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The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys is a YA paranormal novel, and the first in The Raven Cycle, by Maggie Stiefvater.

I was impressed by the Shiver trilogy but absolutely dumbfounded by The Scorpio Races, so I had been shiverin’ me timbers for The Raven Boys.

And was NOT disappointed!!!

Blue Sargent has an eccentric family filled with psychic abilities. So far, she has manifested none – except that when she is near her family members, their abilities seem stronger or clearer.

That’s why every year Blue stands next to her mother on St. Mark’s Eve to write the names of the soon-to-be-dead that appear in an old churchyard. This year is different. Instead of her mom, Blue is standing next to her little known half-aunt.

And she actually sees one of the soon-to-be-dead. And he speaks to her.

His name is Gansey. He’s ridiculously wealthy and goes to Aglionby, a private, ritzy boy’s school that she avoids like the plague. Because of a prophecy Blue has lived with since she was little, she avoids boys in general. But especially the Raven boys, a.k.a. Aglionby boys.

Yet, the only reason she – with no powers – would see one of the soon-to-be-dead is if he were her true love… or if she killed him.

That is enough to haunt her dreams, but beyond that she is drawn to Gansey and his group of friends: combatable Ronan, quiet Noah, and scholarship student Adam. They’re on a quest to find ley lines, magic, and the unbelievable.

As she gets caught up in a chase that is undeniably entrancing, Blue is concerned that for the first time in her life that the prophecy that she’s lived with might be in danger of coming true…

This synopsis really doesn’t do The Raven Boys much justice – as it encompasses so much and this says so little. But if you’ve previously read Stiefvater’s novels, I’m sure you have an idea of how much she can pack into a story.

Blue and her family have an offbeat awesomeness, a togetherness that is distinctively nice to read. Blue has a down-to-earth personality, trying hard to be eccentric, and is easy to like.

Immediately The Raven Boys has a sense of foreboding, an eerie atmospheric tone, and a hook that grabs you and pulls you in. Adam, Ronan, Noah and Gansey are almost otherworldly – each one is either facing something dark and/or is a hypnotic enigma.

The Raven boys absorbed me. The lyrical, poetically paced prose was magnetic. At one point when I was reading The Raven Boys I was super tired, and wished that the plot was moving faster, but I regretted that moment of weakness of thought. Because the writing is one of the things I think is so special about Maggie Stiefvater, and as soon as I got some rest I knew I loved it.

This is an intimate, but determined, intrigue we’re presented with. The slow, measured build really started to pay off in the middle. The Raven Boys became truly incredible, uniquely magical, and spookily beautiful. There were shocks that stunned me, but also made so much sense in their revelation that I was gratified by them as well.

And the end… oh the end is not an end but a TEASE! I was left wanting so, so, so, SO much more! And the wonderful thing is – more is indeed coming.

We just have to wait.

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