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

November 27, 2012 4 stars, Book Review 10 ★★★★

Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Published by Scholastic Press on 9/18/2012
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
My Reviews in this series: The Dream Thieves, Blue Lily, Lily Blue

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

“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.


Mystery, ghosts and magic! Oh My!

It was hard to know what I was really in for ahead of time with The Raven Boys. The book description made me think that a major plot point would be about Blue and Gansey. Also, whether or not he is her true love and if by kissing him it causes his death. Thankfully, there wasn’t a strong romantic vibe at all – so in that respect I think the description was a bit misleading. I’m thankful that it felt to me now like a mystery adventure story than anything else. There was a good amount is unexpecteds which I always love.

Though I enjoyed it immensely there is a slow build of the story line as well as the characters. The slow writing style I find to be Stiefvater’s signature style as I found her werewolf books to be slow reads as well. So that might put a few readers off. In fact the first probably 120 pages were a bit confusing as far as the plot goes. I didn’t know where it was going. There were a few too many things left undone in this first book for my liking. I hate it when a book feels like a precursor rather than it’s own story. That is what I’d say is the major drawback of The Raven Boys.

Now for The Boys & Girl!

Gansey: I think of him as “The Ring Leader.” a rich teenager who likes to explore, believes in the paranormal and find things. He pretty much has two personalities…one he shows everyone, and the one that only his closest friends see. He might die this year, but we just don’t know…but hey when you think about it, we all might die this year. He has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth and is always trying to solve everybody’s problems.

Adam: He is definitely “The Pretender.” This guy isn’t what he wants to be. He wants to be a real Aglionby boy but he isn’t…why? Because he isn’t rich like the rest of them. He has a lot of determination and the brains to hopefully someday get him to where he wants to be. The downside, he is totally lacking in certain facets of Common Sense! Even though he is a nice guy I find I like him the least…for two major reasons which I won’t say here.

Ronan: “The Bad Boy!” He is going to give it to you like he sees it, usually with a storm of expletives involved. His father died recently and I think this might have a lot to do with just how bad he has been lately. He skips class constantly, has a shaven head, drinks, fights like a boxer and his back is completely covered in a mural of a tatoo. Would you believe he still goes to church every Sunday? Contrary to everything naughty he seems like the most loyal guy and the type you would want as a friend because he takes care of his own. Can you tell he’s my favorite? Plus I know he is really a big softie under that harsh exterior.

Favorite quote about Ronan:

“…he mused that there was something musical about Ronan when he swore, a careful and loving precision to the way he fit the words together, a black-painted poetry.”

Noah: What can I say he is “The Shy Guy.” Noah doesn’t say much but when he does you want to listen. He seems so sweet, especially to Blue. I picture him as lanky and quite a bit rumpled. Like a much loved teddy bear that was drug through the dirt.

Blue:…she is just fabulous. That is all need be said.

I will definitely be looking forward to the next one.


Find The Raven Boys: Goodreads
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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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10 Responses to “Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater”

  1. [email protected]

    I quite like slow writing-styles if it fits the story. Sometimes it can make me feel like the story drags on, sometimes it really adds something to the sphere in the book. I’m not a fan of undone business in a book, but I think I can overlook that part. I really like the sound of the characters 🙂 Great review!
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  2. Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

    I honestly can’t make heads or tails of this book. I want to read it, but everytime I read the description I’m left scratching my head. I like Steifvater’s writing, but I HATED her Shiver series. The main characters were whiny and I just really disliked them. I’m hoping that the characters in The Raven Boys are nothing like Sam and Grace. I’m glad you enjoyed the book so much though!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

    • Pabkins

      I enjoyed her Shiver series except I thought book one was seriously tedious…it was pretty much just the daily life of two infatuated teens and slow as hell. This one is thankfully nothing like that. There was actually meat to it and buildup for the next book as well I think.
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  3. Pabkins

    I liked it well enough. The Mercy Fall series – I preferred the last one the most – the first was just “eh” it read like “a day in the lives of two lovesick teenagers”.

  4. La Coccinelle

    I read this one last year. I think my biggest complaint is that it sets up a lot of stuff but never really resolves much; in a way, it’s more like Part One of a book than a whole book itself. (I did enjoy it, though, for the most part.)

    I haven’t really decided if I’ll continue with the series. Maybe I’ll wait until the last book is out, check out some reviews, and then decide if it’s worth continuing. I don’t like investing a lot of time in a series if the last book is going to make a mess of everything and anger me as a reader.
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      I have really enjoyed the first and second book. You’re right it is just a setup but most main stream YA books that are a trilogy are all ‘setup’ books on the first. At least thats what I feel instead of writing a BOOK they write a BIG BOOK and chop it into a pie that they slowly feed us. That actually kind of ticks me off at the overall YA genre because I think that it doesn’t need to be that way. But alas it’s going to keep happening I think.

      When an author doesn’t do it – then I am seriously pleased. I don’t know if this was going to be a trilogy…I never looked into how long it was supposed to run.
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