Thursday, January 16, 2020

Audio Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Audio
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”  It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.  Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.  His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is 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 has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, 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 never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore."

Blue lives in a small Virginia town and is the daughter of the town psychic.  She's been told her whole life that if she kisses her true love, he will die.  Pretty ominous, right? Blue isn't a psychic like her mother, but when she is nearby her, she helps to strengthen her powers.  As legend would have it, on the night of St. Mark's Eve, you will see a spirit for two reasons: either you're his true love or you killed him.  She is in the graveyard with her mother on that very night and she sees a ghost who speaks to her and she realizes that he is a boy, Gansey, who goes to the private school in town.  Normally Blue stays far away from these guys (The Raven Boys), but can she make an exception this time? Once she meets Gansey in person, she can't help but be drawn to him.  But Gansey isn't your average Raven Boy. He is on a quest with his friends that involves an ancient Welsh king who may or may not be buried in Virginia.  This quest involves a few of his other Raven Boy friends and Blue inevitably gets involved as well.  Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys is an expertly written fantasy that fans will thoroughly enjoy.

Blue is such an interesting character in The Raven Boys. Stiefvater always writes such complex characters that really stay with you.  As the story progresses, I got wrapped up in the boys' quest, but hanging over Blue's head the entire time was the premonition about her true love.  It definitely keeps the tension building throughout.  The narration also jumps to Gansey who is so much more than a trust-fund kid.  His quest to find the Welsh King is all-consuming at times.  His crew of friends: Adam, Ronan, and Noah are also very interesting in their own right and truly added to the story.

Stiefvater does a brilliant job molding The Raven Boys into a compelling fantasy filled with magic all while making it quite possible that something like this *could* happen.  There were some unexpected twists and turns throughout that I thought were also well done and most definitely took me by surprise.

However, I listened to the audio book of The Raven Boys and was a bit disappointed though.  As an actor, I really like Will Patton, but for me at times I thought his narration was grating, especially when he performed the voices for females. It was rough at times.  Nonetheless, Stiefvater's story was so well done, that I didn't let the (sometimes) difficult narration deter me from finishing the audio book.

So, if you are a fan of Stiefvater and love a good fantasy novel, check out the audio book The Raven Boys. I am so glad I finally got around to starting this much-talked about series and I can't wait to revisit the gang sometime soon.

Are you a fan of this series? Have you read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


2 comments:

  1. I just got this book, so I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy it as well! I can see why so many people are a fan of the series. Thanks for visiting, AJ!

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