08 July 2012

The Raven Boys; Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I so wanted to give this a 5, but after reflecting, it's really a 4... maybe a 4.5.

Set in Henrietta, Virginia, a relatively poor area with one prep school that attracts the sons of the very rich, very powerful, this story of friendship is threaded with mysticism and psychic energy. There are four boys, Gansey (incredibly rich, polite and the leader), Ronan (incredibly rich, angry and recently lost his father and his home), Adam (incredibly driven, smart and from the local trailer park) and Noah (a smudgy cipher), all bound up in Gansey's search for ley lines and Owen Glendower. Then there's Blue, a local girl who lives with her mother, her mother's friends, a few female relatives, all of whom are in some way psychic (except Blue, who merely amplifies their abilities) and who hates - really hates - the Algionby Academy boys.

In some ways this is like The Secret History, with the intensity of the relationships between the boys and their insular world living off campus in a former factory. The addition of the ley lines, the Glendower search, the appearance of Calebwater and Blue's family are interesting additions.

The problem is twofold: the pacing, which speeds up towards the end but could have benefited with less time spent on Gansey's, Adam's and Ronan's home lives, and the cursory attention ley lines, etc.. get. There is some explanation, but more might have been nice. And why was this not a stand alone? The questions of what happened towards the end, what's going on with Ronan and whether Blue's predicted fatal kiss will come true could be left unanswered.

ARC provided by publisher.

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