The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle 1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by Scholastic Press
4 Stars (Maybe 4.5)
format: Audiobook (also available in paperback and ebook buy yours here)
Oh Maggie – you’ve done it again! You’ve taken a genre that is filled with cheese, clichés and fluff and turned it into a credible, enjoyable book.
The Raven Boys is the story of Blue, a girl born into a psychic family (all women) who has a rare ability. Blue helps enhance other’s powers, she’s an antenna for her family, but never gets to experience the psychic side of life.
Blue has been told for as long as she can remember that she will kill her first true love with a kiss. Not a great legacy to have.
Blue then meets a spirit, Gansey. But fear not, this is not a ghost story (not really, although ghosts are there too1), Gansey’s not dead yet, but his spirit appearing to blue means that not only will be dead within the year, but because she’s seen him, it means she is either his soul mate or the one who killed him (or both….).
Gansey is a Raven boy, named after the logo on their school blazers, Raven boys are the elite, not the sort of boys Blue mixes with. Gansey and his friends (Adam, Ronan and Noah) are on a paranormal hunt of their own for ley lines (power lines – it’s all very complicated!) and of course the boys’ path crosses Blues’ and she gets involved.
The fact that the story is so complicated, yet so clear is a credit to Maggie’s writing. She weaves the arcs together seamlessly, drawing the reader into the hunt for the ley lines, allowing them to become invested in the outcome.
The characters are brilliantly deep, Blue is a warm, kind girl with little to dislike, yet the Raven Boys are much more complex with pasts that control their presents and their relations, and they mould with Blue so well, that she fits into the search like she’d always been there.
I cannot praise the book enough, although the book is about magic and mystery it’s believable, the plot is steeped in history that gives it weight. Why only four stars then? One reason really and that was to do with the ending (so will have to be careful about spoilers), normally Maggie leaves you breathless, but this time I felt a little let down. The Raven Boys is not bad, its great but it isn’t shiver either.