Book Series Review : The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Truthfully, the blurb did not quite get my attention.

Maybe because I do not fancy reading paranormal  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But hang in there guys. I couldn’t resist the urge to read this series because wow! the rating. If you go straight into Goodreads, please do search more about this series. Pay attention to the rating. I’m baffled and amazed as the rating gets higher and higher as each sequels published.

And so, off I go!


The Raven Cycle

1. THE RAVEN BOYS

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult
Page : 409 pages
Published : 18th September 2012

“My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.”

—Blurb—

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

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.

—End of Blurb—

“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”

℘℘℘℘℘

 

2. THE DREAM THIEVES

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult
Page : 439 pages
Published : 17th September 2013

“He was brother to a liar and brother to an angel, son of a dream and son of a dreamer.”

—Blurb—

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

—End of Blurb—

“Silence was never a wrong answer.”

℘℘℘℘℘

 

3. BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult
Page : 391 pages
Published : 21th October 2014

“He was so much more dangerous when he wasn’t angry.”

—Blurb—

The third installment in the all-new series from the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

—End of Blurb—

“Maybe it was good that the world forgot every lesson, every good and bad memory, every triumph and failure, all of it dying with each generation. “

℘℘℘℘℘

 

4. THE RAVEN KING

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult
Page : 439 pages
Published : 26th April 2016

“The head is too wise. The heart is all fire.”

—Blurb—

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

—End of Blurb—

“If you can’t be unafraid, be afraid and happy.”

℘℘℘℘℘


GETTING TO KNOW THE SERIES

I plan to include some mini review for each book at first, but I think it’s better for me to made it this way.

Let me begin with The Raven Boys. I am super duper nervous and excited to start this series. How can I not when everyone literally on blogs, review platform and even bookstagramers are so hyped up with this series?!

Here, I’m going to unravel my honest feelings about the series.

The story begins as Blue- the psychic daughter who actually couldn’t see any supernatural beings, joined the annual tradition in the churchyard as always. Preparing for the soon-to-be-dead spirit walk past by. However, things are different for Blue this year.

Despite the never-ending spirit coming by to Blue’s aunt to seek assistance, Blue ended up seeing ONLY one spirit amidst the whole lots of spirits in the churchyard. Here is where we get the fun part. For her whole life, Blue has been foretell by numerous physics that she will kill her true love.

And according to Blue’s aunt after the sighting: “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

Pretty predictable story line but also, pretty intense!

Blue managed to talk to the spirit and know his name is Gansey and soon discovered 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 who knows, fate intervenes and Blue started to hang out much frequent with Gansey in his quest to “discover the truth” along with Gansey’s troops, another Raven Boys: Adam— the scholarship student, Ronan— the fierce boy and Noah— the taciturn boy. Together, five of them embark on a strange quest to discover the truth once and for all.

“Discover the truth” as in another word, adventure.

What are these troops trying to accomplish? Despite hinting at the possible-dark-premise, it’s not that clear either in The Raven Boys blurb what are they truly looking for.

My hint for you: Paranormal.

I hope it did summarized the whole ordeal for you.

But rest assured, it DOES NOT have the gross or gory haunting that made you retched. It’s Young Adult, and I personally think this series is pretty clean and neat despite having paranormal fantasy as the main genre.

Normally, my mind always connect paranormal to spooky spirit haunting. But getting in the book, I realized it’s not that kind of paranormal. I would love to describe this series as the adventurous paranormal of young adult, fantasy world.


YOU SHOULD KNOW

For the beginning, I think the first step to love this series, is to know the premises of the series.

1. Slow Plot Line

Some might love this, some might not. Personally, I think it’s too slow *but I never was a big fan of slow plot line anyway*

2. Descriptive World

There’s just so many of it. I feel it’s quite okay since I know it gives different touch to the story. But I am not literally obsessed with it either. Personally, I think it’s better if there’s not too much paragraph on describing particular someplace.

3. Complex Plot

Like very complex. There are many things happening right after one another. Both including the quest and their own private life. But sometimes, I don’t understand what’s the point with all these complex plot ༼ಢ_ಢ༽

4. Written In 3rd Point Of View Style

Which might not be a problem I guess? But not everyone suited with this kind of writing. I myself am not a big fan of it but I could still stand it if the story is good. So, I include this point here. Just in case.

I think those are the four main element of the series. If you are naturally interested with those kind of points, I think you are going to love the book very much. But if you are not a big fan of those four points above, I recommend you to read the series when you have particularly nothing to do, a bunch of time to spare and not in rush in finishing the series.


ABOUT THE SERIES

I definitely have high anticipation with this series. I fell in love with the premises right after I started reading. I mean, the whole thing about communicating to soon-to-be-dead spirit? killing your true love? *I wish the best for everyone and I wish no one will ever experienced the last part*  

Reading the first book, The Raven Boys, It’s halfway through for me to realized that the book progress slow. But I totally get it and I totally understand because it’s a introduction to the rest of stories that’ll follow.

I love to read the story and I like the characters a lot. And I’m telling myself “Be patient, you’re going to love these characters a lot in the end.” because of how the story progress and the whole conversation between the characters are quite flat. But it’s still readable even though I’m getting impatient and want to get to love them so so much ASAP and to know how this all will end.

I admit, it’s along read for a book.

I pick up The Dream Thieves right after finishing the The Raven Boys and I’m quite… devastated? because I do not think I could stand another slow plot and I have another TWO BOOKS to finished, because if the first and second book proves to be slow, then the rest of the series might be so.

The thing is, I do not remember reading something that excites me in this series. It feels so underwhelmed. But I continue reading nonetheless. Because I love the premises and I want to love the characters as much as everyone else and they’re cute bunch of teenagers!

I continue reading The Dream Thieves with a lot of um, skipping. But I still quite understand what happen mainly in the book. I probably finished the book in a day or two *evil laugh*

Afterwards, I started Blue Lily, Lily Blue the next day. It was finished with much more skipping and from here points onwards, I have lost track of what’s really going on in the book. The same goes to The Raven King.

My first thought, is the slow progress that made me skip so much. But further thought, I think it’s more because of the way the story is being carried out. It’s just so.. descriptive and I just could not feel much about the story.

A little excerpt from The Raven Boys:

The whine of a helicopter sounded like productivity. He liked the little knobs and toggles and gauges of cockpits, and he liked the technological backwardness of the simple clasp seat belts. Gansey derived a large part of his pleasure from meeting goals, and a large part of that large part was pleased by meeting goals efficiently. There was nothing more efficient than aiming for your destination as the crow flew.

I mean, I found that to be just… words.

Do not get me wrong, there are a lot of interesting things in the series. But personally, I think the way it was being presented is a bit bland. Even though something exciting or thrilling is happening, I found it to be underwhelmed the moment I finished reading the sentences.

Perhaps, because of the way it’s being presented, it takes too much concentration for me to read this series and I couldn’t read it for long *and that’s where the skipping part comes in*

I’m really reaaaally sad that I do not get the hype and I desperately want to love the troops as much as others do. I honestly realized that they’re lovely characters and despite all my fuss over the series, I like Blue and the boys very much.

But despite all that, I can see why this series is getting so much attention. It’s not a bad series, on the contrary, it’s has pretty unique premises, a pretty good story and it has a lot of twists!

It just I’m not so well-fitted for the book. In the first book, it has been stated that either Blue found her true love or she killed him. And I need to read four books to get through that part. Personally, I think it’ll be better if the series is made into three books series rather than four. Because once I get through the part I’ve been dreading for, the excitement in me has dried off and I think three books will made the series brimming with much more tension and thrill!

But I totally support anyone who is interested to read this book because first, the rating. It proves A LOT of readers love this series to the moon and back to the point of re-reading them again and again. Second, because probably I’m not so into paranormal reading myself (except for movies) and third, probably I’m the only one having bad taste. So, yep.

Author: Celine

9 thoughts on “Book Series Review : The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

  1. I’m so glad to read your review! I read the first book, expecting to love it, and just… didn’t. I wanted it to be more about Blue and her family, based on the blurb, and just didn’t find myself caring about the boys and whatever quest was going on at all. But I know I’m in the minority.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really loved this series but I definitely feel like the first book wasn’t my favorite, it picks up later. For me it was more about the style in which is was written, where everything felt like a wild fever dream making you doubt reality—the author nailed that and it’s my jam haha. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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