Monday, October 3, 2016

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

Rating: 4 Stars

I'm glad that all of the books in this series have been published by the time I got around to reading them. If I had to wait a year or more after the cliffhanger I just read, I might well have gone out of my mind.

This book doesn't have a lot of action in it, exactly, so a lot of the drive in the novel comes from the characters and they're fairly distinct. I liked Blue, the non-psychic in a family of psychics, and the thing I liked best was that she wasn't bitter about not having the same powers as her mother or aunts. Sure she wished she had something more interesting that being a human energy booster, but in another novel she might well have devolved into a whiny brat that would've ruined the book.

Gansey, the main male lead of the book, was an interesting boy. He has weird ideas about money and the world, which we're able to get a realistic look at through Adam's eyes, but his family is a tad weird. I get that they're rich and all, but they really don't care that he's been running around the world looking for a lost king? Seems a bit off to me, but maybe it'll come up in a forthcoming book?

Ronan got a rough intro here and I think I'll find out a lot more about him in the next book, The Dream Thieves, which seems to be a lot more about his background and about certain things that were revealed about him in this book. He has a lot of rough edges that, while they came in handy at certain points, were again a bit ragged.

Adam had a rough deal. We got a lot of answers as to his backstory, which were just sad, and then the ending made things quite murky for him. I feel like he was the character that I could look up to the most. He wanted to be able to change his situation on his own terms, doing whatever it took, even if that meant working three jobs and getting next to no sleep so that he could study and be the top study at Aglionby Academy (how do you pronounce that, by the way?).

Noah...oh boy, Noah. If Adam was the character that I could look up to the most, then Noah was the one I empathized for the most. There was a lot of stuff going on in his corner that could at best be described as tragic and, while he's still around going into The Dream Thieves, I can't help but wonder how well things will end up before the series is finished. Nothing good lasts forever.

As for the plot...

I felt like there was a lot that was alluded to in the summary that might have gotten resolved on the surface, but you can sense that it wasn't really resolved. There's a whole multifaceted craziness going on that left me feeling a bit on edge because I could tell that something was still going on and I didn't know what it was. Hopefully I'll find out soon and, like I said before, luckily I can sooner rather than later because all three remaining books have been published! :D

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