Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


The Raven Boys
by Maggie Stiefvater (Author),
Will Patton (Narrator)
Audio Play-a-Way, Unabridged
Published September 18th 2012 by Scholastic Audio Books
Length: 11 hours


“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.


I was interested in reading The Raven Boys mainly because it got such high ratings upon and even before its release. Another determining factor was because Maggie Stiefvater has been on my reading radar for quite some time now. I have both Shiver and Linger in hardback collecting dust on my bookshelf. I’m ashamed to say the only motivating factor for actually getting around to The Raven Boys was the fact that my local library had it in audiobook on playaway. I listened to it during my solo daytime working hours.

The Raven Boys tells a magical journey of a group of privileged teenage boys on a quest to find the age old genie in a bottle. Rather the bottle is energy ley line and the tale is much darker. From another angle, there’s Blue. She’s an “almost” normal girl from a family of psychics. Growing up among, oracles, Blue’s future is no secret. For as long as she can remember, she’s been warned of the bad omen looming over here future love life. When the raven boy’s and Blue’s path collide, they embark on a wondrous suspenseful journey to find what lies at the end of the ley lines.

There’s a plethora of suspense and mystery in The Raven Boys. The romance was downplayed, so that’s a plus for those who don’t like a dominating love story. The action comes toward the end of the novel. The characters were a colorful lot of mixed personalities. Ronan had a very short temper and downright mean. I understand that there’s more under the surface to his actions, yet he was a major turn off. I loved Blue. She was sassy and definitely held her own. Gansey was interesting enough also. Definitely a great pick for the ring leader. Noah was a sweetheart. Adam was disturbing and the story revealed enough for the reader to sympathize with his situation.

Overall The Raven Boys was an interesting and original story. I’m shocked to say that it fell rather low on my reading-enjoyment meter. Will Patton has a very theatrical and spooky voice. His renditions of the male characters were right on, but he sort of failed on his female portrayals. There wasn’t enough of a tone difference. Also overall, at times he neglected to use inflection and it sounded a lot like a Tear Eyes eye drop commercial. Audio books usually add a star or two to novels I wouldn’t normally have the attention span and patience to sit and read through. With this one I found myself needing a break from time to time.

While I didn’t particularly rave over this title, I encourage readers to still check it out. I have high hopes that the sequel will be far more action packed; and I’m interested in seeing what happens next via the physical novel. 


3 comments:

  1. I'm a fan of Maggie's work, but I never listened to one of her audio books. Thanks for the inside scoop on this one, Katrina.

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  2. I think it has something to do with the pacing? I enjoyed this but some people weren't big fans because hey felt its slow. It's different from YA where things move fast, this one is more languid. Similar to literary fiction book

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  3. For me, this book is one of my very favorites of 2013. The writer has magic in her words and in her ability to create characters that fascinated me. I loved this book and hate having to wait till September for the second book.

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