Saturday 6 October 2012

280. The Raven Cycle Book #1: Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Cycle Book #1: Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Published October 2012 Scholastic

From the publisher:
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.

The first Maggie Stiefvater book I read was Shiver.  I remember thinking to myself…just what we need another book about werewolves!  I can honestly say that I loved that book.  I think because even though there had been a rash of vampire/werewolf/fairy/angel books, this one seemed to have a fresh voice.  I was sucked in, and I couldn’t stop reading.  I felt exactly the same about this one.

This is one of those books that I will have trouble writing about.  Not because I didn’t like it, because I loved it, but because it’s story is so layered.  It’s one of those books that as you read, little by little the story unfolds, until it gets bigger and bigger, until at last everything (well almost everything) becomes clear. 

I am a person who thinks that the Holy Grail is out there, and that King Arthur was a real person, and not a made up character, I want to believe that we have a connection with the ‘other side’. With all of that in mind, it’s really no wonder that I loved this book. It has psychics, death marches through graveyards on St Mark’s Eve, sleeping legendary kings, ley lines. magic and murder.

There are so many elements to this story.  There’s small town USA, where an exclusive boy’s school sits on the outskirts.  The Raven boys, as they are known, are rich and entitled, a far cry from the inhabitants of the town.  There’s Blue, growing up with her single mother who is a psychic, living in a house of women, all of whom share the same gift.  Blue does not have the same ability, but her presence works as a ‘booster’ to the power of those around her.

There’s also something very special about the town of Henrietta, Virginia, and that’s the ley lines that it was built on.  It’s these lay lines that make it a good place for psychics to live, and it’s also what brings Gansey and others to the town.

It is the first in a series, and like all good series, I have been left desperate for the next book.

For those of you interested here are some starting points for further investigation:

Info on ley lines

Who will like this book: Girls and boys age 15+
Read it if you like: The China Garden by Liz Berry

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