Book Rant: The Raven Boys

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RATING: 2.5

GENRE: YA, Paranormal

SERIES: The Raven Cycle, #1

Hi Everyone, first off, Merry Christmas! I hope you are all having a happy holiday with lots of R&R and cookies and treats with your friends and family.

Now, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. This book is based in a small town in Virginia and Blue the main character comes from a family of psychics though she herself cannot see anything. Until one night she sees the spirit of a young man, Gansey. There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit, either he is her true love or she is destined to kill him. As fate would have it Gansey and Blue cross paths when her and his ridiculously rich private-school friends (known as the Raven Boys) come to her mother for a reading. Gansey is on a quest with three other Raven Boys: Ronan the unpredictable fighter, Adam a sweet-hearted scholarship student and Noah the quiet observer.  Blue finds herself caught up in their sinister and mysterious hunt into the magic Blue has been surrounded with her whole life but never understood.

Be warned, this book does take lots of patience. SPOILERS past here.

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You may remember the other books of her’s, The Scorpio Races, that I absolutely loved. And people have just raved about this book and series so I went into it with very high expectations and was left underwhelmed. I found there wasn’t much of a plot until halfway through. Sure we knew Gansey was looking for this dead King and there was plenty of back story on the boys’ and Blue’s lives but nothing had really come into play to move the book forward. It felt very sectioned like, here are the characters, now here is the story instead of weaving the characters into the story and watching them develop and learning about who they are that way.  The last 100 pages really picked up and I became really interested, but before that I just was reading to get through it.

Chainsaw. I don’t get it. WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS BIRD? The Raven Boys have a raven, ahahahaha, that’s so funny. (Sarcasm) The stupid thing kept being brought up, am I to assume it will be important in the next book? At the end we learn it came out of one of his dreams, cool story bro. At this point we have seen so much weird stuff and you live on a magic fey energy line so my capacity for shock has been neutralized. It significant enough for me to justify Ronan telling us he needs to feed it every other chapter. This damn bird better be able to tell the future or save all their lives somehow in the next book.

The Adam-Blue relationship was kind cute, but really it just seemed to slow the inevitable plot and try to construct some unnecessary drama for later. It’s well established at the beginning of this book Gansey is her true love she is destined to kill. She didn’t see Adam’s spirit. I’m not saying she can’t really like Adam, but the end-game has been set.

This Noah-is-actually-a-ghost plot twist. I actually am not sure how I feel about this at this point. I’ll get back to you after I finish the next book. I certainly don’t dislike it and it was done really well but I don’t know if I like how ended yet. I was very happy to have him back but part of me felt like he should have died and been at peace and bringing he back was kinda cruel.

I love Gansey’s character. He’s the most real to me, the others seem a bit 2 dimensional. Noah doesn’t bug me becasue, well, he’s a ghost. The whole point is that he is a shadow of what he was. Adam actually isn’t too bad, it’s Blue and Ronan that really irked me. Ronan in stereotypical fighting, tough, stubborn one who is this way becasue of a traumatic past. And Blue I thought she tried too hard to make her eccentric and different and just ended up making her flat, it ended up being her whole character. There wasn’t anything else to her, no real personality traits, she’s just a sassy, eccentric teenager. She has a couple moments like when she’s with Gansey in the church and she tells him about the prophecy around her when I got the sense that she could be made into a really good character but there weren’t a lot of them. She does have some witty dialogue that made me laugh but there’s nothing behind them.  Emotionless. That’s the word I’m looking for. Gansey though. This character! He’s very human. He has these different sides to him depending on who he’s around and what role he has to play and that’s very true, everyone does that to varying degrees. Beneath that all he’s very unsure but not in a way that stops him, it makes him act and try to figure himself and this mystery out. I really like how he’s so good with words and he just turns them into a dangerous weapon, even without meaning to. And he’s trying to change that.

Neeve. I was kind of confused regarding her relationships with all the people in Blue’s house. At the beginning she’s creepy but we are generally ok with her. She’s like that aunt that is weird but she’s got your back, she’s not mean, she can be helpful and we trust her. And then somewhere in the middle she suddenly becomes suspicious and I don’t know why. Lots of family lives in this house so that another aunt came to live with them I didn’t find strange. We were told by Blue that it was and that she didn’t understand why she was here, but I had just accepted it. She needs a place to stay, all her family is there , it made sense to me. Then at the end I wasn’t sure if she was being evil, or… is she trying to help and having good intentions but maybe going about it wrong not realizing she’s hurting?

Once we found the plot I enjoyed it. It had a great treasure hunt and if had kind of the same vibe as The Spiderwick Chronicles. I never read those books I just saw the movie. Does anyone remember that and know where I’m going with this? Anyway, wasn’t a huge fan of this novel over all, but I didn’t dislike it. I’ll read the next one but I’m not tripping over myself becasue I feel I need it right away.

What are your thought? Again I hope you have a fantastic Holiday! Bye!

 

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Book Rant: The Scorpio Races

Scorpio-paperback-websiteRATING: 4.75/5

GENRE: Fantasy, YA

SERIES: Stand Alone

Hello! Welcome to Book Rant! Today we are discussing The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. This is the first book I have read by Maggie Stiefvater though I know she has another series, The Shiver Trilogy, that I have heard mixed review about. Anyway, The Scorpio Races take place on this made-up island in our world and I’m guessing it’s early 1900, it’s hard to tell becasue we are on this isolated island but there is a mention of the woman’s suffrage movement going on. Once  a year, wild, carnivorous horses rise from the sea  onto the banks of the island. And every year on the first of November, the locals capture and race them along the beach in a bloody show of courage and strength and every year people die. Sean, 19,  is the returning champion and he lives for this time of year. Puck was forced to enter the race by a cruel move of fate. Her and her brothers were orphaned when the water horses killed their parents and now they can barely make ends meet. Not only is she the only girl to ever enter the race, she has never been near a water horse before and cannot forget her parents death, but failure isn’t an option. I really, really enjoyed this book and I recommend it! Spoilers part here!

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I loved how this book builds. In the Prologue we learn what the races are and are sort of introduced to these horses, we learn that they are vicious and eat people and that Sean has some kind of a way with them. The we see them trying to capture the capall uisce  and meet the piebald and learn how Puck’s parents died, but it isn’t really until the storm when the horses come on land that we really see how dangerous these hoses are. When Tommy dies it also helps put things into perspective becasue he the first character we really know who is killed by one of these things. I loved Pucks story and how the stakes kept slowly raising  for her. At the parade when all the men are tormenting her for being a woman I kept expecting her to explain that she has no choice but she’s so strong and proud she knows she couldn’t do that or else everyone would use that weakness against her. When Tommy and those guys came after her and Dove I was so furious! She’s just a kid. By the end the stakes have raised for Sean too, it’s no longer just a race and only one of them can win. It was so stressful reading that becasue no matter what, even best case scenario, someone was going to lose everything. When Finn pulled the money out at the end I was just over the moon! I hadn’t seen it coming at all. And then she buys Corr and he chooses Sean over the ocean and ah! Loved, loved, loved the ending.

Mutt, this guy. His insanity also just keeps building throughout the book. He’s a really sad character, his father openly prefers Sean over him and trusts him more but Mutt makes it so difficult to feel bad for him! He doesn’t care about these horses, he killed a colt to try and get Sean fired then he sliced the legs of a capall uisce mere thinking it was Corr so Sean would lose! When he died, I don’t want to say it was happy, but it was “well you had it coming, idiot.” He’s riding  a man-eating magic horse he can’t control. Darwinism.

I loved the romance and the love story between Sean and Puck. I love how subtle it was. It didn’t take over from the main plot and it also grew slowly and naturally. I really liked how they started training together. Then the kiss FINALLY right near the end, so perfect.

Gabe, on the one hand I understand him. One the other he’s pretty well leaving his brother and sister on the street to starve. What if Puck had been killed? Would he still have left? Their argument at the beginning when he first tells them he’s leaving hints that yes, he would. I forget how old they said Finn was, 12? I understand having to do what good for yourself, but essentially condemning your siblings to death when the house forecloses and have no where to live. As it was, with three incomes and not paying rent, they were eating the bare minimum, cheapest food. That’s too selfish to leave, regardless how good a reason he has.

That’s it for today! Bye lovelies.