Thursday, January 24, 2013

Quick Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)      “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 Goodreads

I have read each and every book Maggie Stiefvater has written from Ballad to the Shiver series, and on to The Scorpio Races. I have loved each and every one. In fact I count Maggie as one of my literary influences. The bar I aspire to hit. So when I finally picked up The Raven Boys I just knew I would love it.

But than I got worried. I had trouble getting into it, but I stuck with it, and by chapter five she had me. I was hooked.  I mean come on. Anything with ghosts has me hooked.

As with the Scorpio races Stiefvater has challenged her audience with a deep YA read. Mixing Scottish legend and the lure of back room psychics proved to be a winning combination. The ensemble cast of supporting characters, in the roles of Blue's ever present  "aunts", provide vivid imagery. And than there are the Raven boys themselves. 

I admit at first I was like no, not another story of privileged kids trying to find adventure. But despite their  Rich kid origins these boys have depth, problems, and real world character flaws. The character of Adam could have easily turned into a cliche, but she gave him the wings he needed.   As always there were the non existent parent figures, and the totally lenient do what ever you want mother, that seem to populate her books. But they worked. Add in the surprising plot twists, the totally awesome character of Noah, and the lovable Blue and you have a book that in the end I had to force myself to put down. I can't wait for the rest of the series. 

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