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


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater // VBC ReviewThe Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)
Maggie Stiefvater
Published: Sept. 18, 2012 (Scholastic Press)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: Purchased

Reviewed by: Mary

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Blue is just a normal girl living in a small town, who is destined to kill her true love when she kisses him. This seems almost normal when you live in a house full of psychics and get to witness their daily shenanigans. Too bad Blue doesn’t have any psychic powers herself, other than giving others a supernatural boost. Because of the rather devastating prediction about her love life, Blue has resigned herself to a rather lonely, isolated, kiss-free life. Until she meets the Raven Boys, that is.

Across town, there is a group of boys who attend an elite private school. Everyone in the small town refers to them as the Raven Boys, because of their school symbol, plus it just sounds cool. The group is made up of three rich boys and their scholarshipped townie, and they happen to be doing some dissertation-level research into the magical history of the area. It wouldn’t be as interesting if they were doing research for academic purposes, so obviously they are searching for a legendary dead (but not really dead) king who grants wishes.

When they find out Blue can help with the search by making magic easier to find and with her general magical knowledge, the search party is complete and some truly weird stuff happens.

Blue is instantly drawn to Adam, the boy who works hard and has to make his own way despite some serious hardships, but grows to appreciate Gansey, the rich kid who originally came up with the plan and has developed quite an obsession with the lost king. I won’t ruin it for you, but one of my favorite things about this book is how each boy has their own reason for being involved in this quest and wanting to see it through to the end.

Though Blue is center of the book, each of the boys is such a well-developed character, you almost can’t pick a favorite. But by the end, Ronan was pretty high up in my book.

Maggie Stiefvater’s writing has a very inherent beat that keeps the pace of the story moving even when we’re getting back story instead of action. This gives her book a rhythm so smooth and steady that it is easy to get lost and spend all afternoon reading.

While this is not my favorite book by this author (are we ever going to get another Faerie book?), it was a fast paced, enjoyable start to a new series. Once you get about midway through, you can tell that there are many subplots that are going to play out in future installments.

I’m looking forward to the September release of The Dream Thieves so that I can maybe figure out just what exactly went down at the end with Adam.  Given Blue’s cursed fate, you can expect that sometime during the series some lip action and the resulting death will come into play. But, will it be Adam or Gansey?

Sexual content: Nada, which I appreciate in a YA book, but not even kissing seeing as how that is apparently lethal among young non-psychic-paranormals living in Virginia.

2 Responses to “Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle #1)”

  1. Amy M says:

    I was surprised how much I loved this book when it came out. I liked her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy when it came out, but looking back it was just ok. But this book stuck some chord for me, I can’t wait for The Dream Thieves!

    • Mary says:

      I would also recommend The Scorpio Races. I think that is my favorite of hers to date. The relationship between Sean and Kate is really great. I think Maggie Stiefvater gets better with each book!

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