring: ghosts, ley lines, a mythical quest, fortunes, ravens and adventure. Will Blue be able to save Gansey or will her kiss be his death sentence?
What I Liked:
- I always enjoy the complexity of a Stiefvater book, and this one does not disappoint. Ms. Stiefvater meticulously creates a complex plot with numerous converging story lines. In the Raven Boys the reader follows the boys, led by Gansey, on a quest to locate a missing sleeping king hidden along a ley line as the main focal point. In addition to this main story there is Blue and her dire prediction, Adam and his troubled home life, Ronan and his big secret and unstable personality, the mysterious Noah, the disappearance of Blue's father, the possibility of Gansey's death and the troubled Mr. Whelk a teacher with a sinister ulterior motive. As you can see this book is packed with plot lines, all converging to form an entertaining read.
- As always, Maggie creates endearing and memorable characters. Blue, the eccentric teenage girl, born into a psychic family is a little weird and easily likeable. The Raven Boys are a tight group of friends, held together by the adventurous and driven Gansey. I loved the way Gansey takes each boy under his wing and looks out for them. Adam is the boy that stole my heart. He is shy, motivated, resourceful and adorable, yet he is haunted by his troublesome home life. My heart ached for him. Noah is reclusive and an enigma. Add in a group of psychic women and a villain and you have a cast of amazing characters.
- I love the way Ms. Stiefvater carefully and meticulously lays out her story. It is always at an even, unhurried pace as she slowly pulls the reader into her world and makes them care about the characters, so much that you often want to pause and just stay in the happy moments before the conflict comes to unravel everything. She skillfully leads you down one path and then takes you onto another as you plod along at a steady and measured, right up until the final chapters, and then it moves to a brisk finish.
- As always, I love Maggie's writing. I marvel at the magical way she strings her words together.
And The Not So Much:
- This books builds to a thrilling end, but unfortunately it concludes with a bit of a cliffhanger, nothing terribly dramatic but the reader is left with a lot of unfinished business, as well as numerous lingering questions.
- This book took awhile to get going, as I discussed earlier Ms. Stiefvater's books always move at an unhurried pace. You must be patient when reading her work, the going is slow but the pay off is worth the wait.
- This book incorporates multiple view points, and usually I like this technique. This time, I found the inclusion of the boys' teacher, Mr. Whelk, to be a bit jarring. There are only a few tiny scenes in his voice and I can see how they added to the story, but in all honesty, I hated his view point.
- I am a huge fan of Maggie's writing, but in this novel, the writing wasn't as amazing as in her Wolves of Mercy Falls series. It lacked some of the gorgeous detail and the utilization of all the senses was not as prominent. I was just a tiny bit disappointed in this outing, I was prepared to be blown away with many mesmerizing phrases, and I didn't find as many as I was expecting.
- Even though the main characters are well developed, I felt there were almost too many secondary characters flitting in and out of the scenes. Mostly it came down to all the different psychic women living at Blue's house. None of these ladies were as fleshed out, and I had a bit of trouble early on keeping them all straight.
- From the introduction, I guessed one of the character's big secret. It is very obvious, so when the shocking reveal occurred later, I was not at all surprised. It is not a big secret since the character tells everyone in the beginning. I know many readers will be stunend, but it is right out there in the open. I guess I wanted more of a surprise.
- There is no romance in this one. From the opening chapter with the revelation of Blue's fortune regarding the death of her true love, the reader is led to believe that a romance will ensue. This book hints at a relationship between Adam and Blue and dangles the possibility of an involvement with Gansey, but alas, there are no kisses and fluttery butterflies. The plot is set for a romantic involvement, as to who and when, that is a mystery.
Raven Boys sets the stage for what is sure to be another unique and wonderful series from Maggie Stiefvater. Her books are designed to build upon each other as they pick up the threads laid down and laced through all the books. In order to fully appreciate the magic you must read all the books in order. I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment in this series!
“Some secrets only gave themselves up to those who’d proven themselves worthy.”
“Blue had two rules: Stay away from boys, because they’re trouble, and stay away from raven boys, because they were bastards.”
“More than anything, the journal wanted. It wanted more than it could hold, more than words could describe, more than diagrams could illustrate. Longing burst from the pages, in every frantic line and every hectic sketch and every dark printed definition There was something pained and melancholy about it.”
“Sometimes, Gansey felt like his life was made up of a dozen hours that he could never forget.”
“Sleep deprivation made his life an imaginary thing, his days a ribbon floating aimlessly in water.”
“Do teenagers still get grounded? Did that only happen in the eighties?”
“Blue, I know you are not an idiot. It’s just, sometimes smart people do dumb things.”