Book Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (Book 4 of The Raven Cycle)

Dear Bookworms, 

So here we are. At the end of another series. It always feel strange finishing up a series. You live and breath these characters for so long it's almost a culture shock to try and pick up another book.

So book four picks up right where book 3 left off, only a week after making it out of the collapsing cave and facing off against Piper. Piper along with Neeve, has woken the third sleeper, you know, they one they had been warned not to wake. Something is wrong with Cabeswater. It is slowly becoming dark and dangerous. Time is running out for the crew as they desperately try to find Glendower before the third woken sleeper destroys it, and them all along with it. Relationships take unexpected turns within the group, Ronan accidentally brings someone back from a dream, Blue finds out shocking information about her father (and thus herself), and the imminent predicted death of Gansey is fast approaching. 

Overall I would have to say I am fairly satisfied with the way the story ended. I had an idea of how the whole "true love" curse was going to play out with Blue and Gansey and I feel I was pretty right on track with that, so nothing really shocking there (other than the method in which he was resurrected, I wasn't really sure how that was going to play out). A few things that I was not expecting, however, were who (what?) the third woken sleeper would be, and it's mission to "unmake" if you will, the revelation about Blues true heritage and what her father was, and finally the relationship between Adam and Ronan. I will say I was disappointed that Glendower was long gone, no wish to be had from the lost king. It really seemed like the whole series was so fate and destiny driven, almost as if all their life's choices and circumstances brought them all together for this one thing only to have it totally not be about that one thing at all. I was slightly annoyed with the introduction of Henry into the group, but he grew on me so I got over it. I do have a couple unresolved questions though. What happened with Mr. Grey and Maura? Do they live happily ever after? Do the rare/magical artifact dealers just give up on Henrietta and leave everyone alone? Laumonier just split after killing Piper and never looked back? These are the unanswered things that drive me nuts in a book but Maggie did leave it pretty opened ended, which leads me to believe it could possibly be revisited in the future so maybe it isn't the end for the crew? Do I smell a spin off?

I think I had higher hopes for the ending which may have left me a tad disappointed but not so much so that I felt like I'd wasted time reading the series. I did enjoy it overall, the characters are all great and work well together. Even the cranky, ornary ones (ahem, Ronan) are really quite endearing. There is the perfect touch of magic and mysticism in the series along with some great villains and nail biting suspense, especially at the end of the series. I would recommend it to anyone in the mood for an urban fantasy. 

See y'all next week!

XOXO, 

Coco

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Book Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (Book 3 of The Raven Cycle)

Dear Bookworms,

Wooo-eeee things are getting intense over here people!

Book three picks up several weeks after the end of book two, Maura is missing, Adam is distancing himself further from the group while trying to figure out what it is that Cabsewater wants, and an unwelcome guest sets up shop in Henrietta. Forever on the hunt for understanding and uncovering clues that will led them to Glendower, the teens stumble upon and awaken (or release?) a women entombed in a cave on the ley line. A 600+ year old woman. A pretty insane woman, truth be told. Gansey and Blue grow ever closer as the team unearths information and fights new enemies. Not everyone will live to fight another day, secrets once in the dark will come to light, and a formidable enemy may have just been released into the world. 

Things are getting real people. With only one more book left in the series, Maggie is really ranking up the intensity. The developing relationship between Gansey and Blue is seriously heartbreaking ya'll. I know the whole "star crossed lovers" thing is a theme used a lot, especially in YA but it seems so real and fresh with these books. Maybe its Maggie's suburb writing style, so fresh and imaginative, or perhaps it's the underlying themes of destiny and fate and how malleable the future can be, but however she does it, it's golden!  The assimilation of the new supporting characters, namely Mallory and Mr. Grey is so fluid, everyone playing their part and adding their unique personalities to the group (and the mission) as a whole. I seriously couldn't get enough of Gwenllian. She was a hoot! The dialogue between characters is always so witty and honest. I really enjoyed reading even more about Ronans family life and the villains of this book are certainly unforgettable. Paige?! She isn't one for blending into the background of a story...

I am SO anxious to start the final book in the series, I have to know what happens with Blue's curse. I feel like I have an inkling of where it may go but I can't be certain....

Until next week my fellow bookish friends!

XOXO, 

Coco

READ MY OTHER BOOK REVIEWS HERE!

Book Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (Book II of The Raven Cycle)

Dear Bookworms,

Just finished up with book 2 of The Raven Cycle, The Dream Thieves and am awash with thoughts, so let's dish shall we?

So, The Dream Thieves centers largely on Ronan; his backstory and the newly disclosed secret that he can manifest physical items from his dreams. The continuing quest to locate the mythical Welsh King Glendower is still on the forefront of Ganseys agenda, which becomes complicated by the fact that Cabeswater has disappeared. The ley lines have been acting erratically ever since the ritual in Cabeswater weeks ago, and Adam has been increasingly distant, clearly suffering from some sort of inner turmoil which inevitably affects his once budding relationship with Blue. Ronan and the crew piece together clues about Ronans ability to take things from his dreams, while at the same time a mysterious man shows up in Henrietta, tasked with locating and delivering the Greywaren to a powerful paying customer. Secrets, truths, and heartbreaks are at the center of this book with a startling cliffhanger of an ending.

While I didn't love this one as much as the first, I feel like this series has lots of moving parts to ultimately deliver the reader one heck of a story at the end, and book 2 was setting the stage and laying the groundwork for the larger story. I did like that this story focused much more on Ronan, providing us with yet more insight into this hot headed, sharp tongued member of the group. He grew on me immensely as a character. Watching the once budding relationship between Blue and Adam deconstruct was truly heartbreaking. Hell, the internal conflict within Adam himself was heartbreaking. I just felt for the kid yanno? But at the same time I wanted to shake him sometimes. The author creates such a mythical, otherworldly tone with these books that compliments the story of Gwendower well. Even though the setting is modern day in rural Virginia, as a reader you just get a sense of otherness, of something regal and big, something important. I feel like every. single. person in this series is a specific piece in the immense puzzle that is this plot line. Everything from Blues uncertain parentage, the fact that she is an amplifier, her psychic family, Ganseys death and resurrection as a child, Adams ability to control the ley line, and Ronans abilities as a Greywaren. Everyone has a role to play, a role they seem almost destined to play within this story. And I've gotta say, I'm having a pretty great time watching it all unfold. 

Come back next Tuesday so we can dish on the third book, Blue Lily Lily Blue!

XOXO,

Coco

READ MY OTHER BOOK REVIEWS HERE!

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Book 1 of the Raven Cycle)

Dear Bookworms,

This weeks read has been on my list for awhile, I've heard lots of good stuff about it. A fellow bookworm friend lent it to me and let me tell you, I devoured it! 

 

Blue Sargent lives a pretty unconventional life in the conventional small town of Henrietta, VA. Raised by a household of women psychics, Blue wasn't born with the same gifts as her mother but she was born with the power to amplify the gifts of others. Every year on the eve of the feast of St. Mark, Blue goes with her mother to watch the dead walk the line. She never sees them herself, but serves as an amplifier to her mother who records the names of these dead who are destined to die in the next year, for paying customers. Until this year that is. This year Blue sees one boy, an Aglionby boy called Gansey. Known as Raven Boys, they are students of the prestigious prep school known to turn out politicians and powerful business men. The thing is, the only way she could have possibly seen him, according to the women in her house, is if he is her true love... or if she is to be the one to kill him. A looming prophesy told to her as long as she can remember becomes that much more real. If you kiss your true love, he will die. Gansey is on his own quest in search of the mythical Welsh king, Gwendower, with his band of Raven boys, Adam, Ronan, and Noah. The teenagers paths ultimately cross soon after the eve of St. Mark and entangle them in deadly magic, romance, mystery, and destiny. 

So let me just go ahead and say this right off the bat, go buy this book or check it out from the library...like now. This book is the perfect mix of mysticism, magic, and mystery. The characters together each bring the perfect balance to the group. I am super pumped to see where this prophecy takes us (that's gotta suck for a highschool girl to know she can't kiss her true love or oops, she kills him!) Along with some hints throughout the book, including some pretty intense visions the characters experience, I think I have some ideas but I honestly can't be sure considering Maggie threw a major plot twist in there about three fourths of the way through the book ( I did NOT see that coming, my jaw literally dropped with that one!) Who knows what that crazy lady will spring on us in books 2-4?! The author does such a wonderful job of really painting a complete picture for each of the characters, as a reader you really get a sense for who they are and she gives us great information about what really drives each character. I have a feeling all these driving factors will really play a part in the larger story playing out throughout the series. The setting Maggie chose for the novel is quaint, with a hint of magic and otherworldlyness which lends itself well to the story. Overall, I was more than satisfied with this book, it has all the makings for a spectacular series! 

Ok, gotta go read the second book now! Come back next Tuesday so we can dish about book 2!

XOXO, 

Coco

READ MY OTHER BOOK REVIEWS HERE!