January 31, 2013
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Boys (Book one in the Raven Cycle)
by Maggie Stiefvater
It’s that time again. Time to spend the night in a graveyard.
That’s right. A graveyard.
Once each year, Blue spends the night in a graveyard with her mother. She’s there to watch the Corpse Road. This is the night when the road is visited by the souls of the people from her town that will die that year. Blue can’t see or speak to the spirits herself. She’s there as a “booster” for the psychic who can. But this year is different. This year there is one spirit she can see and he won’t speak to anyone but Blue. When she asks his name he answers “Just Gansey.”
It is only days later when her mother is visited by a group of boys. One of them is Gansey.
All of her life, Blue has known that somewhere is a boy she will kill. She knows this because every psychic she meets tells her the same thing. After she kisses him, her true love will die. Blue isn’t the most social person in town, a fact that is probably strengthened by the fact that she lives in a house full of psychic women. She’s odd and she knows it. So what? But this also makes it easy to avoid kissing anyone. There has never been anyone she wanted to kiss.
Until she meets Gansey and his two friends. It isn’t Gansey she’s interested in but her mother has told her to stay away from them all.
Gansey is looking for the Corpse Road although he calls it by another name — a ley line. Somewhere along this line, an ancient king is buried and whoever awakens him will receive a boon.
I can’t say much more about the book without giving way too much away. I listened to this one as an audio book and it took me a while to warm up to it. Most of the problem was with one character Ronan. Ronan is the boy you will love to hate. He is just that abrasive. It’s hard to see why he’s one of Gansey’s best friends.
Yet, as you make your way through the book, you will begin to have some sympathy for Ronan and his miserable past. You will also come to adore Adam who longs to escape his father, Noah who can’t ever seem to get warm and Gansey — the leader who hides behind what he thinks people expect him to be. One of these boys will click with you and you’ll be pulled into the story.
Of course, I also loved Blue and her extended family. I’m using the term family loosely here because the house is full of women who are psychics but not all of them are actually related by blood. They are related by the fact that they can do something that science cannot explain — read Tarot, tell you about a person by touching something they own . . .
This is a strong choice for lovers of dark fantasy. There is humor. There is romance — kind of. And there is mystery. But mostly there is a really good story populated by compelling characters. My son wasn’t interested in it. I think his school librarian had tried to sell him on the book. No go. Then he heard part of the audiobook and is now waiting his turn to read it. I predict that once he reads this one, he will be looking for the next two books.