Review: The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

the-raven-boys-feature

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.

I think I could probably sum up my attitude to this book in one word, and it’s not a particularly enthusiastic one: meh. 

After my recent foray into YA fantasy literature, in which I read Sarah J Maas’ Throne of Glass series (what’s out of it anyway) in a few weeks whilst travelling, I kind of expected better from The Raven Boys. The Throne of Glass series is a yes, a bit cheesy, you-know-what-you’re -in-for-but-it’s-still-fun kind of book, which I actually really enjoyed and got a little bit obsessed with in the end. It’s not exactly high-brow, but guilty pleasures and all that.

Unfortunately The Raven Boys just didn’t resonate in the same way with me. I couldn’t get into the world – the magical realism, fantasy/real world hybrid universe – and I didn’t really get the whole clairvoyance, Mystic Meg thing. I couldn’t really connect to any of the characters, and the links between ley lines and ancient Welsh mythology just didn’t sit right with me.

I mean, let’s be honest here. I’m well above the age this is aimed for (although I would like to point out that I am an adult and I am still young), so it’s no surprise that this just wasn’t for me. Yet I’ve enjoyed a lot of YA literature in recent years and would even consider myself to be an advocate for books with younger protagonists tackling all sorts of universal and thought-provoking themes and obstacles. Heck, I’ve even written a book which would most probably be described as YA, although for me the audience and implications are much further reaching.

So although it’s understandable that The Raven Cycle wasn’t really my cup of tea, I still maintain that there is hope out there for the genre to be taken seriously. I just don’t think that this is a book that will do that. To put it on the scale, I would say that it’s more Twilight than The Hunger Games and we all know what that means.

To conclude, I think it’s safe to say that despite my maintained interest and support in YA literature, I don’t think I will be reading the rest of The Raven Cycle. Maas’ fifth instalment of the Throne of Glass series, however – Empire of Storms? I can’t wait.

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