I’ve been meaning to read The Raven Cycle series for quite some time, ever since I came across it at a local bookstore when it was recently released and especially since I enjoyed reading Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls back when I was really keen on YA fantasy/paranormal genre. Of course, Maggie Stiefvater is one of the few novelists of that genre that I still admire (authors like Claudia Gray and Lauren Kate were booted from my favourites list) because she doesn’t merely follow the crowd and she can actually write. Kudos, kudos to Maggie.
#1: The Raven Boys
It took me a little while to get into the flow of this book. It surprised me at first that the story wasn’t told in perspective of Blue Sergeant alone, but actually moved between her, Gansey, Adam and Whelks. Once I got into the narrative, it worked really well for me. I enjoyed all the different character perspectives and it was hard for me to chose which character voice I liked best.
Blue is a great female lead. I like that she’s not obsessed with having a boyfriend like many heroines in similar roles to hers and I like her relationship with her psychic mum and family at her chaotic house. There is certainly a lot of comical moments at work, and a lot of melodrama which is, of course, entertaining. Of course, I also love how Blue eventually makes friends with the Raven Boys, of whom she is primarily keen on avoiding. I did think it was maybe a little floppy how fast Blue and the boys became super close. Somehow it didn’t seem quite believable to me. But I still really enjoy their friendship.
It didn’t really take me long to like the Raven Boys. Gansey is the kind of privileged male character I’d usually dislike in other circumstances. But, Gansey won me over with his vulnerabilities, wittiness and keen interest in magic and the Raven King, a storyline I had trouble getting into at first, but eventually really enjoyed reading about. Adam’s backstory is interesting and I liked him because of his priorities and bravery in the face of everything. I’m interested in learning more about Ronan, and I quickly liked Noah’s quiet character.
Of course, the whole Blue’s-kiss-will-kill-her-true-love storyline intrigues me, even if it does seem a little predictable within the love triangle spectrum of plot devices. I have an inkling that a certain pairing won’t last and Blue will end up with the certain other who will probably die and be somehow resurrected. Whatever the case, I’m excited to see how it will all pan out. Who knows, Maggie might surprise me.
I quite enjoyed the first novel of the Ravel Cycle. It’s a good introductory novel and definitely made me want to read the next novel.
#2: The Dream Thieves
I liked this book a lot. I liked the development between Blue and the Raven Boys, especially her developments with Adam and Gansey. Of course, I also love her cute friendship with Noah, especially that particular scene (if you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about). I think Noah might be my favourite character, though that also might be Ronan. I know a lot of people favour Adam, but to be honest I found Adam a little dull in this book and while I like Gansey, he didn’t really interest me a great deal in this book, or if he did it was usually only related to his feelings for Blue.
I liked The Gray Man a lot. He quickly became one of my favourite characters by the end of the book. As always, I enjoyed the chaos of Blue’s house.
Mostly, I really enjoyed the whole storyline with Ronan. It was great seeing more of him and I thought Maggie’s way of intertwining the real world and the magic world together was brilliant. She’s a great storyteller and I really liked how she seamlessly bought everything together. There were lots of intense moments that made it difficult for me not to speed ahead just to see what happened. In all The Dream Thieves was an enthralling and mind-blowing read and I really enjoyed it.
#3: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
As much as I liked the first two books (and as much as I like the front cover) I have to say I was a little letdown by this one. It definitely had its moments. It still made me laugh a lot. It still kept me entertained. I still enjoyed the friendship between Blue and the boys, the mysteries of the Raven King (etc) they continue to try and solve, the sexual-tension of a certain romantic pair and all the magical elements involved fail to keep me interested and awed. I also found myself liking Blue a lot more in this one. I don’t know why, but maybe I just didn’t quite get her in the other books.
That was all good.
But somehow it just felt anti-climatic. I know it’s not the final book in the series, and I still really want to read the final book whenever its coming out, but it just seemed to me that not a lot happened in this novel. Of course, a lot did happen, but I guess a lot of just didn’t strike me as particularly exciting. I don’t know how to explain it. But, for example, the whole thing with Greenmantle was pointless (even if it was kind of funny) and what exactly happened with Adam in court because as far as I can remember, there was no conclusion to that and it was sort of over before it even began. Also, I didn’t find Ronan and Adam’s friendship quite as amazing as I’ve seen others say it is. It was cute though.
Also. Before I forget. One thing I didn’t like about all the books: the fact that a number of characters are said to only eat certain foods. Like, Maura only eats things cooked in butter and Penelope (I think) only eats bacon and Blue only eats yoghurt or enormous mounds of broccoli by itself. I mean, maybe it was supposed to be funny. And yeah, I like yoghurt as much as the next person but well… it just really annoyed me and I didn’t see why such character traits were at all necessary.
Okay. Rant over. (I do like that Gansey is always sucking on mint leaves, though).
Really, I enjoyed The Raven Cycle a lot. I didn’t love it like a lot of people have, but I liked it. It was an enjoyable series to read. The characters are (mostly) written well and I care about what’s going to happen to them in the final book (especially Noah). It’s a series that made me laugh a lot, which is important, and a series that held my attention most of the time. I’m very keen to read the last book and I’m hoping it really blows my mind and that the resolution will be marvellous!