The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 1st 2012

5 OUT OF 5 STARS

“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”

Blue lives in a family of psychics but has never seen anything particularly magical. Until she sees Gansey’s spirit on St Mark’s Eve. He’s terribly young to be dying within the year and the fact that she could see him troubles Blue even more. Her aunt believes that him appearing to her means one of two things; she’s his true love or she’s going to kill him. This is particularly problematic because Blue has always been told that when she kisses her true love, he’ll die. Despite her best efforts Blue is drawn to Gansey’s motley group and finds herself experiencing more magic in a season than she has in her entire life.

Stiefvater’s writing style is not for everyone, but I found something beautiful in it. The book leaves plenty of imagery and quotes clinging to the reader while managing to feel like it wasn’t trying desperately to be deep and quotable. So many sentences and words have stuck with me even after the book has been finished and put back on the shelf.

This story itself is packed full of mystery, magic and adventure but it all feels so plausible. Fantasy is meant, of course, to suspend disbelief, but rarely has any book done it so well. This is, in part, thanks to the fantastic character’s Stiefvater has created.

Books generally have relatable protagonists, but it’s rare that even minor characters are made to feel real. From each of Blue’s mother’s friends to teachers at Aglionby, even the characters with only one or two lines feel like they belong. The main cast feels real and fantastical at the same time, like more interesting versions of people you could know. Despite Blue clearly being the main protagonist it never feels like she overshadows the others too viciously.

The ending of this book is superb. It manages to feel like an ending, tying up a few plot lines, while leaving enough questions to make reading the next installment irresistible. It doesn’t sound like an amazing feat, but so many series seem to fail at having a satisfying ending to a novel, they either leave you feeling unsatisfied or like picking up the next book isn’t really a priority.

It was a book a read slowly, not because I wasn’t excited about what might happen next, but because the thought of it ending was unbearable.

BUY THE BOOK

Read this if you’re a fan of: The Poison Eaters

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