“The Raven Boys” Maggie Stiefvater

ARC (Advance Reading Copy). Raven Cycle series, Book #1 Maggie Stiefvater. To be published September 18, 2012. Scholastic Press. 408 pp.

Blue’s family are psychics. She can’t see the future, but can make their powers stronger through her energy. All her life she’s vowed to stay away from the boys at Aglionby, a private school for the stuffily rich she nicknamed “Raven Boys.” These two separate worlds clash when she has a vision that decrees she will cause the death of a Raven Boy named Gansby because she allowed him a kiss. Blue knows she is cursed, and anyone she loves and kisses will die. As a result, she has vowed off all romance.

The vision unsettles her, especially when she actually meets Gansby and his friends Adam, Noah and Ronan who involve her in their search for a mysterious dead king, Glendower. If found and awakened, he will grant a wish to his rescuer. Gansby has dedicated his life to this search, but someone else wants to find the king. He has already killed, and has no qualms about doing so again. Ronan seems to be hiding a deep secret, and has some dark connection to a baby raven he found and befriended. Adam is not rich like the other Aglionby students, refusing to leave home despite countless beatings from his father. Because he wants to leave on his own terms and not accept charity, he is unwilling to accept help from Gansby, which causes hard feelings between them.

Despite the confusion brought into her life by the Raven Boys and their troubles, and despite her curse, Blue finds herself falling for Adam, but something keeps bringing her thoughts to Gansby. She doesn’t have to be psychic to know her story is not going to have a happy ending.

This latest series by Stiefvater started a bit on the slow side, then quickly picked up speed until it was practically racing away with non-stop, nail biting action. As part of a four book series, high school fans will be seeing a bit more of Blue and the Raven Boys in years to come. I’m eagerly awaiting Book #2.

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