Most helpful positive review
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Fabulous new series!
on 19 September 2012
There's something about a book by Maggie Stiefvater... like dark chocolate, I don't need a lot of it to find myself deeply satisfied. Her writing is really a cut above, and I simply can't blast through one of her books in a day in the same way as I can't eat a whole bar of dark chocolate in one go. I like to put it down, wander off, have a think and then come back later. Every book by Maggie seems to get better and better too, and The Raven Boys is no exception to this rule.
I particularly liked The Raven Boys because this was the first time Maggie has written in the third person, as the narrator, and she is a brilliant one at that. Anyone who has been to one of her signings will know she tells fabulous stories, and this read out like sitting with her in person listening to her tell the story... at times I felt like I could really hear her as she used some of her simply delicious adjectives.
The book centers around Blue, a young girl who lives with an entire family of psychics. She is used to weird stuff happening, and she takes what they say seriously. So when she was told that she would kill her true love when she kisses him, she made a vow not to kiss any boy, just in case. I felt pretty sorry for her about this, because there were several boys distinctly worth kissing in this book! Blue falls in with a friendship group from the nearby private school, Aglionby. She has pretty much hated the Aglionby boys her whole life, but Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah are a little bit different than the usual suspects who wear the school raven covered crest. These particular raven boys are treasure hunters, who seek a mystical line of power which supposedly runs through her town.
Blue is able to help them on their quest using a special power of her own, and she finds it exciting to spend time with the boys. She is drawn to them because she can see the real people when the Aglionby masks slip. In their quest to uncover the ley line they discover some weird stuff and it all gets a little spooky! I particularly loved the inclusion of all the ravens... they are great birds, and Ronan's pet raven was too cute.
As far as the raven boys go, I thought they were interesting and slightly mysterious characters. Gansey is the lynch pin of the group and they all orbit around him; he is the obsessive ley line hunter, and the others are along for the ride. Speaking of rides, his orange Camaro was something that made me smile a lot. I know Maggie has one, and I pictured hers... her love for it certainly came across loud & clear! Ronan is a boy with serious issues, and there isn't a lot to like about him... yet. I think he will come into his own in the future; he is the sort of boy that you might instantly dismiss as a tool, but there are chinks in his armour, and he may yet turn out to be my favorite. Adam has a complete inability to accept how awful his home life is, and he won't let his friends help him due to an inferiority complex which at times was a little irritating. That said, he is a total sweetheart. Noah... well, he was kind of a lurker, but a nice one.
I really did enjoy this, and I thought there was a fabulous moment where they all discover a real humdinger of a plot twist. I didn't give this five stars because I didn't laugh or cry, and there was no kissing to suck me in... Blue didn't feel like risking any lives this time. But as The Raven Boys is written as part of The Raven Cycle series, I feel sure there will be some point when I do all of those things and I give a five star rating out. I loved this and I can't wait for the next instalment in the adventure!