Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #1)

March 27, 2018

“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.” ― Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys

It took a bit, but it was worth it.

I’ll be honest, this was the book that I almost gave up on. Not because I didn’t find it interesting, I just couldn’t see where the plot was going until halfway through. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is a beautifully written novel that takes a bit to get into, but in the end it will blow your mind. The synopsis is as followed:

FROM GOODREADS: 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.”

When I first started getting into the story, I immediately fell in love with the characters. They are definitely the backbone of the story and if you don’t like the plot or understand it, I guarantee that you will love this collection of characters. From Blue to Gansey to Noah, Adam, and Ronan, they all offer something special to the story.

There is a shroud of mystery over everything in the book. From the character’s intentions to the magical makeup of their world. A lot of the “magic” in the story isn’t flashy or blatant like a lot of other fantasy novels. It’s more subjective and intricate. Not that there aren’t amazing displays of it as well. It took me a bit to understand how it all worked, but if you really focus on Gansey and how he thinks, it makes a lot more sense.

The main character of Blue Sargent is a fantastic character. She was the reason I stayed with the book. I love her individuality and how much she cares for her family. Blue isn’t afraid to go looking for the answers to all the questions that are bouncing around in her brain and I think that makes her an exceptional character. I feel like there are going to be some major character reveals for her in the following three books and I am very excited to see what Stiefvater does with Blue. 

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There was a singular moment in the book that really hooked me. I won’t spoil it, but it threw me for a loop. A rather big one. It was the main reason I decided to finish the book. My reading slump was getting worse and I just wanted to be done with it, and then the big plot twist dropped and I hurried to the end.

The Raven Boys is very slow at the start, but I think that’s a good thing as there are so many moving parts of the machine that need to be thoroughly explored. With so many characters and all of their individual journeys it can get a bit overwhelming which is why you shouldn’t rush through it which I am rather guilty of doing…

When I say that this book has beautiful writing, that is a major understatement. Each sentence is so carefully crafted that I easily fell in love with the way the whole book was structured and the imagery…fantastic. The world was so wonderfully built and even though it is set in reality, there are bits of these fictional places that just exude magic.

Book one has only scratched the surface of the characters, the magic, and the history of Henrietta. I think there is much more to discover in this world and while I am not currently reading The Dream Thieves which is the sequel, I want to soon. 

Overall, I give this book 4/5 starts and it would have been 3, but the last third of the book was incredible so I have to up the rating! If you enjoy books that really focus on characterization and have unusual supernatural elements then this one is for you! I hope you enjoy it and if have read please let me know what you think!

Happy Reading!

– Haley

Author: My Thoughts are a Blog

21. Blogger, Book Enthusiast, Over-thinker, Aspiring Author who hates everything she writes, and mother to Gracie & Ghost.

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