Sara’s Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterRelease Date: September 18, 2012
Title: The Raven Boys
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 408
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Publisher Provided
Available: Barnes and Noble
From the Publisher: “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
5 Stars

The Raven Boys was another one of those BEA Grabs that alot of people were excited for. And if I’m perfectly honest, I wasn’t one of them. Too much of the plot sounded like it would be just another paranormal romantic triangle of a young adult book. I was wrong. This is a book that left me hungry. Not hungry in the sense of The Hunger Games, where the books just described eons of delicious food that I wished I could eat, or hungry in the sense of Darkest Minds, where I was hungry in a painful wanting way, but hungry in a that was an awesome ending and why do I have to wait so long for the next book to come out way, without a horrible cliff hanger ending (yes you read correctly, this book is so good it doesn’t need to trick you into wanting to read the next book in the series).

This is a book that’s a paranormal thriller mixed with mystery, awesome  and a tiny almost nonexistent amount of romance. On top of that its superbly written. The writing is one of those things that sucked me right in –  like I said, I was skeptical when I picked it up, but after the prologue I decided I liked it, and after the first chapter I knew I wanted to write a review for it.

It opens with Blue and her aunt in the gravyard for St. Marks Eve, when non psychic Blue sees  a spirit for the first time. Her aunt tells her the only way she would see a Spirit is if he was either her true love or if she killed him. Which for Blue is one and the same. Shortly after, we meet Gansey –  the boy Blue sees in the  graveyard –  and a few of his friends, all who go to the  same prep school: Adam, Ronan and Noah.

Gansey appears to be everything Blue normally trys to avoid. Rich, great family, good lucks. But he is so much more than he appears. Gansey has a gift for finding things, and he is looking for a sleeping king from Wales, one who can grant a favor to anyone who finds him. The sleeping king is said to be on the ley line, a line of power that criss cross across the road. Of course, the Raven Boys aren’t the only ones seeking the ley line.

What the Raven Boys did well. The writing, the writing, the writing, the writing. I’m not sure if I can say this enough.  Maggie does an amazing job of setting the tone, maintaining the pace, and mixing in just the right amount of mystery and suspense. There are three mysteries, two obvious ones and one that will probably blow your mind. The plot is original and interesting. The characters are unique and compelling, like you would want them to either be your friends, you would be scared of them, or just want to hang out. Even the “bad” characters, you understand where they are coming from, even if you couldn’t see yourself making the same decisions.

The only complaints I have are sometimes the narrative can be a little hard to follow. There are alot of characters that you get introduced to very quickly, and it can be hard to keep track of who is who, and who is related to who in the very beginning. Also, there are a few details that are casually dropped that are really important but could be easily missed or buried in the amount of information in the book. Although, that is just one small thing in a really good story.

Who I think should read this book: If you enjoy young adult fantasy I think you would like this book. If you like mysteries you would like this book.

Who wouldn’t like this book: If you don’t like mysteries, or don’t like reading books where you really need to read the prose to understand what’s going on. If you’re looking for something light and fun (like your typical first person urban fantasy novel).

Mandi Kaye 8/19/2012

Yay for your first review over here! :)

I’ve yet to enjoy anything I’ve read by Maggie Stiefvater, but your review makes me want to read this one. Luckily, I happen to have an ARC of this I picked up at BEA so I just might get to (assuming I ever find the time!).

EEP! I am SO EXCITED to start this book this week. It’s a must-read for me as I love Maggie and her writing, and I’m glad to hear that it wow-ed you!

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The majority of the books I review are obtained as advanced copies via Net Galley or Edelweiss, through ARC tours, or they are finished books I have purchased myself.

If you are an author or publisher and would like me to review your book, please read my review policy and contact me.

Each review will contain affiliate links to various booksellers for that book. If you choose to purchase the book through those link, I will be compensated.

~Mandi Kaye Ottaway

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