Sunday, September 30, 2012

ARC Review: The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys
Maggie Stiefvater
Young Adult/Urban Fantasy
Raven Cycle Series/Book 1
Scholastic Press/September 18, 2012

“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 knows how to set the scene.  She also knows how to write a story that pulls the reader into the world she has created, making us believe in this world and the beings who live there. The Raven Boys is that type of story.

Blue Sargent comes from a family of clairvoyants. She is surrounded by magic but without any of her own, or so it seems.  Blue's mother doesn't provide a structured environment so Blue must create her own structured life. Blue is easy to related to which in a way came as a surprise since she comes from such a unique background.  But she has many of the problems, worries and fears any teenage girl would have.  Plus a few very unique ones.

The boys are an odd collection of teens on the edge of adulthood with adult responsibilities.  At first sight they don't seem to go together except for the one commonality of all attending the same school, Aglionby Academy.  But when we get to know these boys we see how they are drawn together through their friendships.   The boys provide a interesting contrast to Blue and her less than privileged life.  But going to Aglionby Academy doesn't equal having a perfect, privileged life.  Stiefvater shows the similarities not only with the boys but with Blue and how they are all reaching for very similar goals.

The magic and mystery within The Raven Boys is both enthralling and chilling.  I loved not only the journey the kids take in discovering the mystery but the way it's all tied together at the end.  It's one of those ending where you can look back and see the clues to the questions that are finally answered in the end.  But, a word of waring, there are a few unanswered questions that will leave readers wanting more. 

Rating: A-


  1. Hmmm, I've never read this author. I tried her previous series, but didn't get into it. I would not have picked up The Raven Boys, but you're making it sound very interesting Leslie. Any idea how many books this series is going to be? Also, is it just Blue and the 4 boys? Hopefully, they don't all fall in love with her ^_^;

  2. nath ~ Stiefvater has stated she is working on the next book in the series but not how many there will be. She doesn't seem to do the never ending series.

    Blue and the 4 boys are the main characters with Blue taking the lead most of the time. No, they don't all fall in love with her. LOL