The Raven Boys || Maggie Stiefvater

Saturday, 12 August 2017

I finally gave in to the hype surrounding The Raven Cycle Quartet by Maggie Stiefvater and purchased the series. At the beginning of the month, the first book was picked up and I delved into the word of Blue Sargent and the Raven Boys.

When I picked this series up, all I knew was that the main character, Blue, came from a family of psychics and that she had been told throughout her life that when she kissed her true love, he would die. Such a cheerful read already, right? It gets weirder. I also knew that the Raven Boys (which the book is named after) are on a hunt to find a legendary noble called Glendower who has been missing for thousands of years and are on a mission to wake him up. Physics and legends? Where do I sign?

The first thing that I will mention is that this book had a lot of links to Sanctuary for me. If you're unfamiliar with Sanctuary, it was a Syfy TV show starring Amanda Tapping; it follows a 176-year-old Victorian doctor in modern-day Old City, (*cough*Vancouver*cough*), who is on a mission to protect the Abnormals (creatures/people with supernatural and unexplained abilities) of the world. This book reminded me a lot of that series if only for the names dropped into this book. Helen, Ashley and Declan were dropped. Ashley and Declan were actually in a relationship in the book which made me ridiculously happy because I ship their characters beyond reasoning in the TV series even though they never shared a scene. Yup, you read that correctly. So when I read that two characters called Declan and Ashley were in a relationship...

If I could've kissed Maggie Stiefvater, I would've. 

Also, the character of Helen could fly helicopters (and miraculously not crash them) and honestly, she was just as sassy as Helen Magnus. And there was a crap tonne of Latin strewn throughout the book. Bhalasaam, anyone? This book made me think that Maggie Stiefvater was either a fan of Sanctuary or was aware of it as she wrote this series. Whenever I write stories, I always use the names of some of my favourite characters from TV. I wonder if Maggie Stiefvater did the same thing...

Okay, back to the actual book.

Aside from adoring the names of the characters, I loved the characters themselves. I loved them all. Usually, there are characters that I simply don't care much for, but I adored them all. Okay, I will admit that I hated Whelk. His storyline killed my attention for the majority of the book until his role started to really make sense. That's when he became interesting.

I do have a soft spot for Ronan. Everybody loves a bad boy, right?

Sanctuary again, sorry. I'm really not sorry.

What I loved the most about this book was the writing. I found it very easy to get into and to stay interested in. The writing flowed beautifully and that's what I constantly look for in writing. If it doesn't flow smoothly then it detracts from my enjoyment of it. The writing also made me believe in the characters and their authenticity in the way that they spoke and interacted. Everything felt organic and unforced and didn't move with haste. The Raven Boys themselves felt like typical private school characters; the rich philanthropist, the thug that doesn't want to do anything but has a heart of gold, the poor kid that breaks his back to pay for his tuition with a shit home life, and lastly, the quiet one. 

The plot of the book itself was intriguing and very captivating. From the first page to the very last, I was hooked to the plot. I was surprised by a number of the twists and turns in the plot. There were things that I didn't expect and when the fantastical aspect started to come into play, I was onboard and I had my seat-belt buckled for the ride. 

The only downside that I can find to this novel is that it felt very much like a staging book. By that, I mean that this book gave the reader all of the information that they needed in order to set up the rest of the series. When I look back on The Raven Boys, I don't feel like a lot actually happened. Yes, the plot was fantastic and I loved it, but for me, there didn't seem to be a lot going on, it felt like it had a lot of exposition. There were probably three instances where my interest was truly piqued and that made me want to read on and on and on past my bed-time. 

Nevertheless, this was a very strong first book to a series and I can only imagine where it goes from here. I cannot wait to continue on onto the rest of the books. I wonder how many more Sanctuary references I can create with the characters. It's a gift that I have. I regret nothing.

Let me know what your thoughts are on The Raven Boys if you have read it. 

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