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Lunch » Tags » Untagged » The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle) » User review

a clever take on mythology and a varied cast of characters make this one a winner

  • Oct 25, 2012
Rating:
+5
Blue's family trades in predictions that range from the non-specific to, for Blue, the very explicit warning that she will kill her first love.

That's never been a problem since Blue doesn't believe in love or much care for boys, particularly the so-called raven boys from the Anglionby school who walk around her small town like they own it.

As the only non-clairvoyant in her family, every year Blue takes down the names of souls she cannot see on the corpse road while her family watches them pass. Every year is the same.

Except this year Blue does see something.

There are only two reasons Blue would see a boy clearly enough on the corpse road to make out the Anglionby crest on his sweater; only two reasons he would tell her his name is Gansey: Blue is either his true love. Or she is going to kill him.

Gansey wears his raven boy persona easily, using his wealth and prestige to get what he wants--and needs--to search for something even his closest friends sometimes doubt is real.

Charming and determined, it's as easy for Blue to become caught up in his world as it was for Gansey's other friends: Adam, a scholarship student struggling to navigate Anglionby on his own terms; Ronin, sharp, bitter and determined to keep the world at arm's length; and Noah, the quiet observer who sees a great many things but shares very little.

As Blue and these improbable raven boys fine each other things start changing for them and their small town. Together they could unearth untold magic and power, as long as they can find it first--and control it--in The Raven Boys (2012) by Maggie Stiefvater.

The Raven Boys is the first book in the four book Raven Cycle.

With such varied characters and a sweeping story, it's hard to summarize or review a book like The Raven Boys. As she did in her Printz honor title The Scorpio Races, Stiefvater once again presents a new world with a fascinating take on mythology that is all its own.

Stiefvater creates a varied cast with characters ranging from calculating to naive, from prickly to endearing--often at the same time. With so many brilliantly dimensional characters it's hard to pick a favorite, or even a star*, in The Raven Boys as Stiefvater expertly allows each character their chance in the spotlight.

Being the first book in a series there are, of course, unanswered questions at the end of The Raven Boys along with some tantalizing hints of things to come later in the series. While the lack of resolution is frustrating at times, Stiefvater's characters and intricate writing guarantee readers will want to come back for the next installment in her Raven Cycle.

*That's a lie. Blue and Gansey are definitely my favorites of all time--I want to be Blue and befriend Gansey. Though in all fairness I really do mean it when I say all of the characters have their moments in this fantastic ensemble cast.

Possible Pairings: Frost by Marianna Baer, Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst, Clarity by Kim Harrington, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough, Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin, The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

*This book was acquired for review from the publisher at BEA 2012*

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About the reviewer

Ranked #204
Reader, writer, blogger.      I have a master's in library science and information systems and am currently searching for a librarian position.      You can … more
About this product

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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." ...
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