The Raven Boys is the first novel in The Raven Cycles series by Maggie Stiefvater. Maggie Stiefvater’s already a well known fiction author and I loved her previous series The Wolves of Mercy Falls so I had high hopes with this series. [Spoilers] I’m already liking this series.
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For as long as Blue can remember, psychics have told her she will kill her true love. As a result, Blue keeps to herself no friends and no dating. But when Blue accompanies her mother to wake the dead, she connects with the soul of Gansey, a boy her age, who will die in a year.
Gansey and his group of friends are in search of a sleeping immortal king who will grant a wish to whoever will wake him. Gansey’s convinced that the key to finding the Welsh King is through ley lines, lines that crisscrossing the earth and carry supernatural energy. So Gansey seeks out Blue’s family for information on ley lines, and despite what Blue knows she decides to join him.
As Blue and the boys grow closer to uncovering the mystery, they realize the legend of the ley lines is much more dangerous than they anticipated.
A lot is going on in this story, but it somehow all works. I was interested in this story from the beginning when Blue and her mother are in the cemetery, and we learn Blue amplifies psychic abilities. I thought it was interesting that the author didn’t make Blue a psychic but rather an amplifier. As much as I like the magic girl troupe in paranormal novels, it is a bit overplayed. Sometimes magic solves the problem, and sometimes your wits do. And in this novel, I liked that Blue wasn’t prophesizing things.
The first installment of the Raven Boys touches on the theme of the Found Family. We have Adam, who comes from an abusive home, Gansey, who never felt at home, Ronan, who hates his brothers, and Blue, who lives with psychics, all find their own family in each other.
The Found Family is the most wholesome troupe. And I think it fits well here with this group of teen boys and their supernatural amplifier friend.
I cannot believe that Gansey, Adam, and Ronan thought Noah was just a goth when he introduces himself as dead to everyone he meets. Even Blue is convinced. Although the fact that they all can see Noah even though none of them can see other spirits is never explained.
I loved the Raven Boys, and reading it reminded me of Boys Over Flowers, Ouran high school host club, and other similar media.
The narrator attempts to make Ronan sounds like a bad boy by explaining that he’d fight anyone with a social security number. While I don’t want Ronan fighting undocumented people, my problem is the suggestion that everyone living in the U.S has social security and is therefore a person. It’s ignorant and dehumanizing and didn’t need to be here.
This first novel sets up the premise that Blue and Gansey are soulmates. Therefore, Blue will kill Gansey. This first novel sets up their dynamic as friends, and I can’t wait to read as they grow closer to each other.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel and will continue reading the series. I really loved the way that Maggie Stevifater built the world in this novel and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Content warning for this novel: depicts and discusses abuse and mentions of murder.
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Until next time you’ll find me in Henrietta Virginia (aka deep in the world of the Raven boys),
Check out my other reviews of the Raven Cycles series