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

September 14, 2012 Review 5

*This title will be released on September 18, 2012*

Cover by Christopher Stengel

The Raven Boys

(Raven Cycle, #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: Paranormal YA |
Excerpt: Yes | Book Trailer:  Yes
Reviewed by: Abigail| Source: Publisher

  • Reading level: Ages 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (September 18, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0545424925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545424929


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.

Sexual Content



“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.


Maggie Stiefvater is not a writer.  She is a magical creature who spins stories and creates worlds so real that readers can taste, touch, and breathe them in.  THE RAVEN BOYS, the first book in the new Raven Cycle series, is a wonderfully strange tale that takes just a little time to sink into before running off with the heart and imagination of every reader fortunate enough to open it’s pages.

There are no faeries, werewolves, or murderous water horses in THE RAVEN BOYS, but it feels every inch as captivating , thrilling, and just plain ‘Maggie’ as her previous books.  What is does have is ghosts, psychics, and heaps of magic.  The three protagonists are as disparate as can be:  Blue, the lone non-psychic in her female only family; Gansley, the obscenely wealthy and privileged boy obsessed with unearthing a mystical legendary Welsh king; and Adam, the quiet but strong boy who works three times as hard as his affluent friends.  There are other important characters, but these are the three who tell this story.

 THE RAVEN BOYS was the first Maggie book that I didn’t read in one sitting.  It took several chapters before the characters grabbed hold of me in the way I’ve come to expect from this author.  There are numerous characters introduced right away and the ‘Raven Boys’ don’t officially meet Blue until chapter 6, so I was a little unsure of where the story was going up until then.  But after about the first fifty pages, storylines began overlapping and Maggie’s unparalleled gift for creating flesh and blood characters sucked me in.

The bad news is that there is a cliffhanger–several actually–and the worse news is that the next book in the Raven Cycle won’t be published until 2013.  It’s torturous to have to wait any amount of time for new Maggie Stiefvater books, but it feels doubly so because Blue, Gansley, and Adam are such rich and wonderfully flawed characters that it’s easy to imagine their lives going on without us.  I can only hope that Maggie can keep up with them.

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5 Responses to “Early Review: The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater”

    • Abigail

      You linked The Curiosities twice 🙂 But I’ve already read it (AMAZING!) and it’s not the next book in this series.

  1. Alexa

    I got this from ALA but I’m not a huge lover of Maggie’s previous books so I’m on the fence about reading this one. Plus everyone seems to say exactly the same thing you did, that it takes a while for the story to actually come together! Idk Maggie’s books are always on the slow side when it comes to getting to a point and that usually isn’t my personal taste. I guess I’m going to give this one a try though because the characters do sound pretty amazing.

    Thanks for the great review.

    • Abigail

      If you haven’t really loved her previous books, this might not be for you. The characters are great, but if you tend to get impatient with Maggie’s pacing, this one in particular is slower.