Read: June 1st- June 4th, 2017
Read: June 4th- June 9th, 2017
Read: June 10th, 2017
Read: June 10th – June 11th, 2017
***May contain spoilers, so if you haven’t read the series yet, proceed at your own risk***
There is absolutely no doubt this is one great YA fantasy series. I have to admit, I didn’t expect much when I started reading The Raven Boys at first. I mean, the synopsis for book #1 is just… it’s just totally YA… true love and kissing ban and girl should not like boy because boy is rich and rich means evil apparently. And that’s what I found a bit odd… the blurbs didn’t really feel like they fit per book?! There’s just so much more substance to each book, to the whole series that I kept going back to the blurbs while reading and found myself shaking my head, thinking- no. just no.
Stiefvater writes a compelling story. I was completely and positively surprised by a really strong plot with a great cast of characters. They all had their own thing going on and while Ronan was indeed the most outstanding in his abilities, at first I din’t really understand the majority’s fascination with him. Yes, he was the tortured ‘good’ guy but he was also unnecessarily asshole at times. I’m not even talking about the way he greeted or addressed his friends; ‘hey, asshole’… that’s not my problem, in my circle we lovingly called each other bitches. #nodramas But Ronan was just a bit too ‘strong‘… petulant… aiming to appear a man, and failing most of the time! And then he redeemed himself with small loving gestures and I thought- yes, it’s easy to love him because he needs it, but it’s difficult to love him because he won’t let you!
But! I did see his good qualities and started really seeing the things about Ronan that everyone loved towards the end of the series… I started to notice those things with Adam. Because I totally ship #Pynch (I can’t believe I just said that, bleh! I’m too old and uncool to use this lingo.) Anyway, Adam Parrish was, is, remains my favorite character throughout the series. I just love a hard working guy with principles and self pride who doesn’t give up! As for #Pynch… well, these two should have their own book series. Drop Gansey and Blue… let them run off into the sunset with an engine-less Camaro and Henry as the third wheel. What we need is a series about Ronan Lynch and Adam Parrish… Greywaren and Magician living in the Barns with The Orphan Girl! Maybe a visit or two or three from Noah…
Anyway, it was great to see that Ronan, Adam, Noah, Blue and Gansey got equal amount of attention throughout the series. Their characters were as important to story progression as they were to each other. The hunt and adventure to find Glendower is really a simple plot but the personalities around the story were what made it good. It was an imaginative adventure full of dreamlike events and I was captured fully by everything… I don’t know how to explain, but this series made me feel like it was one of those really trippy dreams that wrap around like a comfortable blanket… there was no OTT high school dramatics (which I appreciated) and yet there was plenty of scenes and settings which were just youthful enough and exciting enough. There was also scenes which pulled the line in between the magical setting and real life, because no matter how fantastical the story is, the characters are still people with lives. Different lives, different backgrounds, different personalities. Clashes, sparks and expertly created relationship development.
I admire Stefvater’s writing in The Raven Cycle… it’s phantasmal! It’s… you can understand all the emotions and feel them, you can visualize everything and feel engaged, but nothing is delivered in painful detail… It’s the overall feeling as I read every page that- yes, this is pretty darned neat. Maybe, it’s because it’s YA but mature minds can add that extra spice in places where they want.. Hybrid series! That’s it… you’ll only get as much out of the story as you’re willing to take! And I took a whole lot more! I really wound down the time in certain places and just let my mind wander…
Honestly, though, I don’t really know why I’m writing this post… I hardly have anything to contribute to potential readers… are there any potential readers left, even? Most everyone has been to Henrietta and 300 Fox Way (gosh, that house!)… But in a way, I feel like I need closure for myself. The series is read, the story is in my head and I need to move on even though I don’t want to. Henrietta’s ley line magic has captured me… but not without a minor grievance… Maybe because I read the 4 books back to back (yes, I like to be a rebel) within 11 days (I feel like I’ve been in Cabeswater, where did all the time go?) during which my expectations for the ending were running wild in my head.
The story kept building and building and building from book 1-3, to 4…. by way of new side characters, new (side)conflicts even though all the while the main goal was and always remained waking Glendower. And, perhaps, because first 3 books had built up such a storm, such a world, such a freaking experience, I was completely anxious 50% through the last book, because nothing looked like it was going to come to a grand finale! I mean… the ending was rushed… It felt rushed… the conclusions were weak when I compare them to the series overall. Some bits and bobs were tied off but they weren’t half as grand as the 3 books worth of a build up was. Those end conclusions could have lasted for another book’s worth of pages from that magical Stiefvater pen.
Then again… it’s just one of those endings that doesn’t deliver a conclusion for everything with a bow wrapped around it… it’s the end but not the end… In a way, I guess, the ending that didn’t deliver a conclusion for some of the side characters is making me feel like they’re there and they might be back… 🙂
A small thing to complain about though, in the grand scheme of things because I did enjoy the uniqueness of the story, the weaving of the words, the fact that Parrish and Lynch are somewhere doing their dream/magic thing, and that these are not the only sparks that are flying.