Monday, July 30, 2012

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah are Raven Boys, boys who attend the exclusive Aglionby Prep School, on a quest. Blue Sargent is the daughter of a psychic who’s made it a policy to stay away from pretentious Aglionby boys…that it, until she foresees Gansey’s tragic death. What’s worse is that she knows she’s the cause.

When fate ensures that their paths cross, Blue decides to help these Raven Boys pursue the Legend of Glendower, the legend that promises a single wish to whoever wakes the king from his centuries of slumber. The closer that they get to finding the king, the more they realize that the legend is real and they aren’t the only ones looking. A sacrifice has to be made to wake up the ley lines to continue the quest, and certain people have no qualms about spilling innocent blood.

No novel should ever take 300 pages to get interesting. Ever. This novel moved so slowly that I had to make myself continue reading with the hope that the climax would be worth it. It wasn’t.  Granted, there were a few creepy parts (i.e., murder and paranormal activity), but not enough to sustain the droning plot.

Another aspect of this novel that was left wanting was the legend. To me, the legend is the life of this story, and it needed to be developed more so that it was more interesting. So, people find a sleeping Welsh, wake him up, and get a wish. Um, so what? Where’s the detailed folklore? Was this king evil or good? Are there warnings and consequences once a wish is granted? What happens once he wakes up? Does he go back to sleep again after a certain time or does he become immortal? These are things that needed to be developed in book 1 because it is the foundation of the series. The details were so sparse and superficial that I didn’t buy into it.

There was very little suspense throughout this novel despite the potential for some seriously scary scenes. Part of this was because many of the scenes were repetitive and underdeveloped. As a result, the characters were shallow and boring. Any attempt at suspense fell flat because instead of letting the reader connect the dots on her own, the author felt as though she had to spell everything out for her (this involves spoilers, so I won’t give specifics here). Then, there were other times that the author drew the reader’s attention to a subtle nuance, only to leave it hanging (Ashley’s interest in Glendower, Neeve’s witchcraft, Ronan’s secret).

All-in-all, I was bored with this book, and I won’t read the others in the series. I really loved the premise; I just wish that the execution had been more effective. 

ARC courtesy of ALA 2012
Publication: September 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment