Title: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: 18th September 2012
“Arbores loqui latine“
“The trees speak Latin”
Synopsis (from back cover):
Even if Blue hadn’t been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as the Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.But this is the year that everything will change for Blue.
This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist.
Occasionally, you come across one of those books that sweep you completely away from this world, and carry you along with a cast of characters that feel so completely real, that it hurts a little to put the story down. This was one of those books. In the beginning, at least.
If anything stuck with me in this book, it was the characters. Following Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah’s stories was so easy because they were so wonderful and interesting to read. Each character has such a clear, distinct and real voice, and I felt emotionally connected to each one of them. If there would be any reason that I would continue on with the series, it would be because of that emotional investment I have in these characters! And Gansey and Ronan were easily my two favourites. Gansey reminded me of a character out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel in his speech, mannerisms and reactions to certain situations. And I don’t think I’ve ever read a character much like Ronan Lynch, but I’m certainly glad that I now have!
The story itself was interesting for a while, but did cause me lose a degree of interest in the latter half. It became a little confusing for me, and I found some of the reactions of certain characters to certain plot twists unbelievable. It did, however, create such a strange and sinister atmosphere, which drew me in from the first page, that meant that even when my interest did begin to wane a little, I was still hooked enough to want to find out how it ended.
I also struggled with the pacing of the story; in places it felt like nothing was happening for a while, yet at other times it felt as though too much was happening to follow. But the brilliant characters made even the slow parts all the more interesting and enjoyable.
Overall, the characters are what overwhelmingly makes this book the amazing story that it is. They carry the story through, and create some relationship/character dynamics that were so interesting to read. The plot was unique and engaging, and hooked me throughout, but was more exciting in the first half than in the final parts. I am very interested to see where the story will go though, if all of the praise and love for this series can convince me that the sequels continue to improve!