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Hey Epic Geeks,
I finally picked up The Raven Cycle series and let me just tell you, I’m in love. Today I’m bringing you my full review of Book #1; The Raven Boys.
“The Raven Boys” by Maggie Stiefvater is a young adult, fantasy novel. This is book one of four. Blue Sargent is raised in a house full of psychics without any psychic ability. Blue instead enhances psychic power, making everything louder. Throughout her entire life, she was warned if she kissed her true love, they would die. She gave herself two rules, 1. avoid boys, 2. Especially avoid the rich Aglionby boys (because they were jerks). When walking with her mother grabbing names of the dead, she finally sees one of the spirits … a boy named Gansey. At the diner she works at, she was drawn to Gansey and three other Raven Boys from Aglionby academy. This immediately gained her friends and new adventures in her life, even against her mother’s will.
The Raven Boys immediately drew me in, just like the Raven Boys drew Blue in. I gave this novel a five-star review without hesitation. The story, characters, and everything about it was amazing. I instantly wanted to read the next three books. There was a really nice mix of paranormal and adventure, but not too much to override the story, making it feel overdone or fake. One of my favorite parts is how each character is written. They are easily distinguishable and their own person, growing and developing. Maggie did this so smoothly even though she had a large cast of characters and switching point of view. Her writing style is definitely unique, but I loved it. I definitely recommend it and cannot wait until I finish the others!
First, I’m going to go through all of the characters and my thoughts, possible ships, etc.
Blue is basically dating Adam this whole time, but I don’t like them together. I don’t really care if she is with Gansey, which is where the whole book seems to be going, but I don’t want her with Adam. I love her cutesy friendship with Noah though! Blue’s character isn’t overwhelming like most “main” characters. She has her place and has real emotions and I loved that. She felt left out of the Raven Boys as well as her own family … she wasn’t a boy or a psychic. The fact that she was raised with psychics, I can definitely see how it’d be overwhelming to always be told you’d be great, but not seeing it herself. She’s a teenage girl with anxiety!
Gansey is definitely a jerk but usually not meaning to be. Money doesn’t fix everything, even when it can … he just doesn’t know how to word things without sounding arrogant. He has his mission and it can kind of be annoying how in love he is with the idea of Owen Glendower. He talks to anyone and everyone that shows a slight interest and really … I think it would have been safer if he kept his mouth shut. His attraction for Blue is also kind of cruel considering she’s dating his best friend and they basically are slowly falling in love. He cares much more about how she sees him than his friend’s feelings. Also. His car. Yes. Just Yes.
Noah is a ghost. I connected pretty early on that something was different with him and when Mr. Whelk had chapters in his point of view. Maggie did amazing with making sure every character is important. Noah and Gansey’s lives getting swapped? What? Seriously, that twist was great. At first, I thought the driver’s license was left from the future, until I thought about the connection to Whelk and Gansey’s story about the hornets. I love that Gansey died young and Noah died at the same time … The ley line basically swapped their energies and just boom, Gansey lives! His relationship with Blue is innocent and platonic and they get along so well. I wonder if he was drawn to her so much because she made him feel more alive.
Adam is prideful and that’s not always a good thing. His home life isn’t great but he doesn’t want Gansey to fix everything. He feels his father owns him and then Gansey would. He wants to get out on his own, making his own living. Unlike the other Aglionby boys, he’s on a scholarship. He and Blue connect in the sense that they don’t fit in the money side of the group, but sometimes, I think he let’s his pride get in the way of his safety … like running off to the ley line by himself and nearly getting killed.
Ronan. Oh Ronan. He’s a character written for everyone to hate, but I always love characters like that. When you pay attention, you can tell he cares for all of the group … especially Adam and I completely ship them together. Just yes. When he beat up Adam’s dad, I just fell into the ship harder. I hope it sails in the next few books. Also, Ronan has to have something going on with him since the trees know his name. I cannot wait to find out what!
Neeve is instantly marked as the cool aunt of the family. She allows Blue to experience more extreme psychic phenomenons. Instead of keeping it in the family or local, she is famous with books and TV. It didn’t surprise me when we found out she was there for more than she claimed. Getting possessed and keeping secrets. I especially wasn’t surprised when she betrayed the family to meet with Whelk, even though that backfired some.
Maura is the slightly overprotective mom to counteract the cool aunt. She kept a ton from Blue and then tried to say she wasn’t allowed to be near the Raven Boys when the future was becoming more clear. Psychic or not, she still had to deal with Blue disobeying and luckily she just accepted it without much arguing. She wants Blue to be happy and safe, but didn’t tell her daughter that she was looking for her father …
Calla, Persephone, and Orla were all unique in their own ways. They all loved Blue and nudged her in whatever directions they believed was right. Calla, one of Maura’s best friends, could be mischievous, sometimes mean, and funny. She was the chaotic good of the family. Persephone, Maura’s other best friend, is a strong psychic, probably stronger than the others … and she can be so quiet, sneaking up on you like she’s not there. I kind of wonder if her name Persephone is actually connected to Greek Mythology. Orla is the pretty one and flaunts it. She’s Blue’s cousin and there’s some obvious jealousy in various ways.
I don’t know where to start, so why not start at the end? They talk about sacrifices and how it’s not always death. What is going on with Adam? He went crazy in the end. He stole the car and then ended up sacrificing himself … at first, I thought he’d die, but he didn’t. Adam just went reckless over all. I know he was trying to grab the steering wheel in his life, but that was something he needed to not do alone. Now, I don’t know what’s going to happen to him. After that, he can’t just be okay. Not to mention what about Glendower? Adam had to be slightly selfish in his solo-run. He feels like he deserves it the most, even though he was one of the main issues in his own life. I wonder if there will be PTSD or something else in the upcoming books.
Then Neeve being stuck in her own mirror … I have no idea what is to come with her. Did the forest take her? Is she actually in the mirror? What’s going on?
Something I noticed and really enjoyed is how their uniforms are pretty representative in some way. Adam’s is frayed, which aside from just feeling like he’s not one of the rich kids, I feel like this is going to represent him falling apart. He is slowly unraveling until we see him at the end just jump into recklessness. Then Noah’s is always dirty from him being dead and buried. He had a smudge on his face where there was a whole on his dead body.
Now for Cabeswater. Cabeswater is so great but also creepy. I would love to experience the magical woods that make your thoughts appear to be realistic, but that can get scary quick. Think if you were afraid of woods already and stumbled into Cabeswater. It’d be a literal, deathly nightmare. I want to know more about the trees as well as see how dangerous Cabeswater can really be.
I really enjoy that the cave gave everyone a different vision, likely their future. I want to know if the end of the book is what Adam said he’d never do to Gansey … or if there’s more to come. Obviously the kiss will end up happening and hopefully they find Glendower. I really wonder how much truth those visions hold.
Speaking of Blue’s death-warranting kiss. She acts like she wants to kiss Adam, but I think part of her wishes he was her true love even though she knows he’s not. If that is true, then she’d end up killing him which is obviously not good either.
Gansey instantly gave Blue a nickname which only furthered the knowledge of him falling for her and vice versa. Jane is the nickname and even though she claimed she’d refuse answering to it, her claims didn’t last very long. PS. Anyone notice how they’re completely different in styles? Blue is all herself, ripped or cut shirts, etc where as Gansey is a super clean cut rich boy.
Gansey also seems to be super protective of Ronan and Ronan acts like it’s unwarranted. He shows up with a raven, named Chainsaw, at one point, which I just found fantastic. Then at the end, admitted he was pulled out of a dream. WHAT? I want to know more more more. The next book is called The Dream Thieves. Maybe there??
I feel like I’m missing points but talk to me in the comments below! Mark is “spoilers” though in courtesy of others. 😉
I thoroughly enjoyed “The Raven Boys” by Maggie Stiefvater. Look forward to the next three reviews because I’m sure they’ll be coming. Do you have any theories for The Raven Boys? Do you enjoy theorizing and headcanons? Talk to me down below because what’s better than fangirling?
In the mean time, keep calm and stay epic,