Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

May 29, 2018
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1), Maggie Stiefvater, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Scholastic Audio on September 12, 2012
Format Read: Audiobook (Timestamp 11hr 8 mins)
Genre: Young Adult/ Paranormal/ Romance
Series: Book One of The Raven Cycle
Source: Library via Hoopla
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)
 "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.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we've never been before.


Content Warning: Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Suicide Attempt, Murder, Mental Illness, Gore


This book has been on my TBR list for years. I was really excited to dive in because its part of a well loved series in the book community. However the slow moving plot and flow of the story did not pan out the way I hoped. Blue is a head strong protagonist trying to to grow up while grappling with the paranormal through her family of psychics. She befriends the Raven Boys who attend a private boys school and are intent on finding the mythical Raven King. Their journeys together and apart were really engaging and well thought out. However the suspense of the mystery and paranormal elements fell flat for me.
"My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them."
Blue is a character you want to cheer for but the Raven Boys didn't have many redeeming characteristics except for Adam. Adam who attends school on scholarship was stubbornly self reliant in a frustrating but not enduring way. The underlying mystery of where the Raven King is took a backseat to introducing the characters and side conflicts of the books. There was a lot of teenage angst described well but it didn't amount to much for the plot. The story and characters were unique but I wasn't expecting such a character driven book for this paranormal series.
"She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness."
There were memorable scenes and twists that surprised me, so in no way is this a bad book. The huge fandom surrounding the series caused me to create high expectations. The romance was believable and seemed naturally developing, but was left to be continued in the next book. The author was able to realistically and empathetically describe serious topics. However Blue's family of psychics held my interest more than any of the main characters of the book. This read like a great set up for what's next but didn't stand well on its own. I won't be continuing the series but will be reading more from this author in the future.

Recommended for Readers Who
- enjoy romance with paranormal elements
- interested in a multi-book historically based mystery
- enjoy character driven stories


New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater's life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you're a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she's tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She's made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.


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