Friday, November 9, 2012

Review - The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, Book 1) by Maggie Steifvater (4/5 stars)

Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal
Size: 416 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: September 18, 2012
ISBN: 978-0545424929
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Raven Cycle series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 4/5 stars

I was really looking forward to a new book from Steifvater. This was an interesting book that is told from numerous POVs. It really isn’t any one character’s story but a story about a group of people. It was an intriguing read and is full of mystery.

Blue comes from a family of Clairvoyants, but she herself only makes their abilities stronger. That is until she sees the ghost of a boy named Gansey on the road in a cemetery. Blue comes to find that Gansey is one of the rich boys that goes to Aglionby, an all boys private school. Gansey is on a quest to search out ley lines and is accompanied by three other Raven boys. The five teenagers must solve a mystery of murder, ghosts, and mystical energy.

This story is told from five points of view. That of Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Wilkes. Blue, who lives with many clairvoyants, is told that the first boy she kisses will die. She has one rule and that is to never get involved with Raven boys.

Gansey is seeking out Ley lines in hopes of finding something he’s missing. His friends are all wrapped up in the mystery and death with him. Ronan is a wild and dangerous boy who has never been the same since his father died. Adam comes from an abusive and poor family and always feels like he is so much less than the other boys, he is constantly trying to prove himself. Noah is Gansey’s third friend and he is quiet and drifts in the background.

The last POV we hear from is Wilkes, he is the Latin teacher from Aglionby and has a dark secret that ends up tying in with the mystery the Raven boys and Blue get wrapped up in.

The multiple POVs work well for this story, but make it so the story belongs to all of the characters and not really any one character. The characters are all very well done, they have a lot of depth to them, and you really care about what happens to them. They are all loners in their own way, yet are drawn together by Gansey’s quest to search out the ley lines and the truth.

The plot is mostly driven by Gansey’s quest, by Blue’s predicted fate, and by the mystery behind what Wilkes did so long ago. It ends up being a mystery of ley lines, future deaths, and missing people. Some of the most interesting parts of the story are driven by how all of these somewhat flawed characters interact with each other.

The story starts a bit slow but picks up pace towards the end; almost all of Steifvater’s books are like this. The story was still engaging and interesting and I enjoyed reading it. The book is well written and the descriptions of settings are beautifully done.

Overall I enjoyed reading this story. It’s pretty much a paranormal mystery involving future deaths, missing persons, ley lines, and fate. The whole story is well put together and the characters involved are intriguing. I hope in the next book we get to dive deeper into the lives of these characters and learn more about the ley lines. Recommended to those who enjoy a character-driven paranormal mysteries. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge

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