The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

After reading a series of young adult books, either about royals or angels, I wanted to go a different route with my next audiobook selection. This month, I listened to the paranormal novel The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I’ll be honest and tell you I chose her book after I read an interview with her and Cassandra Clare about fans who really don’t understand the borders between the writer and the public. She has some seriously devoted readers, some who react just a little too emotionally to her story choices. So, I had to know what all the fuss was about. Alas, my audiobook choice.

First, here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

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.

The Raven Boys is definitely not your typical teen book. The story has a darkness to it that reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe or Neil Gaiman. Kind of like a southern gothic, but not gory or violent. The main story isn’t exactly dark, it’s actually quite fun. It’s just that each character has been touched by a bad situation in some way and that shows in their motivations and side stories.

Overall, the audiobook is quite fun. There’s magic, mystery, and intrigue. There’s a little bit of romance too, but not nearly as much as the past few audiobooks I’ve listened to. Also, Stiefvater does a great job at foreshadowing. You really have to pay attention or you may miss it.

When I first turned the audiobook on, I wasn’t sure I wanted to sit through 11+ hours of Will Patton speaking. He has a deep, drawling southern accent that can feel quite slow and depressing. However, as the story went on, I could see why they chose him to narrate. He adds to the overall feel of the story and does really well with differentiating the characters with diverse voices. Without him, I think it would be quite a different story.

If you don’t know Will Patton, you may after seeing his face. He’s an actor that has been in a lot of supporting roles. Currently, he plays Colonel Weaver on TNT’s “Falling Skies”. Just a fun tidbit from someone full of useless movie/TV trivia.

The more I listened to The Raven Boys, the more I wanted to hear, which is why I recommend it and will definitely be listening to book 2 in the series. I’m excited to see what happens next with this group of characters, and I have a few theories about how their quest will develop. If you’ve read/listened to this series, share what you thought in the comments below. Please forewarn if there are any spoilers.

★★★★