Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

"The Raven Boys" are what Blue calls the students at local Aglionby prep school, those larger than life entitled boys who have everything and wear a school sweater that bears an image of a raven as their crest.
Blue is not your average high school girl with an after school job at the local pizza place. Her Mom, Maura,  is a psychic. She never knew her Dad. She lives in a house filled with women, all her mother's friends who are all psychically inclined and do readings for civilians and occasionally more questionable members of normal society who make their way to the house.
Blue, herself, does not have psychic abilities. That's not to say she isn't special. Her secret power is the ability to amplify or make the vibes clearer and louder for whatever readings the women are doing.
There is a downside to all the psychic fun and games. Blue has been told that if she falls in love and kisses her true love...he will die. So, what's a girl to do? Especially when her mother's beautiful half-sister, Neeve, a psychic celebrity with a TV show, shows up and takes Blue out on St. Mark's Eve  to the ruins of an old isolated church to greet the spirits of those that would die in the next 12 months. The future dead have to follow a corpse road through  the church gate. Neeve asks their names as they pass... and Blue writes them down. The information has always been a useful part of Maura and her circle's job, letting people know that they, or a loved one, would die that year.
But tonight, though Blue has made things louder for Neeve... she "sees" someone, herself. A boy, a murky image, but there all the same, wearing slacks and a sweater, making his way slowly toward the gate. "Get his name" Neeve tells her. Blue goes closer... it's an Aglionby sweater. A raven boy. "What's your name?" she asks his wavery, indistinct image. "Gansey" he tells her. "Is that all?" asks Blue. "That's all there is..." says Gansey. She watches as he falls to his knees. "Neeve!" Blue cries out..."He's dying!"
"Not yet" says Neeve.  "Why can I see him," Blue asks. “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.”
Where do we go from here? It's a breathtaking beginning to a non-stop ride that will continue through 3 more volumes. There IS a Gansey, and we will meet him and his Aglionby posse and learn that there's more to these prep school boys than money, image and status. There's a quest, and there's the mystery surrounding it. A mystery that may have already caused one death. How Blue and the boys come together and join forces makes for a very addicting entry into this series. Can Blue keep what she knows about Gansey from happening? We shall see.
 *A note on author Maggie Stiefvater. "Scorpio Races" was the Recommender's favorite book of last year. She's  an amazing writer with the ability to create worlds much like ours... until suddenly a carnivorous sea horse rears up and tries to take a chunk out of someone, or the cute boy turns into a wolf. She has a magical way with words and can hook you into her reality like few writers can. "The Raven Boys" provides further proof of her virtuosity!

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