Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewThe Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4) by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #4
Published by Scholastic Press on April 26th 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 438
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey…and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

picadillyblue

I’m still a little in shock that this series is over so forgive me if my thoughts are all over the place.  I finished this last week and this is the first time I’ve even felt like I could string together coherent sentences about it.  That should tell you plenty about the finale to the Raven Cycle.

Let me start off by saying that this will be spoiler free as far as The Raven King goes but I make no promises for the other books in the series.  If you haven’t read them, I urge you to stop reading my review and go read them.  Or just go read my review for The Raven Boys to see if it might interest you.

Pros:

  • Characters: These characters hold a special place in my heart at this point.  I’ve grown so attached to them over the past 4 books and I was so happy with how Maggie chose to end their stories.  I’m not saying that everything that happened to them was happy.  What I appreciated about how she ended everything was that it felt true to each of the characters.  I also loved that she could introduce new characters in the final book and make it feel like they had been there the whole time.  Henry Cheng may have been introduced in an earlier book but The Raven King is really where he made his grand entrance and he grew on me in no time.  I loved the relationship he built with everyone but Blue especially.
  • Romance: Y’all already know how I feel about Gansey and Blue (I adore them!) but I’ve never really been vocal about anyone else.  After reading The Raven King, I may like Ronan and Adam more than I like Gansey and Blue and that is really saying something.  Gansey and Blue have always had this chemistry that pulls them together and a curse that pushes them apart.  I’m a sucker for forbidden romance and that was another big appeal for them.  Ronan and Adam have a completely different type of relationship.  I wouldn’t even say they are that close as friends.  It’s more that Gansey brought them all together and they found each other through that weird friendship.  The tension between them just permeates everything they do and I just wanted to reach in the book and push them together.  Gah!  I can’t even talk about it anymore because I’m out of words.  Oh and then there was Maura and the Grey Man.  They were oddly cute together.
  • Writing: I bet this one is a big shocker to you guys.  Well, okay, maybe not really.  We all know I love Maggie Stiefvater’s writing.  It’s a style that might be a little more wordy than some authors but I love that.  I feel like every word she writes should be savored and she somehow manages to string them all together perfectly.  She is beyond talented.  It’s no surprise that the writing in The Raven King is flawless.

Cons:

  • Story: The story was not bad, it was just a little all over the place.  I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t quite what I got.  I said no spoilers so this part of the review is a little difficult.  Maggie Stiefvater tied up all loose ends which pleased me, definitely, but how she went about it wasn’t perfect, in my opinion.  And to be quite honest, if I took my time and re-read the whole series, I may not find the story to be a problem at all anymore.  I think it may have been that I took so much time between the first 3 books and this one that the confusion was only on my part.  I know there were things I forgot from the first books and when I eventually go back and re-read them, maybe things will make a bit more sense.

Overall, The Raven King will surpass expectations for fans of The Raven Cycle.  Maggie Stiefvater impressed me once again and I cannot wait to see what she does next.  The Raven Cycle will forever be up there on my list of favorites.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewBlue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #3
Published by Scholastic on October 21, 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 391
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

picadillyblue

Does it come as any surprise that I absolutely adored Blue Lily, Lily Blue? If it does, you probably haven’t read my reviews of The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves so you should probably stop reading this and check those out first.

I’d heard there was a cliffhanger at the end of Blue Lily, Lily Blue so I was pretty on edge throughout the whole book. (Don’t worry; it’s not a bad cliffhanger.) There were so many twists and turns in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, I just couldn’t keep up. I never once was able to predict what was going to happen next. That’s always been one of the things I love most about Maggie Stiefvater’s books and it was no exception with this one.

The characters have grown on me since the first book and I’ve come to love them all but I still can’t predict a single thing they are going to do. All of them managed to piss me off at least once throughout the book but I love them even more now, especially Adam. Adam has been the hardest for me to like throughout the series but I finally felt like I could understand where he was coming from with this book. He’s still not my favorite of the Raven boys but I like him a lot more now than I used to.

The story develops a lot more in Blue Lily, Lily Blue than in any of the other books. The Raven boys and Blue finally make some progress on their quest to find Glendower but they find more problems as well. Their quest is not a simple one and every bit of progress they make seems to be hindered by something. I’m not sure how things are going to end in the next (and final) book but I’m eager to see how Maggie Stiefvater ties things up.

Overall, Blue Lily, Lily Blue just blew me out of the water. I was expecting something amazing and I definitely got that. I wish I didn’t have to wait for the final book but I know there are plenty other readers out there anxiously awaiting it with me.

What others are saying about Blue Lily, Lily Blue:

There Were Books Involved’s review: “Maggie Stiefvater makes you believe in magic.”

Not Yet Read’s review: “The group as a whole do have some pretty tense moments, odd discoveries and of course two major breakthroughs in this installment and the way it ends did indeed leave me eager for the next book, I just didn’t feel that this one was as gripping or strong as the previous two books which I loved.”

Wrapped Up In Books’ review: “This series is undoubtedly one of my absolute favorites, and I am eagerly awaiting not only the series finale, but re-reading it and listening to the complete audiobooks (the narration has been excellent).”

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewThe Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #2
Published by Scholastic on September 17, 2013
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

picadillyblue

Maggie Stiefvater has never suffered from second book syndrome and that is still the case with The Dream Thieves. I was surprised to find myself enjoyed The Dream Thieves even more than I enjoyed The Raven Boys. This book truly took things to the next level.

The hunt is still on for Glendower but this time there are new players in the game and Glendower isn’t the only one being hunted.  Ronan’s ability is worth more than he ever could have known and he’s only just learning how it works.  There are people out there who know about the ability and would do whatever it takes to take control of it.  Not only that, Ronan is also learning that he may not be the only one who possesses the ability to take things from dreams and he starts to wonder what exactly has been taken from dreams and what is real.

The characters really start to change in The Dream Thieves.  I honestly wasn’t sure who I liked anymore.  Gansey was still Gansey but he starting being a lot wiser and more introspective.  Adam changed the most and I wasn’t impressed with the changes.  His anger started coming out a lot more and he was downright rude to Blue and his other friends.  I still felt bad for him because of his history and how it affected him but it was still no excuse.  Blue finally started to see that she wasn’t being fair to herself or to Adam and I was proud of her for that.  The prophecy about her true love really started to come into play in The Dream Thieves.  Blue is a strong girl but there were times when she broke down and I loved her even more for that.  Then there was Ronan.  I didn’t love him in the first book but I sure do now.  That boy is so twisted up inside.  I felt horrible for everything he’d been through but I was so happy to see how things were starting to change for him.  He showed the  most growth and development of anyone in The Dream Thieves.  The glances into his past also helped bring me around to see his side of things.

The story went places I never expected it to go.  I haven’t been able to predict a single thing about this series.  Every little detail somehow ties together into the bigger picture.  Readers can tell that everything is leading up to something big but I have no clue how the story will get there or what’s going to happen once it does get there.  Also, it’s impossible to tell who is good and who is bad and who does bad things just because they have to.  Each and every character is so complex and has a story all their own.  Good luck trying to figure anything out about this story or the characters.

Overall, The Dream Thieves continues the epicness (new word!) that is the Raven Cycle.  I’m excited to dive into Blue Lily, Lily Blue and see where Maggie Stiefvater takes Blue and her boys next.

What others are saying about The Dream Thieves:

The Streetlight Reader’s review: “The magic of The Raven Boys was lost in this book and the characters I had come to love were no longer present in this book.”

Starlight Book Reviews’ review: “While I missed the heaviness of the first book, it was still appropriate given the focus on Ronan and his progression and revelations.”

Wrapped Up In Books’ review: ” I highly recommend reading it one sitting (or as few as possible) so you can completely immerse yourself in the world and the writing.”

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Published by Scholastic on September 18, 2012
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

“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.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

picadillyblue

I feel like at this point anything I say about The Raven Boys and Maggie Stiefvater will just be reiteration.  I adore her writing and The Raven Boys is probably the best thing she’s written so far.  And I can say that because I’ve read all her other books.

Where do I start with this one?  There was honestly not a single thing about it that I didn’t like.  The characters, the writing, the setting, the story, every last thing about it was completely perfect.  I’ve always had a bit of an issue getting into Maggie Stiefvater’s books because while her writing is gorgeous it is a little weighty at times.  I didn’t find myself having that issue with The Raven Boys.  The story was so captivating that I was hooked from the very start.

The characters in The Raven Boys are some of the quirkiest characters I have ever read about and I mean that in the best possible way.  Blue and her family are psychics.  Well, technically Blue’s family is full of psychics, she just has this weird power to amplify all their supernatural energy.  Growing up in her family made Blue far from normal and she loved to seek out other things and people that were not exactly normal.  I loved that about her.  Her family cracked me up.  Maura was a very chill mom but she definitely looked out for her daughter.  Calla was volatile but fun.  Persephone was just plain odd.  As for Neeve, she was a mystery.  To be honest, all of Blue’s family was a bit of a mystery.

As for the Raven Boys, I honestly don’t know which one I love the most.  Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah were all such intricate, amazing characters.  Gansey was a little entitled but he meant well most of the time.  Ronan was a badass but I loved him.  He definitely had some attitude problems but he intrigued me from the start.  Adam was such a sweetheart and my heart broke for him.  Noah was a bit of a mystery but he was such a cutie.  They were a group of guys I never would have expected to be friends but they all worked together.

The story was so intricate and I never had a clue what was going to happen next.  There is mythology mixed in and magic and romance and so many awesome things I couldn’t help but love.  The Welsh mythology about Owen Glendower was something I knew nothing about and while there wasn’t a whole lot of information about it, it added just another great layer to the story.

Overall, The Raven Boys deserves every bit of hype that it has gotten so far.  I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to read it but I’m also sad that I don’t have all the books in the series to devour in one epic binge-reading session.

What others are saying about The Raven Boys:

Writer of Wrongs’ review: “Characters is how Stiefvater won me over, and characters is how she earned my heart, and Gansey characters is why I neeeeeed the sequel nowwwwww.”

Oh, The Books!’ review: “As if the plot wasn’t enough to keep me going, this book has some great characters.”

The Great Noveling Adventure’s review: “Though Raven Boys seems to be marketed toward the plotline about Blue and the fate of her true love, it’s the quest and characters that carry the story.”