The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, Book 1)
by Maggie Stiefvater
by Maggie Stiefvater
Publication date: 18 September 2012 by Scholastic Press
Category: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Keywords: Psychics, legends, love, death
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Source: e-ARC received from Netgalley, also purchased hardcover
“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.”
Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
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.
Mysticism and reality blur together as Blue is inexorably drawn into a flock of Raven Boys, rich kids from the local prep school. All of her short life she's known to stay away from them--they are troublesome and self-involved, entitled little bastards. She meets Gansey and his boys who seem no different at first glance, but there is more to them than meets the eye. They are drawn together by Gansey's interest in the ley line that runs through their town, and the mythical king they hope is buried there. Unlike the rest of her family members, Blue can only amplify, but not wield a psychic's skills; to the boys she is like a generator and a beacon all in one. The allure of the unknown and the forgotten allows Blue a taste of what she has been missing.
I stopped caring what the novel was about less than a quarter of the way through the book. I lost myself in the river of words and let the Raven Boys sweep me away from the coach-class airplane cabin I was sitting in, into a warm haze of fast cars, hot tempers, and wild magic. I can see where some readers might have complaints: everyone's overeducated, too-cool-for-school, white, and forking out wads of money along with their ten-dollar words and Latin--Latin! Spoken by a supernatural arbor, no less. Unbelievable is an understatement.
What I did care about was the characters: Adam and his pride, refusing to take handouts from Gansey. Gansey, who seems genuinely unaware of the value of money, but very aware of the value of life. There's angry, damaged Ronan and the waifish, smudgy Noah. There's Blue and the impending heartbreak of losing someone she doesn't even love yet. Don't even get me started with Blue's aunts and cousins. I hope someone buys the film rights and makes one hell of an ensemble-driven movie.
What is it about, really? I can't even say. Faith and uncertainty, power and money, hurt and healing, life and death? The Raven Boys is about all these things, and nothing at the same time. All I know is that I couldn't put it down, and that when I was finished, I couldn't let it go.
*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book. (I also purchased a hardcover copy.)