Sunday, 20 January 2013

Mad Musings On: 'The Raven Boys' by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)
“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.

Slightly Spoilerish!!
 Let me get this out of the way first of all..... I absolutely adore Maggie Stiefvater's books!  Her Linger series was one of my Favourite Finds of 2011, which I ranked right up there with Twilight (that's high praise coming from me) and, shockingly to me, I worshiped The Scorpio Races even more!  So, to say I was anticipating reading The Raven Boys, might be a bit of an understatement.   The fact that I had to wait till after Christmas to read this (because of a no-buying-for-yourself-after-November rule) was driving me nutso....  Was it worth the wait?

YES!  And no.....

I didn't absolutely love it as much as the previous books, but I did still like it a lot.  It was really different than I was expecting it to be (that's a good thing).  I didn't even read what the book was about, only what a few reviewers were saying about it.  I was expecting the boys to be some supernatural type of creature that involved a raven, and there would be a girl, and a love story (or the start of one).  So imagine my surprise when the Raven Boys turned out to be....just regular boys!  From a private school.....  

This is the story of a girl from an unusual family of psychics, who meets a group of boys from Aglionby Academy - of which the school symbol is a raven, thus the 'Raven Boys'.  The boys have a very strong connection to each other, and the leader, Gainsey, has a pretty strange passion.  Our girl, Blue, has been told that the first boy she loves, and kisses, will die.   We are led to believe that it'll be Gainsy, but she seems to develop an attraction to someone else, too.   And, of course, we have to wait for the next book to find out what all the 'kissing and dying' is all about *sigh*  Such build up of a major plot point that isn't resolved..... No kissing, not sure which boy it'll be + one of them has a potentially deadly allergy.... and nothing comes of that either..... yet....

However, the pleasure in this story comes from all the surprises - learning about this unlikely group of friends, and Blue and her family.  The story turned into not one of boy-meets-girl, girl-meets-another-boy= love-triangle.   Rather this is a story about friendship, and the bonds that keep them all together.   There is also a mystery to solve.... and that's where the bit of paranormalcy comes into the story, and sets things up very nicely for a sequel.   There are a few shocking twists thrown in as well.  So will Gainsey and Blue and the boys succeed in their quest?  We must wait to find out.......   

Meanwhile, note to self, look up what the ancient King Glendower legends are all about.....

****1/2 Stars

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