The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Maggie Stiefvater has become my very favorite Young Adult Urban Fantasy writer in the world. Period. I don’t know another author, Young Adult or not, who can make my heart ache more deeply for her characters than Stiefvater. Her writing is exquisite and her books should be national treasures. Anyone who enjoys any level of Urban Fantasy should like them, and probably even those who aren’t big on fantasy at all would think her books worth the read. Her writing is so understated and elegant, and her imagination seems to be boundless.
If you are an instant gratification kind of person, who wants to be thrown into the midst of the action on the first page of a book, then she might not be the writer for you. Or maybe, conversely, you are just the sort of reader who really ought to check out her books. A little patience is a good thing to learn, after all. Maggie Stiefvater’s books often start off slowly, carefully developing her characters and setting the stage for what will come later. She does it so beautifully that it becomes a ritual akin to sinking down into a hot bath, enjoying the slow immersion, and then finally, the bliss that follows when you reach that “Aaaaah” Moment. The Scorpio Races (probably my all time favorite YA Urban Fantasy) was like that, and so is The Raven Boys.
Once again, her book starts somewhat slowly. I immediately enjoyed the main female character, Blue, who was charming and quirky in all the best ways. The Raven Boys, a local nickname for the richer-than-rich boys who attend the Aglionby Prep School, were harder to like. At first. Then they became such a complex, interesting, and at times, heartbreaking, group of friends that I wondered why I hadn’t seen it right away. That’s what delayed gratification will do for you. So much more long-lasting than the instant kind.
The mystery of Gansey–the leader of the group of friends–and what he seeks, is utterly compelling, and Blue’s developing power is surely going to have an enormous impact as the story goes forward. And that leads me to my only complaint about the book. I have to wait a steenkin’ year to find out what WILL happen as it goes forward. When I finished reading last night, I wanted to cry from the frustration of not knowing what comes next. I’m often in favor of that afore-mentioned delayed gratification, but a year is an awful long time to wait. Even for me.
If you decide to place an order with amazon, clicking through from my links will give me credit. If you are enjoying my reviews on Bookin’ It, it’s a great way to let me know! Thanks!