- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Scholastic Press; First Edition edition (2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780545424929
- ISBN-13: 978-0545424929
- ASIN: 0545424925
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 3.5 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 540 g
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #116,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle) Hardcover – Sep 18 2012
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“Simultaneously complex and simple, compulsively readable, marvelously wrought. The only flaw is that this is Book 1; it may be months yet before Book 2 comes out.” - Kirkus, starred review
“. . . the book is marvelous, for not only is it filled with marvels, it is also a marvel of imagination and, more prosaically, structure. Rich, too, in characterization, this fantasy/mystery rises to the level of serious literature” - Booklist, starred review
“It’s a tour de force of characterization, and while there is no lack of event or mystery, it is the way Stiefvater’s people live in the reader’s imagination that makes this such a memorable read.” - Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The Raven Boys is an incredibly rich and unique tale, a supernatural thriller of a different flavor . . . The Raven Boys delivers." - School Library Journal, starred review
"Amid well-paced, suspenseful plotting intriguingly overlaid with history, myth, and legend, Stiefvater creates a compelling human drama of boys whose privilege or lack thereof colors all of their interactions." - Bulletin of the Center of Children's Books, starred review
"Stiefvater not only weaves a suspenseful tale of Blue’s involvement with three such boys and their quest for the grave of an ancient king, but she also does so stylishly, with sly social commentary." - The Washington Post
"Stiefvater's can't-put-it-down paranormal adventure will leave you clamoring for book 2." - Entertainment Weekly
"Patton is masterful with the suspense and the mysticism and seductively plays the emotional line of real and imagined events. Don't miss this compelling listen" - Audiofile Magazine
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Maggie Stiefvater's writing is so dark and deliciously atmospheric that I forgot that The Raven Boys was written for the YA genre and just read the book for what it was, a story about a girl and four Raven Boys. I also didn't mind when the perspective shifted between Blue, Gansey, and Adam. It gave the complicated premise a chance to grow organically, rather than have one character experience everything, leading to what I could only assume in some other YA novels as a hefty therapy bill for certain characters. Plus, the humor that Stiefvater interjected through out the book had me in stitches several times, more specifically the diner scene with Gansey offering Blue money.
Speaking of the characters, Stiefvater has a way of making each character unique and yet fit perfectly like pieces of a puzzle. Of course, I couldn't talk about characters without talking highly of Blue Sargent. With her dark, spiky hair, and less than conventional way of dressing, Stiefvater was able to represent individuality without being preachy about it. Also, to have her not have an 'active' psychic power, in the sense that her mother and housemates do, which the cast at 300 Fox Way were hilarious, was a choice I didn't necessarily appreciate at the start of the novel but totally understand at the end.
Each of the Raven Boys, Adam, Gansey, Noah, and Ronan, each had a purpose for being a main character in the narrative. Gansey was the leader, trying to keep his boys, and later in the novel Blue, safe and together. While his methods were sometimes questionable his intentions were always good and I hope Stiefvater doesn't rip my heart out by the end of the series. Ronan seems like he has some secrets to still tell. He's rough and tough on the outside but then there are moments where you see just how emotionally perceptive he is, as with his relationship with Chainsaw. Adam character was heartbreaking, both in his familiar relationship and his doomed relationship with Blue. I so hope, out of any character, that Adam gets a 'happy ending' by the end of The Raven King. And, to round out the Raven Boys, Noah. My jaw literally hit the floor during his 'reveal' like how does someone even come up with a twist like that?!
Finally, if the beautiful writing style and memorable cast of characters isn't enough to have you picking up this book, Stiefvater's ability to weave historical themes into The Raven Boys is outstanding. Once I finished the novel I ended up researching both Owain Glyndŵr and the theory of ley lines, which to me is a sign of historical concepts well used, so besides being thoroughly entertained I also learned about some things I had no knowledge of beforehand. So, thanks Maggie!
I’ve written off some authors because they obsess with describing everything with pretty metaphors that leave the plot behind. Here, the plot and characters are swept along in a river of descriptions that don’t so much use adjectives or comparisons, but exclusions – descriptions of what the character is not – or things they do or collect that define them. And most often, their actions, gestures and reactions. Because of this, her characters and places always give me a sense of movement, or in the case of Ronan, movement that could come at any moment. By far my favourite character, Ronan is a bundle of venom, poised like a sharp-clawed cat about to strike at any moment. Yet, Stiefvater also gives him the perfect amount of vulnerability and harsh truth to make him more than just the bitter character that should be detested or pitied.
Sometimes I got so wrapped up in her depictions that when I shook myself from their hypnotic power, I was afraid that I’d been carried away and missed what was going on. But nope. Everything was still clear and enticing and as the mystery deepened, I was pulled right along with it.
This is the story of Blue Sargent, a young adult with the ability to strengthen the psychic powers of the women around her, but lacking in those abilities herself. From a very young age, her fate – her curse – was revealed to her: true love’s kiss would bring the death of that person. (Sorry Disney.) Blue does not stress over this destiny until she meets Gansey’s spirit on the Corpse Road, and later meets Gansey himself, who turns out to be one of the dreaded Raven Boys of Aglionby Academy.
This is a young adult book and before I scare some of you away with the seemingly obvious sickly sweet romance plot, allow me to assure you that this is anything but the case. First of all, I really liked the maturity with which Steifvater presents the young adults in the book. The writing style is respectful of the teens Stiefvater writes about, as well as those who might be reading, while still appealing to me as an adult.
Secondly, there’s Gansey himself. He’s a young man born into generations of privilege to the point that he doesn’t understand how his offers of money to those less fortunate can be taken as deeply offensive. He has a good heart and his mind functions on a strong sense of right and wrong and of concrete evidence, even when dealing with the unknown, such as his obsession. Somewhere along the way, I equated Gansey to Bruce Wayne (sorry, Gansey) for the way he gathers those in need to him and they all look to him for command, if not support, and how he can shift into his rich boy persona to handle a situation, but his true self is the one obsessed with finding ley lines and the secret of a dead king.
Gansey and Blue are destined to meet, obviously, but I loved the way everything wrapped together. Nothing was extraneous or added to mislead. And when new elements popped up, they were shocking, culminating in a tense ending. Or rather, the beginning. This is the first in a the Raven Cycle and the end of The Raven Boys works like a fantastic door, opening onto all sorts of new mysteries that I’m really excited to find out about. But as if I needed more motivation, the very last line ensured that I will be grabbing book 2 as soon as I can.
Blue meets Gansey and his gang when they come to dine at the restaurant where she works. Blue and Gansey seem to get off on the wrong foot, and Blue does not care much at all for his superior attitude. Gansey accidentally leaves his journal behind, and Blue takes it home for safe-keeping with the intention of returning it to him. Gansey contacts Maura for a reading and, when the Raven Boys come, the psychics get very strong vibes from the boys. Maura is not willing to help Gansey and his friends find Glendower, but Blue feels compelled to do so. Will she regret her decision?
Why don't you read by yourself?
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