Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Synopsis: (The Raven Boys [The Raven Cycle #1])
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 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. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
I was so sure that I would love this series. So, so sure. I thought with all the hype and the fact that I had literally not heard a single bad word or seen a negative review that there was no way I couldn’t fall in love with this series. But sadly, I was wrong. I’m not saying I hated or disliked the series because I did still enjoy it, but I had a few issues with it that I just couldn’t see past.
I’ll start off by saying that this series is unlike any series or any book I have ever read before. It is so unique and strange with strange characters that you can’t help but want to get to know more (Gansey is my favourite). The journey they go on together is so interesting and you become completely invested in it, as though you’re a part of their little adventure as well. I loved how different each of the characters were, and how the story line kept me hooked even when all of the action and drama had subsided. However, I had a couple of recurring issues with the whole story, and these issues really let the rest of the story down for me.
I found that with all four novels, the first half of the book always seemed to lack action and nothing important seemed to happen. I unfortunately found it to be quite boring and it made the books quite hard to get through, as it felt like nothing was really happening. In saying that though, I was still determined to get through to the end, and I was always quite happy that I pushed myself through those lacklustre beginnings. The second half, or often the last 100 or so pages, really picked up and I found myself unable to put the books down. I think my problem with the first half of each book was that it was extremely vague. I’m all for surprises and plot-twists and secrets that aren’t revealed until the end, but this series was so vague that it annoyed the crap out of me. I felt like things would happen or would be said but then were never fully explained until so much later in the book that I had forgotten what they were even talking about or referring to. I think it was just the way that the story was written, and since it’s a paranormal series I think what Maggie Stiefvater was trying to do was make it mysterious to keep the reader hooked. Unfortunately, I didn’t like how it was done, but that may be because I’m one of those readers that really like to know what happens as soon as possible.
My main issue with this series, was the lack of reactions from the characters. Yes, I know it’s a paranormal series so there’s going to be ghosts and there’s psychic’s and so on, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t react normally to the paranormal. If there’s a ghost in front of you, you aren’t going to casually say “oh, hello”, because that’s not how you would normally react. It’s instinct to scream or run or be scared for your life, and that is what this series severely lacked. I understand that the psychics in this story would be more comfortable with the supernatural, but there were still things that happened that I just couldn’t understand why they would act so casual towards. Yes, the characters are all very unique and completely different to any other characters in any other story, but it just frustrated me that they just didn’t react to things they should have reacted to.
The last thing that annoyed me was the amount of unanswered questions at the end of the series. Like I said before, I’m one of those readers that like to know what has happened as soon as possible. When it comes to endings, I like all the loose ends to be tied and I hate open endings. I read a series with an open ending and I literally thought my book was missing 100 pages because surely it couldn’t have just ended like that, especially with all those loose ends. That book ruined the series for me, and although The Raven King was not really left open at the end, it still had so many unanswered questions that I really wish had been explained and answered before the series came to an end.
Overall, I did enjoy this series (my favourite was either Blue Lily, Lily Blue or The Raven King). It was intriguing and was written beautifully and it hooked me in until the very end. Unfortunately, I think it’s over-hyped and although it is very unique, it had it’s problems and I just can’t really see past them.
My Overall Rating:
Did you love this series? Or did you have mixed feelings like I did?
Until next time,