The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Published September 18th 2012
Scholastic Press –390 pages
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
“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.”
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.
It should be no surprise that Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favourite authors. The Raven Boys received a lot of buzz before the ARC release at ALA, and BEA and rightfully so, Maggie is a gifted storyteller. She has this amazing ability to reinvent herself as a writer each time she begins a new series or writes a new book. The feel of The Raven Boys is completely different from her other novels, the pacing a little slower but from the beginning you know that it will build to something great.
I loved the premise of the novel and was immediately drawn to Blue’s matter a fact way of dealing with people and the world around her. Though Blue is the main character, Gansey is really at the centre of the story and is what propels the reader forward. He is obsessed with discovering the location Welsh King Owain Glendower, believing he rests along Ley Lines…areas with paranormal activity. *I became fascinated with the idea of Ley Lines and when I finished reading the book I began to research whether ley lines can be found in Ontario…apparently there is one about 4 hours away. One day I plan to take a road trip to see if I can locate it*
As much as I loved Blue and Gansey, I have to say that Adam was my favourite character. He’s the steadfast friend, who stands behind Gansey, adores Blue but has his own painful back story. There was just something about him that I could relate to.
Beautifully written with so many wonderful surprises throughout; there were twists that I definitely did not see coming. A riveting first book in an expected series of four.