The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
It took a long time for this book to draw me in and even then I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it. I am not the type of person to put down a book if I’m not enjoying it, I always try to finish it so that I have a complete picture. I don’t know if my lack of engagement was solely due to the story or the fact that I decided to listen to this as an audiobook.
The two main characters are Blue and Gansey, although they are joined by a supporting cast of about eight others. Blue is the daughter of a psychic, but the only ability she has is to amplify her surroundings. She has always known that if she kisses her true love, he will die. Gansey is the rich boy who goes to private school and has a lot of problems. His school friends also had a lot of struggles. Honestly, that’s about as deep as the characterization and development felt for me, most of the times. There were a few scenes that we got to see below the surface, but in general, it felt very superficial to me.
Although the book is set in Henrietta, Virginia it takes aspects from Welsh folklore and weaves them into the narrative. As I am not familiar with Welsh folklore, I cannot speak to how accurately it is done. Personally, I didn’t feel like the world or magic system was well explained. The mundane was adequately described, but the supernatural was left with a permeating air of mystery.
While the book followed an overarching plot, it also had myriad side plots and points of view thrown in which was also off-putting. They seemed incredibly irrelevant at the same and didn’t contribute much to the story. Some of them ended up tying into the story in the very last chapters, leading me to say oh so that’s why I’ve been bothering to listen to this character complain and grouse for the first three-quarters of the book. But others it seems still had no true relevance to the plot, they just added pages to the novel.
I wasn’t even going to consider continuing the series until I reached those final few chapters. I still don’t love the book, but I’m curious. The ending intrigued me enough that I will take a chance. I have hopes that it will improve, as so many people are in love with this series.
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