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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Thoughts: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is 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 has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, 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 never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Well, welcome to the first of what hopefully will be a number of audiobook reviews.  I have never specifically reviewed an audiobook before so I hope you bare with me. 


I wasn't sure I was going to read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater when I first began hearing about it. I had read her Wolves of Mercy Falls series (Shiver, Linger and Forever), and I wasn't terribly impressed with them. When I say I wasn't all that impressed with them, what I really mean was that I didn't like the story. I thought it was a tad boring. However I absolutely appreciated Stiefvater's writing. I thought it was eloquent and it read smoothly. So although I didn't think I was going to read the first in her new series, this decision wasn't absolute. It was many bloggers (Pam) who really convinced me to give it a try.  So when I saw the audiobook at the library I thought, why not.

It took me a little while to get into this novel and this time I don't think it was the story. I think it was the narrator. A fellow by the name of Will Patton narrates The Raven Boys and although he doesn't have a bad reading voice it was just very one dimensional. He read the book to me, that was it. There was little else to it. I am not sure exactly how to say this. But some of the best audiobooks were really great experiences for me were Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson which was largely because of the amazing narrators. I think what was missing from this specific audiobook was a second reader. I think that would have broken it up it a bit it would have been better. I think if you have one narrator they need to be able to change their voice and embody every character in some small manner.

 In terms of Will Patten I think he would be better suited for novels with less mystery or less of a paranormal edge. He is no stranger to audiobook narration though. He's got a number of novels under his belt. I won't not listen to a novel because he is narrating it. I will just be better prepared for it.

The Raven Boys was a wonderful story and I loved it. I was floored that this was the same woman who had written The Wolves of Mercy Falls. This story was full of mystery and suspense. It was flirty and charming. I really enjoyed it. The writing was flawless- Maggie knows what she's doing there. I really adored Blue and her friendship with the Aglionby boys. I am very much looking forward to reading more of the series.

~Happy Reading Everyone!


  1. You must be the only person who didn't like Patton's reading of this!

  2. Glad that you enjoyed it. I have been putting it off, because I liked her first series less as it went on.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  3. I think I really need to read this one - I have it on my shelf, and like you, I really love Stiefvater's writing style! I just wasn't sure it sounded like a book I'd like.

  4. I've had a few bad narrators. It does make enjoying the story much harder. I'm happy you enjoyed The Raven Boys despite that!

  5. I really appreciate Maggie's writing even though I don't ALWAYS love the story. I have had The Raven Boys for ages so I'm really glad you enjoyed it! Hopefully I can read it soon!

  6. So, the book: sounds excellent!! I haven't read any of her books before, but even I, as an outsider, am surprised that this is written by the same person who wrote the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy because they do seem different. And it seems that with every book she puts out, more and more people like it more than the last one - sounds like she is improving as an author even if she has always had the writing down pat! That is so exciting to me.

    And the audiobook: well, that's too bad it wasn't the best narrator. I'm glad that you could still enjoy the story without enjoying the narrator because I find at times, the narrator can make or break a story for me. But I'll be sticking with the physical book for this one. Thanks for the review!

  7. Great review! Narration is KEY when it comes to audiobooks and can truly make or break a book for me. I've loved Maggie's other books on audio (The Scorpio Races was amazing!) so it's surprising to hear this about the narrator.

    I read this book but have the audio version as well. I'm glad I read vs. listened now! With the book, it took me a while to warm up to the story as well. It's just so different from Maggie's other books, but I love her writing. The story completely snuck up on me and I loved it in the end. I can't wait for book 2!

    Thanks for participating in the YAAC!
    ~ Jen @ A Book and a Latte - 2013 YA Audiobook Challenge!

  8. Have you read The Scorpio Races?? SO GOOD. I really enjoyed this one as well. (And I'm talking as someone who didn't really like Shiver much at all).

  9. Wait, did I really help to convince you to read this? That's so flattering. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I agree that Stiefvater is an amazing writer. I'm still debating on whether to read her wolf series. I agree about the narration thing...it's a fine line sometimes. A really good narrator can make an audio book experience so great.


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