Monday, July 11, 2016

WHAT ABOUT THE PROPHECY? | The Raven Boys Review

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: September 18, 2012
Pages: 409

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

So if you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I love romance. I really love romance in fantasy (i.e. my love for the Air Awakens series because of romance where people didn't like it for the same reason haha). While The Raven Boys aren't high fantasy, I kind of count this series as urban fantasy. All in all, I was greatly intrigued by this novel both with the characters and the general plot. Stiefvater had a very good way of leading you on with little bits of the strange rag tag team of the characters and the even stranger story. While I didn't know fully until about the second half of the story where the plot was going, I was still fully interested and invested in these characters. 

Blue has had this looming prophecy all her life that when she kisses her true love she'll be the cause of his death. Now, heteronorms aside, she doesn't kiss anyone out of precaution. I mean who wants the death of their true love on their hands right? So when she sees Gansey, everyone in her family is like, "That's him. Don't kiss him." 

Immediately I was invested in this love story. I'm even more invested by the end of the novel because they're relationship still has a ways to go from what I felt at the end of the novel. The Raven Boys was definitely an expository novel and a novel that left you feeling like there was something more. Gansey and Ronan say this line a few times near the end of the novel:

"Something is starting."

By the end of the novel that's what you feel. Or at least how I felt. I felt that there was something bigger. There was still so much more plot to be dealt with and I'm totally here for the ride. I'm under the impression that the series is ending soon (both sad, but also I can binge read and not wait years for the last novel... I'm looking at ACOMAF). I'm really curious as to how this series is going to go and how all of these threads are linking together. I read a little bit of Dream Thieves and while I'm sure it'll go in a completely different direction, I'm certain that it's going to tie back in the end of the novel or in another novel somehow. I don't know, but I'm really into it. I'm also roped into the series by the fact that the prophecy doesn't come to fruition in the end of The Raven Boys. Blue still has to deal with that part of her life and mostly I'm in it to see how the prophecy comes full circle (very Harry Potter like). Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, I want to feel my heart ripped out with this prophecy because I want to see how this relationship develops and how it affects the cast.

What this novel lacks in fast action like I've seen a lot of lately it gains in characterization. I got such a good, but not whole, sense of these characters that I wanted to learn alongside them and continue on with their stories. I want to know how each of their stories will end. I think my favorite part of this novel is that while Blue is supposed to be the main character and protagonist of this story, it doesn't feel like it in the end. It feels like we've also gained The Raven Boys as players in this story as well not just to complement or to run alongside Blue, but to also tell their own stories. It turned from a single main character to an ensemble and that's what I really enjoyed. 

If you're into stories with slower pacing and more exposition, then I recommend this book. This book especially reminded me of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series because she does really well with a slower pace and more exposition. Though if you pick up The Raven Boys be prepared to be roped into a series because there's no way you can stop with just the first book.