The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Narrator: Will Patton
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Published by Scholastic, Scholastic Audio on September 18, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 11 hours 8 minutes
When I put The Raven Boys down as a choice for My TBR List, it was the book I least expected to win, because it was the one I had heard the least about. I guess that means it was also the book I had the least interest in reading. And then the votes started coming in and y’all shocked the hell out of me. Apparently I’d been living under a rock, because The Raven Boys and Maggie Stiefvater seem to be very well known and loved by quite a few. I didn’t get it, but my voters had chosen. So I checked the audio out of the library (after a break panic because I thought I owned The Raven Boys) and listened to it. Turns out, I have some pretty smart voters. I so get why everyone voted for The Raven Boys now. Thanks guys!
“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.
It took me a little bit to really get into The Raven Boys, but I think that had a lot to do with the narrator. I almost checked The Raven Boys out as an eBook instead of an Audiobook, because the sample didn’t thrill me. But I knew if I was going to get in read on time, I’d better go audio. I’m glad I did, since I barely finished on time and Will Patton really grew on me. It just took me a bit, I think mainly because (1) I gravitate towards female narrators and (2)The Raven Boys starts off in the female perspective (the MC Blue’s POV), so a male’s narration is a little jarring to start with. But as it turns out a majority of The Raven Boys is in the male POV so I adjusted and ended enjoying the narration for the most part. Will Patton does an okay job with his voice, though the female voices took some getting used to as well.
Blue’s world did grab me pretty early on, seeing as I’m a lover of all things supernatural. The Raven Boys takes place in our world with a few people who are in the know about the supernatural – and Blue’s family are among those in the know. Everyone but Blue is a psychic with particular talents. Blue isn’t a psychic, but she’s like a human power amplifier and makes everyone’s abilities stronger. And poor Blue has known since she was a child that she would kiss her true love and her true love would die. I have to say, this prophecy is my only real disappointment with The Raven Boys, for two reasons:
- It could apply to anyone! In your typically psychic way of giving prophecies this one doesn’t reveal much. Blue will kiss her true love and he will die. It’s not specific how he will die or when he will die. Anyone else reading between the lines and thinking “Um, everyone will die someday… so couldn’t it just be that she’ll kiss him many times over their life together and then at a ripe old age of 90 he’ll die?” Apparently in this house full of psychics no one else sees it this way and poor Blue is TERRIFIED of kissing! I guess it’s likely that her mom and the rest know more details and it really is closely linked, but I found it really annoying that this huge glaring vagueness is controlling so much of Blue’s life.
- It’s not even slightly resolved!See it’s this BIG thing throughout The Raven Boys and yet, in hindsight, I realize that it’s really not even close to the point. Now that I’ve reached the end, I think it might be the point of the series… and I think that annoys me too because of point #1.
Frustration with the prophecy aside, The Raven Boys was really enjoyable. It did take me a while to latch on the RIGHT point of the book – and it took me even longer to realize that I was holding on to TWO wrong points (the other is kinda spoiler-y, so I won’t share it). The misdirection, which had me jumping at shadows, is a bit frustrating, but at the same time it kept things interesting since the ACTUAL point – a mystery surrounding the discovery and awakening of the ley lines – wasn’t the most exciting bit for me. It was good and lead to some spectacularly weird moments that I enjoyed, particularly because they let me use my ever-weakening Latin skills (though everything was translated too).
Each of the characters has such a vibrant personality and I loved getting to know them. I liked the boys and got excited as the puzzle pieces in their search started coming together. There were a few unexpected twists that I enjoyed – and though I think I figured out the moment that put The Raven Boys on Goodreads Causes of Ugly Crying list, I think I also know why it’s like #410 on that list… not many people are going to ugly cry over it. I didn’t even come close to shedding a tear. It was more of a “gasp!” moment.
All in all, I’m really glad I was introduced to this fun world and The Raven Boys – I do plan to continue with the series at some point.
Thanks for picking The Raven Boys for me! Now head over to Because Reading for the link and see how everyone enjoyed the other books you picked!