the-raven-boys-maggie-stiefvater
By Maggie Stiefvater

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Blue Sargent is not a psychic. She can’t see the future, or the dead, or the energy flowing through ordinary objects. So when she sees a spirit on St. Mark’s day, the day where the soon-to-be dead walk the earth, her mother can think of only one explanation: the boy she saw is either her true love, or someone she is going to kill. And for Blue, these things might be mutually inclusive.

Gansey is the boy Blue saw, but for the moment he is still quite alive. He is a student of the prestigious Aglionby Academy, one of the Raven Boys everyone knows spells only trouble. But Gansey and his friends are different; they too know things about the secret energy of the world and the magic that seems to permeate the sleepy town of Henrietta, Virginia. They are searching for it. And Blue might be just the person to show them the way.

I have… surprisingly little to say about this book. It was an entertaining read, that’s for sure, and it leaves the door wide open for its sequels. There’s ghosts in it, and I like ghost stories. The mythology and magic aspect of it is well done, and Glendower is definitely an unconventional figure on which to center your story. And yet it felt… disconnected? Removed. I felt very little connection with the characters, and therefore felt very little reason to care about all the cool things happening in the plot.

Blue is so aggressively not like other girls that it hurts. I mean, this is a character who literally admits that she could make friends at school but doesn’t because everyone else is too normal for her. Ugh. She’s not all bad, but that quirk alone made her very hard to enjoy for me.

Gansey is only marginally better; the way he slowly realizes the ways in which his privilege hurts his friends without meaning to is great, but he just smacks so hard of boy genius chosen by the universe Gary Stu it’s a little hard to relate.

Adam does a character 180 two-thirds of the way through, and while it might be elaborated upon in later books, for now it just seems unearned and random.

Noah is more a golden retriever than a character.

Ronan is perhaps the character I related to the most, and his main character trait is that he likes punching things and has a vague tragic past. Fascinating.

The climax was also confused and frankly a bit anticlimactic, and it’s still unclear how all the foreshadowing will play out in future books.

I’m also a bit concerned over the ways Blue’s powers could develop later on the series – she’s essentially a power source for psychic energy, which has the potential of turning her into a tool for the other characters, without much agency of her own. But since we’re not there yet, I won’t complain about it.

Overall I will be reading the next book in the series because I want more ghost goodness- but only time will tell if my worries are assuaged or proven right.

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