Regular price: $27.99
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $27.99
Although The Raven Boys is quite different from Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and The Scorpio Races, it highlights her amazing characters, exciting suspense, and that intriguing sense that the words could almost be poetry.
Each of the characters in this novel are both utterly deep and (despite the supernatural themes and plot) utterly real. For fans of Stiefvater's other works, this is expected. The bonus of this novel is that we get so many characters and yet can feel invested in all of them. Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronin, & Noah (the most central characters) were especially wonderful because they were neither wholly good nor wholly bad. Each had his/her own idiosyncrasies and failings as well as moments of heroism and compassion. I fell in love with all five!
I'm not generally a fan of the supernatural genre, but this story had me mesmerized and on the edge of my seat. I would have listened straight through if it weren't for those pesky distractions of sleep and work. You can tell that this is the beginning of a series ("The Raven Boys Cycle," according to the audiobook), but it does not end in an annoying cliffhanger.
The prose itself is captivating. I'm not even sure how to describe it, really, except that you can tell that Stiefvater's writing style is influenced by her love of music. I highly recommend reading/listening to any and all of her works.
Note about narration: Will Patton did an excellent job; he really brought the text to life! I wasn't sure if I would like his narration because I expected the narrator to be about the same age as the characters (late teens) and Patton is definitely much older. However, the 3rd person point-of-view and his engaging narration really made it work and, I think, added to the whole experience.
60 of 62 people found this review helpful
This is my first outing with a Maggie Stiefvater book, and after reading some synopses on her other books, I think this was my best introduction to her writing. Stiefvater excels in many areas with this book. The story takes a little time to jumpstart itself. However, it is never dull, and it certainly lays the groundwork for a thoughtful story. Her handling of the supernatural elements are done in a way that could make them almost believable if placed in a real world setting while retaining that magical allure. She’s taken typical genre tropes, such as the “rich boy meets poor girl” and the “tormented bad boy,”and weaved into these familiar stories a complexity and nuance that both young adults and adults can appreciate. While I would’ve enjoyed just a little more depth of character for some of her characters, she does a fair job of presenting characters that you care about, characters that have their flaws and strengths. You love them. You cheer them. You get angry with them. One thing that kind of irked with me with the story, as far as character is concerned, is that the main antagonist felt so weak in the grand scheme of the story. This person had weak motivations, weak intentions, and no substance. I dislike antagonists that I can only feel apathetic toward at best. Antagonists should pull emotions from me I didn’t even know I had. Finally, as a history nerd and supernatural buff, the coupling of history and the supernatural kept my interest. This was almost Arthurian in a way without being about King Arthur.
As for the narration, I have a bit of mixed feelings about Will Patton’s narration. I feel his voice is both perfect and imperfect for this book. I enjoyed the almost hushed tone he used for the overall book However, parts of the book are narrated so brilliantly and other parts of the book, his narration felt jarring, a clash of tone and words. Funny thing is I can’t say whether there were more brilliant parts or more clashing parts, but it doesn’t turn me off to the narration. This is probably just another case of a narrator that I need to spend much more time with before I decide if I truly like them or not. One high praise I have for him is that I enjoyed his Southern accents, which I can be really finicky about as a Southerner myself. In fact, I enjoyed most of the voices he did for the characters in this book.
This book was quite a pleasant surprise, I didn’t expect to get as involved with as I did, especially since I wasn’t drawn to this book. However, the books I don’t feel any particular way about are usually the ones that manage to really capture my interest and imagination. Stiefvater has created something amazing with this story, and that ending certainly prods readers to seek out the next book.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
It took me a while to get into this and to get used to the narrator but once I did the story started to grip. There were some moments that were genuinely eerie, particularly when listening at night, and I liked the combination of the mythical and the everyday. The background and characters really grew on me and I'm keen to hear what happened to them next.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?
I really liked the way Will Patton narrated the various third-person Point of View chapters using the voices of individual characters. It was unusual to hear a characters voice read in third person, and it was very effective. There are a couple of jarring moments in the reading, though I think those were more the fault of the director, and not the reader. A couple of times Will's voice was layered in some of the areas where characters are speaking simultaneously. That was a largely unnecessary conceit though, admittedly, a minor quibble in an otherwise faultless reading.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Many. Though I would hate to spoil the book for others by mentioning specifics.
Any additional comments?
I read the book before listening to the audio version, and I think I actually appreciated the audio version more as a result. The author's facility with language is a real joy to experience on the page, and is even more enjoyable as a listen. This is one of those rare novels where character, story and language add up to more than the sum of their parts. Couldn't wait to dive into book two after listening.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Raven Boys the most enjoyable?
I think there is probably a bit of a list. The story has such whimsy, lightness to it. The language and poetic way that Maggie Stiefvater, while after a while can be a little bit repetitive, I still love it.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Blue, hands down Blue. She has such an attitude, you can't help but love her
Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favourite?
Ronan. He's gravelly and agressive. Will Patton probably only falls down a bit on one narration, and that's Calla, but Ronan really is portrayed well as cutting and angry.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
This is a book that when I'm out of reading material, I come back to and listen to over and over. The last book for the series is about to come out and so I'm starting back at the beginning.
Any additional comments?
This is definitely a book that is improved by narration. I know that others who i've recommended this too, found that reading didn't capture them quite as much, but narration MAKES this perfect
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
I haven't read a book like this before. it started off slow but got very interesting towards the second half. can't wait to find out what happens next!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful