Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Jacque's Review:

The Raven Boys is the first book in a planned four book series.  I really enjoyed all of the characters, but there was something missing.  Perhaps it was the third person narration, but I'm not really sure that was the problem because I enjoyed hearing the story from the different characters' perspectives.  I just never felt a true connection to the characters or the story until the last quarter of the book.

The first 270 out of 408 pages were very slow for me.  We learn about Blue, a high school girl, and her relatives who are all psychics.  We learn about "the raven boys" (Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah) personal histories.  They are all from privileged families with one exception, but they are all attending a prestigious boarding school in Blue's hometown of Henrietta.

Gansey recruited all of his friends to help him explore the "ley line".  He has conducted research around the world and has come to the realization that Henrietta has the most powerful ley line and Glendower, his ultimate quest, may be buried here.  He just needs to find out where.  Their investigation breaks wide open once they meet Blue.  The closer they get to finding the ley line the more dangerous things become.  They make an unusual discovery, which directly impacts their circle of friends.  Once this discovery was made, I really started to enjoy the book.  I just wish we were given this piece of information sooner.  It shed light on many of the events that happened earlier in the book.  I actually went back and reread several sections to better appreciate and understand them.

I am anxious to see what happens in the second book.  Now that we are past all of the history and build up that was required for this story, the next book should pick up where this one left off.  There was a lot of excitement and energy the last quarter of this book, which I hope Stiefvater will be able to build upon.

Teri's Review

I was able to read part of this book on a blog tour. Unfortunately somethings happened at work and I was unable to finish it before having to send it on its way to the next person. I have been waiting patiently ever since to get my hands back on it .

I was instantly drawn into the beginning. Blue seeing Gansey on the corpse road, knowing he will die within 12 months, wondering if she will be the cause of it. What is not to love right? And the whole St Mark's day background was fascinating to me. We get to meet Gansey a bit later, along with Adam, Ronan and Noah. Tho I found all these characters interesting to some degree I found the character building and the story building a bit slow in the middle, and at sometimes confusing. Thank goodness I have a Scot/Irish husband who has a fondness for Celtic Mythology and was able to help me understand the ley lines in more simple terms.

The characters are good, even if a bit strange. A few that stood out to me were Persephone. She reminded me of Luna Lovegood of Harry Potter. Maybe it was her odd ways, or her mass of blonde hair, but everytime she spoke in the book, I heard it in Luna's soft spoken childish voice. Maybe that is why I loved her so. I admired Adam and his determination . A poor boy trying to make it in a rich boy world. I did at times, however find myself telling him to stop being so full of pride and just take Gansey up on his offer. Ronan did little for me, maybe his purpose in the story will be clearer in future books. I just sort of found him strange and weird. I loved Noah, and how Stiefvater composed his character. You really pay him no attention until a bit later in the book, but she ties him in amazingly . Maybe the star of the book is suppose to be Blue, but for me it was all Gansey. From the moment she sees him on the Corpse Road, seemingly confused and defeated I was hooked. I loved all about him, his need for knowledge, his constant journal keeping, his quest, his description of his apartment, his polo and boat shoes and even his junky Camero.
Despite the slow middle, the book really picks up about 250 pages in...about the time my Nook needed to charge ..naturally. It ends on a good note. You could totally walk away and leave it, but nope not me. I can't wait to see if Gansey finds his grail.

1 comment :

  1. I have this book but for some reason I keep brushing it aside to read other books. My friends have all loved it so I need to get to it soon.

    At least I know I have to stick it out if it feels a little slow to me.