As much as I hate saying it, reading the first of Maggie Stiefvater’s new series, The Raven Boys, wasn’t the most exciting of reading experiences I’ve ever had. Maggie is a very talented writer and I loved her book, The Scorpio Races, which was so beautifully written that it let me breathless and wanting more.
And no doubt, there were parts in The Raven Boys that was just as beautifully written, if not more. But in the end something was just…missing. The Raven Boys fell short and I think it’s because…well it was all too poetic (if that’s even the right word to use) for a book about a group of rich popular boys and a strange girl named Blue trying to find a legendary sleeping king amidst magic and a psycho teacher.
Hard to explain but it makes sense in my head.
“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.
A lot of you will probably disagree with me since it seems like this book won a lot of people over, but I felt like I was just breezing through the book the entire time without really grasping or relating to any of the characters. Or caring about their problems. None of the characters really stood out or captured my heart the way I think they were supposed to. Is Gansey really our main lead (aside from Blue)? It certainly didn’t feel like it. In fact, if I had to be drawn to any character, it would probably have to be Adam—and even after I closed the book, he was easily forgotten.
Maybe I’m just too simple minded but it felt like the author was trying too hard to be deep with her characters. But I guess that’s what it was supposed to be. A book about a group of troubled teenagers who discover something miraculous together while discovering themselves…
In the end, the writing style for this particular story just didn’t suit me well despite the fact that Maggie Stiefvater is a great writer. The story of Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah didn’t really keep (or put) me on my toes as I had first expected when I read the book summary. The Raven Boys fell flat. Literally. It was all very slow, depressing, grey and odd (even stranger than its book trailer).
The romance wasn’t really there and the climax? Not as riveting as I had expected. I had hoped for more from The Raven Boys but will certainly not be discouraged. Maggie is truly a great writer and I don’t doubt at all that she will transform this story into something truly wonderful that even I will probably end up kicking myself one day for writing this review.
Check out The Raven Boys from Maggie Stiefvater to see if it’s your cup of tea!
Photo: Photo as seen on VisualUs