Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
“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.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)(Source: I won a hardback copy of this book. Thanks to Sandra at Waiting for Wentworth.)
16-year-old Blue’s future love life does not look good, mainly because every psychic that has ever come across her has told her that if she kisses her true love, she will kill him.
Standing at a church on St Mark’s Day with her aunt, waiting for the spirits of the soon-to-be-dead to walk past, she sees a spirit – which is unusual for Blue, as she is not psychic. The spirit tells her that his name is Gansey, and then disappears.

When Blue later meets Gansey, she discovers that he is a high school student investigating ley-lines, and is trying to re-open them around the area where Blue lives. Blue decides to help him and become part of his team, but she’s not prepared for what they are about to discover.
What is the secret of the ley-lines? How do they open these magical pathways? And what is Gansey’s end goal?

This was a very strange story, and the pacing seemed very slow.

Having read this I’m wondering if I’ve missed some intricacies to the plot or something, or maybe we’ll get more explanation in the next book, because for a 409 page book, not a lot really happened.

Blue seemed like a fairly normal girl, other than her name and the fact that she lived with a bunch of psychics. Blue wasn’t a psychic herself, but instead had a gift that allowed her to magnify power somehow, making her a very useful tool for both her psychic relations, and spirits.
Blue was pretty down to earth all things considered, and didn’t immediately fall all over herself to help Gansey and his crew. She didn’t whine, she wasn’t always seeking attention, and she didn’t think that everything was about her either. She generally just tried to help, and knew her own limits which was nice to see.
Gansey on the other hand was absolutely obsessed with these ‘ley-lines’ and seeming would let very little get in his way of opening them, and allowing them to lead him to this legendary king that he was so sure he was supposed to find and awaken.

The storyline in this book was quite odd. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything like this. I have to say that I found the whole thing very strange, especially in the beginning, and I’m really not sure what else to expect from this series. Basically, Gansey is trying to open these magical ley-lines, to find this legendary king, and awaken him. Fair enough, but I’m not sure how this is going to take so many books. Having read over 400 pages of this one, I can’t really say that that much has happened. The pacing just feels really slow, and I really expected us to have discovered more than we have in this first book. It’s been a while since I read a book by this author so I can’t remember if her other books were this slow (I think they might have been), but the pacing in this just made me feel that nothing was happening which was really frustrating.
Otherwise the plot was okay, but I thought more could have been made of Blue’s prophecy that she would kill her true love with a kiss. We did find out very early on that Gansey might be Blue’s true love, but very little happens with regard to this, and so we are very much left hanging on this front.
I thought the ending to this book was okay, but again, I feel like so little happened in this book, that it was more like reading part 1 of a book rather than book 1 of a series.
Having finished this I’d say that it’s okay, but I’d be pushed to say more than that. I have very lukewarm feelings towards the sequel, because although I want to know what happens, it seems like a lot of effort for little reward.
Overall; an okay YA fantasy, with a very slow pace.
6.75 out of 10.


  1. I'm giving it a pass. So much to read and so little time.

  2. It was strange and it was slow. I had a hard time finishing it. Not my cup of tea