Review for The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater!
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Overall Rating: ***** (5/5)
Amazon Rating (for The Raven Boys): **** (4.4/5)
One Sentence Review: An epic series that perfectly blends a variety of genres, each of these four books will have you on the edge of your seat every single page while also forcing you to fall in love with each and every character.
Blue Sargent lives in a family of clairvoyants. You name it: her mother, aunts, cousins… Her house is filled to the brim with women who can see your future and your past.
Somehow, Blue did not end up with the same ability as those around her, meaning that on St. Mark’s Eve, she can’t see any of the spirits representing those who will die in the next twelve months. Instead, she records their names for her mother, who visits the corpse road every year to discover and warn those who will die.
Until Blue sees just a single spirit. He tells her that his name is Gansey, and it’s clear from his rain-spattered uniform that he’s a wealthy student from Aglionby, Henrietta’s local prestigious boys school.
Known as the Raven Boys, Blue stays away from students such as Gansey, thinking they can bring nothing but trouble.
But there’s something about Gansey that Blue can’t let go of, something that continuously brings her back to him. As her story becomes entangled with his, she learns of his one essential endeavor, an adventure that includes three other Raven Boys: Ronan Lynch, an emotional hurricane who hides behind a cruel facade, Adam Parrish, the boy who strives for greatness and refuses any help from anyone to accomplish his goals, and Noah, the quiet boy who simply observes and notices everything around him.
It doesn’t take long for Blue to become fixated on Gansey’s quest in the same manner all the other boys are, despite the constant warning she’s received her entire life that she will cause her true love to die as soon as she kisses him. And although Blue has never believed in true love (and so has never truly considered the prophecy a problem), she’s starting to question just how dangerous the prophecy could be, and just how much it might destroy her and her Raven Boys.
Oh goodness. I expected this series to be good (I mean, have you SEEN all the hype surrounding it?), but I never imagined how incredibly mind-blowing and meaningful it would become to me.
The awe-inspiring series just never do end, do they?
Whether it was the endearing characters that caught my attention from the very first page, the ever-shifting unpredictable plot, or Maggie Stiefvater’s flawless writing, there truly is nothing negative I can say regarding this series.
So, since I know you don’t really have an interest in reading an essay repeating the various perfections each of these books possessed, I’ll keep it relatively short and explain just why these books are now undoubtedly some of my favorites.
The characters. Not only were they relatable and realistic, but you just can’t help falling in love with them for their personalities, their faults, their experiences, and simply their stories. Even the villains! Although, of course, I hated these people of evil for what they were doing and the hurdles they were bringing, I admired what each of them brought to the story and how each of them contributed to the protagonists’ development and growth (another aspect I absolutely adored getting to witness over the course of 4 books).
The plot represented one of the rare instances in which I didn’t have a single inkling of what was going to happen next. Luckily, although I was more than often tempted, I didn’t spoil it for myself, so was able to enjoy the full experience of being completely shocked and surprised at every wonderful turn.
And finally, the writing. Stiefvater painted stunning and vivid images of each setting, and ensured that every word uttered by a character was meaningful, both in placement and plot significance. The writing drew me into the books more and more as the story progressed, and by the end, I was in a daze that I couldn’t rid myself of (meaning I couldn’t even pick up a book for a few days following the conclusion).
Overall, what can I say? This series mixes contemporary with supernatural, fantasy, magical realism, and so much more. It was complex and fascinating, a series you will never forget and will hold close to your heart long after you’ve read the last line. Somehow, among all the incredible stories that sometimes inevitably blend together, Stiefvater has created a world and tale unlike any other, one that is utterly unmistakable in every sense of the word.
Now all I can say to you is that you absolutely must read it, regardless of what you currently think about it and the enormous hype. After all, if so many people loved it, there must be a reason, right?
Make sure to come back next Wednesday for a new review!