Friday, December 28, 2012
Raven Boys Flutter
Esteemed prep school boys can be full of mystery and intrigue, but the Raven Boys are searching for something dangerous. In Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys we find out just how much an obsession steeped in the mystical can cost someone.
Blue's life in a house full of psychics isn't easy, but she makes do. Her mother and aunts run their business out of their house, and Blue's special ability of increasing the powers of others certainly comes in handy. While she isn't exactly part of the "in-crowd", Blue lives her life and knows to steer clear of the raven boys, the students at the renowned private school, Aglionby. But Blue has always been part of a prediction that haunts her as it has been spoken by every psychic she has ever known: she will kiss her first love and that will be his end.
When Blue is on the Corpse road on St. Mark's Eve, she hears a name that she can't get her mind off: Gansey. As a Raven Boy, Gansey and his three friends, Noah, Ronan, and Adam, are already mysterious, but their hunt for the ley line, a mystical, magical focus of energy that connects mystical places and holds the promise of a hidden king, is what brings them all together. When they come to Blue's house for psychic help, the connection between Blue and Gansey has her mother forbidding Blue to see them ever again. But Blue's interest in Adam, the one local boy of the group, and Gansey, whose haunting past keeps him on the trail of the ley line, are too intriguing to abandon. The consequences, however, are more than anyone has considered.
So, Steifvater is notorious for her nebulous, ethereal writing that has the reader floating along, usually totally confused, for 3/4 of every book until it all comes together in the last hour. Having read the Shiver series and Scorpio Races, I fully knew what to expect. But this book was so confusing and nebulous, I really couldn't get a grasp on it. And when it finally picked up the pace and came together, I was frustrated enough to have lost interest already. In Shiver, at least there was a secret to be revealed that kept me going with the next two books in the trilogy, but in this book, I am not sure the "big reveal" was enough to keep me going. It was certainly interesting, but, honestly, it was predictable. And quite frankly, I am the kind of reader these twists are made for- I never see them coming!
So if i figured it out, everyone will. That means this story, without the writing style, would be best for a young, less mature reader, but the writing style is so confusing and unfocused, it would lose such a reader. I think this is the struggle behind most of Stiefvater's novels, unfortunately. Sometimes the story is interesting enough to keep an older reader going, but this story was too weak for that, in my opinion. Truthfully, in writing the recap above, I found myself struggling to even explain what the story was about because there isn't much to it despite 400+ pages! If you are a die hard Stiefvater fan, you should pick up this series, but if you struggled with her other books, I imagine this will be your least favorite. I know it was mine.