Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review: The Raven Boys

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Source: Purchased.


“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.


This one would have been five stars if it weren't for the ending! It's kind of a shame. I was so into this one and then the ending really threw me for a loop. No spoilers, but it was not at all what I expected and I still don't actually know what happened. I'm very glad I have the sequel right beside me, so I can hopefully figure things out!

I didn't have an immediate connection with the characters, but by the end, I found myself caring about all of them. Well, except Neeve, who gave me the creeps. But all of the boys and Blue for sure. The boys are all different and I feel like each one was his own cautionary tale, showing the effects of traits like pride, obsession, recklessness and following blindly. Of the boys, I think Gansey ended up being my favourite, although there were aspects of all of them that I loved. Blue herself was probably the main character I had the least connection with. I did care about her, but I just felt she could be a touch blah. I hope to get to know her better in the sequel.

I fell in love with the world of Henrietta. I loved Blue's family, especially Calla and her snarky attitude. I also loved the creepy vibe Maggie Stiefvater was able to invoke. Probably not the best book to read alone in the dark. It's not scary in a goes-bump-in-night-jump-out-and-grab-you way, but in a more subtle way that still managed to send a few chills up my spine.

As I mentioned, the one thing that knocked this one down from 5 stars to only 4 was the ending. To give you a non-spoiler explanation, while I was reading, I realized I only had 18 pages felt. It felt like there was so much left to happen that I was sure it was going to end in a huge cliffhanger. But it didn't. It just sort of ended and then had a final chapter that felt like an epilogue. It left me a bit disappointed, although I'm hoping to find out what actually happened in The Dream Thieves, which I'll be starting next.

This one is worth the read for the atmosphere alone. I know some people found it a bit slow, but that didn't bother me at all. As I said, I'm excited to start on the sequel and I'm hoping to get all my answers from the ending answered shortly!

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Also, I'm super excited to be going to meet Maggie this week! Fellow bloggers Ambur and Lisa will be coming down as well, which is awesome, since I haven't seen either of them lately! Watch for my signing recap on Sunday! 


  1. I'm glad that you really liked this one despite the ending--I never finished this book because it was so hard to get through. Though I intend to pick it up again some other day!

    Lovely review, Megan! <33

  2. I have heard the ending is a killer, I really need to meet the boys. Wonderful review, and I hope book two gives you answers.

  3. I have to agree, this one was incredibly atmospheric. I loved that too. I think I liked the characters more than you did (at least initially) and Gansey was my favourite too. There's something about his arrogance and conviction that's so appealing to me. I also agree that the ending was a little confusing.

    I enjoyed The Dream Thieves even more than The Raven Boys so I'm curious to see what you think of the sequel.

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

  4. You're not the only one I know who felt this way about the ending (and actually, I think people also thought The Dream Thieves ending was a bit anticlimactic, as well). So that's good to know going into it so I won't get my hopes up. I really just cannot wait to read this one! I mean, The Scorpio Races was just amazing (and highly recommended to a fellow horse lover) - it also had great characters and was very atmospheric. Slow pacing there, too, but I didn't care because the writing was just so mesmerizing. Your review makes me want to get to this one right away!!

  5. I've had this on my shelves for AGES and still haven't read it! I even saw Maggie a few weeks ago. I just didn't mention I hadn't actually read it yet... I'm prepared for the slower pace, that's kind of Maggie's style. I'm glad I can read the first two back to back (once I finally pick them up).

  6. Ohh, what a shame that the ending spoiled it for you. -1 star is heavy! I'm still interested to read this book, because I hear everyone taking about it and I feel like an outsider :p