Monday, January 7, 2013

Review: The Raven Boys

Title The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)
By Maggie Stiefvater
Genre YA Supernatural/paranormal
Pages 409
Recommended by The awsomeness that was The Scorpio Races

First Sentence It was freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrived.

Synopsis
Gansey, Adam, Roland, and Noah are friends, friends with a purpose. To find the Ley lines. Blue lives in a family of Psychics. Their paths were bound to cross, and when they do things are about to happen.



What it has going for it
I had such mixed feelings going into this one. See, I really wasn't fond of Shiver, the only book in that series I read, but I adored The Scorpio Races. So I wasn't sure what I'd think of this one. Everyone was raving about it so I decided to bite the bullet and read it. What did I think? I liked it, not loved it, liked it. Maggie had the remarkable ability to write a gorgeous, meandering story that gently unwinds revealing surprise and beauty with every turn of the page. Her characters are vivid and memorable which is impressive considering there's so many in this one. I enjoyed the fun idea behind this one and am invested in seeing where it all goes.

What's lacking
Yeah, I know it's a series of books and this is the only the first, but I was hoping for a little less build up and a little more substance. It took nearly half the book to really get going and then nothing really happened or was wrapped up. Everything was left open. In other words, it was like a 400 plus page prologue to the series. A beautiful prologue but still.

Favorite moment
When Blue was studying in her backyard and Adam came over. There's all these words they could have said but instead she just waves him over and he lays his head in her lap. It was just so sweet to me.

Yea or Nay?
Yes, I'd recommend it but just be prepared for more of a set up to the series than a complete story.

44 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean. Usually a first book in a series like this is a deal breaker for me, but Maggie gets a pass because of Scorpio Races. I really enjoyed this one and trust her with the rest of the series.

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    1. Yes, Maggie definitely gets a pass. ;-)

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  2. I totally agree, it did feel like a lot of build up and while I enjoyed the slow meandering story (nicely put!) I did feel it was a little lacking by the end. I felt like I kept waiting for something to happen, then when it did it didn't have enough space to happen fully. I am glad you enjoyed it though :)

    Cait x

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    1. Yep, we agreed completely on this one. I'll still continue on with the series, though.

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  3. I hate when you have a series and the first book is so much build up and very little story. It's just kind of frustrating to hear. I do want to read this, though, as I've heard good things...but I wish first books in series could still stand on their own.

    -Lauren

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    1. Yeah, it's a touch disappointing but I'd still give it a shot.

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  4. I think that I was just so happy with the characters and the setting that the fact that not a lot happens in the first book didn't occur to me. I liked the Shiver series, but didn't love it although I did adore the supporting characters. Raven Boys has all the beauty of Stiefvater's writing and compelling characters. I just started Scorpio Races (Fake Steph got it for my last birthday!) and I'm hopeful that I will love it as much as Raven Boys!

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  5. I love reading your reviews of books that so many people like. It helps keep the hype down for me. I've heard so many good things about this book that it's nice to have a sobering outlook as well. I know I'm usually part of the "hype" crowd, but I still like seeing what you think. It helps me think more.

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    1. Why thank you. I always get my hopes up and then am horribly disappointed so I prefer a sobering look at books sometimes.

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  6. This is the first review I've read where it was a "like" and not "love" this book. Thanks! It was good to read a different opinion.

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  7. I tried to get into one of her werewolf books and couldn't, but I'm not big on werewolves, anyway. sounds like this one isn't necessarily for me, either. Give me story or I'm not continuing, ya know?

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    1. Yeah, the were wolves books didn't do it for me either. I'd recommend The Scorpio Races for you. I think you'd like it.

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  8. Very helpful review! I'm just not feeling series as much lately. Sometimes, I just want to be able to read one book. So, I think I'll put THE SCORPIO RACES ahead of this one on my TBR list.

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    1. Oh yes, I look forward to your thoughts on it. I hope you love it.

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  9. I am not a huge fan of Stiefvater. I agree that she's writes beautifully but I always feel like her books have no purpose. They tend to meander way too much and I prefer more action. I don't think I'll bother with this one. Thanks for the great review.

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    1. Yeah, they are a little slower. You have to be in the mood.. and patient.

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  10. Most of the other reviews I've read of this book are middle-of-the-road. Not sure I am inspired to pick it up. But I still have The Scorpio Races on my TBR list, based on your review.

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    1. Oh you must read The Scorpio Races.

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  11. I loved Lament and Ballad, and liked Shiver a lot but no the next one as much and sort of started getting sick of teenage angst with absent uninterested parents so yeah...didn't finish that series. Yet, because of Ballad and Lament, I am willing to try other books. Scorpio Races is next on my list to read of her books. Ice been hemming and hawing about Raven Boys and have decided to wait...your review confirmed me waiting.

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    1. I didn't try Lament. I might some day but I'm thinking Maggie is getting to be a better writer as she goes along so reading her first books might not work for me.

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  12. What? You're supposed to *love* the book and be helplessly torn between Gansey and Adam!
    (totally kidding)
    I love your reviews because even when I don't feel the exact same way I can always see where you're coming from. It's definitely a slower book. Or the kind of thing you have to be in the mood for.

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    1. Oh there's no question. She should end up with Roland. ;-) I'm just joking I'm keeping my opinions at bay till the next book. It was slower but I did like it. I just wish it had more of a story than an intro.

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  13. Her writing is completely gorgeous but sometimes I think that makes the book move a little slower...that's why I always try to do the audio version of her books. I wasn't a huge fan of Shiver either, but I loved The Scorpio Races!

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    1. I listened to Shiver on audio and wasn't impressed. I just get impatient listening to something I can read so much faster on my own. The Scorpio Races is amazing.

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  14. I've been kinda iffy on reading this book. I read the first two books in the Shiver series and that fairy series of hers and wasn't thrilled. I think I'll have to give this one a go though.

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    1. I think she's getting better with each book. You must read The Scorpio Races and I'd recommend this one too.

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  15. I loved the atmosphere for this one so much and thought it was amazing-my favorite Stiefvater yet!

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    1. The Scorpio Races was my favorite but, yes, I think her books are getting better and better and have great atmospheres.

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  16. I had mixed feelings about this one too, but I mostly loved it. Maggie is one of my favorite authors and The Scorpio Races a life-changing read.
    Anyway, a great, well-balanced review. Love your blog! New follower. :)

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    1. The Scorpio Races was indeed life changing. So good!

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  17. This is why I am more apt to waiting to read a series until it is finished. I hate it when the first book is all build up and then you have to wait for the next one... Gerrr I am so not patient! Thanks for this review! It made me happy that I have waited on this one too;)

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    1. I don't purposely wait for entire series to be published, it's usually just an accident, but when I do start a series late and all the books have been published, is so much better.

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  18. I have a new rule that I refuse to read a series until its completely done, just so I am not sitting around and waiting for years for the solution to a series. I have plenty of other books that dont have sequels that need to be finished!

    I just subscribed to your blog and cant wait to see more updates and reviews to add to my ever growing need to read list.

    -Stacy at Longtime Lover Of Literature

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    1. I hate waiting for books too. But I loved The Scorpio Races so much and was hearing such good things about this one, I couldn't wait.

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  19. I wish I could like Maggie Steifvater...but I couldn't stand either Shiver or The Scorpio Races. Something about her writing drives me crazy! *Sigh* It's too bad because the plots of her novels always sound so amazing!

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    1. :-( I don't see anything THAT special about her writing but I loved The Scorpio Races. I'm sorry you didn't.

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  20. I couldn't agree with you more! I really liked it but not till the second half and it definitely felt like a really long prologue, but I'm really interested in seeing where this series goes cause the writing was good and I liked all the characters.

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    1. I really liked all the characters to. I'm very interested to see where it all goes.

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  21. I adored The Scorpio Races too! More than Shiver, so I was actually really excited to start The Raven Boys. I did really enjoy it, but I think you definitely do have to be prepared for it to be a series otherwise you'll be waiting for all these explanations that never come! Great review, glad you enjoyed this one. I'm looking forward to reading the next book :).

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    1. Me too. About the next one and not really liking Shiver.

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  22. I have been back and forth if I want to read this one or not. Sorry there were things that you didn't love, but if I do, I will be prepared for set up.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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    1. Yes, prepare your self. But I would recommend it.

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