REVIEW | The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)

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The Raven Boys Book Review

Maggie Steifvater

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

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.

Firstly, you get whats on the blurb, except for (and thankfully) the overbearing romance. I’ll be honest – I picked this up because so many people have said it gets better further into the series.

I really don’t know what to say about this one. It’s definitely different to many of the similar YA fantasies I’ve read, but I’m not sure if I’d recommend it. Not saying that I didn’t enjoy The Raven Boys, but it definitely isn’t on my list of favourites.

Our protagonist, Blue, has a quirky name with a quirky family, who unfortunately isn’t quirky herself at all. She’s completely reactive and seems like she’s only in the story to be the link between the psychic powers of her family and the Raven boys themselves. Little personality and pretty much a pushover. There are moments where the boys are about to do something amazing and magical and their lives will never be the same again, and she’s just like,

Well I guess I’ll come along to see what happens

Then I’ll go home and do some homework.

I can understand that Blue, coming from a magical family, isn’t all that impressed by the weird and magical things… but come on. Mood killer.

And this tends to happen throughout the book. Something awesome happens, or they discover something magical… then instant cut to one of them at their day job or at school or something mediocre. Weird pacing, pretty choppy.

Our Raven boys, Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah are trope fan-girl galore. Adam was my favourite, but other than Gansey, who seems to be the main focus, none of the boys seemed to display character outside of their primary trope.

Thankfully, the story does pick up half way, meaning that I can’t really talk about anything that carried me through to the end of the book! I can say that there’s some pretty cool metaphysical treasure hunting and some solid Welsh history mixed in with some cool magic that makes the end super exciting.

While I wish that there was more story, world and character development, I think that Stievater held back knowing that there was so much more to come further down in the series. That being said, I don’t think this was the best way to sell this series. The Raven Boys is a quick read and doesn’t drag its feet at any point, but is easy enough to skim through without much emotional investment.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s about the journey, not about the ending. And while I have decided to continue with the series, I definitely think that The Raven Boys could have been more, and it’s a real shame that it wasn’t.


I really hope I’m not the only one who went through the book, and kept looking at the cover wondering who the fuck the fourth guy was until they pointed out that Noah was a ghost. LOL. I mean, that was done pretty terribly. I wouldn’t even have thought about him if the four boys weren’t on the cover.

The final scene in the forest was really cool… but so confusing. What did the ritual do? What happened to Adam and why didn’t he die? Where did Neeve go?

I probably just don’t get it. I wasn’t really invested towards the end because like the rest of the book, not a whole lot was being explained.

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