BOOK REVIEW: THE RAVEN BOYS – MAGGIE STIEFVATER

Title: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 419
Overall Rating: 4.5/5 (Exceeds Expectations)

Even if Blue hadn’t been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.

But this is the year that everything will change for Blue.

This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist.

This is the year she will fall in love.

theravenboys_coverFinally I got around to reading this book! I’d heard so much about this and the series as a whole but until recently hadn’t even picked the book up! I had a physical copy on my shelf, I’d spent some kindle credit on the e-book when it was on sale, and I’d even spent an audible credit on the audiobook!

Initially the audiobook is where I started, but I simply couldn’t get along with the narration. It felt like the narrator was trying to convey an air of mystery given the psychic setting of the book, but unfortunately for me it came across as bored. So I ditched that and instead started to actually read it for myself – much better.

Blue, our protagonist, is a shy and quiet individual at the start with strong opinions on Raven Boys and a desire to fit in with her family. They’re all seers, but Blue doesn’t have that ability – she seems to be lucky enough to work as an amplifier for the rest of them and so is warmly welcomed in any room or at any event, but she cannot see the future like they can. Understandably she is a little put out, and it comes across that she feels a little inadequate too – I assume this is the likely cause of her shyness. When she does start to come out of her shell she’s smart, funny, and really quite witty.

Our other protagonist, Gansey, is a Raven boy and could – I suppose – be the hipster of the group. He certainly has an alternative outlook on life compared to many of his peers. His family’s wealth doesn’t really bother him, and for someone so young he certainly knows how to use this for a greater good which is actually beautiful to see. Often when a character has money they are either the spoiled brat or they don’t touch it at all, Gansey on the other hand uses his fortune to help the less fortunate.

Both characters are excellent protagonists and make for great narrators each providing insight to their stories which start at such opposite ends of the spectrum. Maggie Stiefvater does a fantastic job of separating the two characters’ voices so not only are they unique, but also are incredibly lifelike and relatable. Characters is a big thing for me with books – if I don’t like the majority of a cast it’s unlikely I’ll get along with the book as a whole, but in making the characters relatable, Stiefvwater ensures the audience imagination remains captured throughout.

In terms of pace this book is pretty good. There were slower point of course, but overall this was an entertaining read. The book didn’t completely blow me away but I did really really enjoy it. And because of that I’m going to award this book 4.5/5 – I think a fair rating for a book that receives “Exceeds Expectations” on it’s O.W.L.s.

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