Adore! Magic realism, interesting perspectives, and corn fields FINALLY used as something positive instead of the scenes of horror movies. CharactersAdore! Magic realism, interesting perspectives, and corn fields FINALLY used as something positive instead of the scenes of horror movies. Characters rendered intriguing by unorthodox characteristics: Polish, disability in recognizing faces, etc. A mild comparison to a well known myth emerges late in the game, wasn't overwhelmingly trying to stay true the specifics, but subtly referenced them instead. (I saw you, pomegranate filling in Polish cookies).
Only reason it wasn't five stars: it was a little slow in the beginning. It was interesting, but it wasn't until maybe half of the way through that I found myself unable to put the book down (hence writing this in the wee hours of the morning-- I stayed up all night to finish it because I HAD to know what was coming next).
Verdict: Yes. Very yes. Different, page turning deliciousness. ...more
I loved the tea element! Tea having magical properties = genius. Plus ravens. Ravens are a staple in good literature. A little cheesy, a little simpleI loved the tea element! Tea having magical properties = genius. Plus ravens. Ravens are a staple in good literature. A little cheesy, a little simple, bad issues with POV changing paragraph to paragraph, but overall a good story about "broken" people finding solace and healing in each other. With magical tea and guardian ravens....more
4.5 I loved this book! It was such a breath of fresh air! It was fast-paced for the most part, it had loveable characters, and even though some of its4.5 I loved this book! It was such a breath of fresh air! It was fast-paced for the most part, it had loveable characters, and even though some of its elements were "cliche YA" (popular girl has to give up her self-centered way of life, two characters who have been enemies since birth have to work together and realize they secretly love each other, etc), they were played in new, unique ways I've never read before.
..... Can i say, however, I'm worried about the sequel? I'm worried that there will be too many new characters, new situations, new magical elements, etc. that will take it too far from THIS book, and it will lose its fun and sass and instead be full of angst. Because no one wants angst. Anyway, that's just my fear. ...more
The day has come, my friends. I never thought it would be here. No, not the day The Raven Boys ended, that was something I accepted would come somedayThe day has come, my friends. I never thought it would be here. No, not the day The Raven Boys ended, that was something I accepted would come someday but this.. THIS... no. This I could never prepare for. Today is the day that I am unsatisfied with a book written by favorite author, Maggie Stiefvater. The fact that it was the finale to The Raven Cycle makes the hurt so much deeper.
Yes. It's true. I did not like The Raven King. For many reasons, which I find so terribly saddening. But I've narrowed it down unto three main parts:
1. There were so many extra characters and bits of plot added into the mix that didn't add up to much. They maybe played into one scene, and hinted at something that was mentioned once before in a previous book, but then is completely dropped altogether. Why? Is it because Maggie was trying to match the legend so closely that she threw in random bits and pieces that were totally unnecessary to THIS story? Examples (I could go on for days about each one, but I'm keeping it short... for now): THE TREES-- gosh I was so mad*-- Laumonier, Persephone's death...
2. Things went unexplained. Very unexplained. And as the final book in the series, that is not what we're looking for. Examples: What became of Noah? Exactly WHEN did Gansey have his ghostly "Gansey. That's all there is." moment, because in all the hubub, I totally missed it. So was Glendower ever magical, or was it just a paradox? Who was the third sleeper then, Gansey? If Glendower was never magical, then how come all his magical tree buddies are still around after all their own immortal sleep? Technically, shouldn't Gwenllian have given them a favor? Anyways, is Blue part half-men-half-tree? Can she escape into trees? Is she therefore immortal? And about the demon. What happened, exactly? I mean, Maggie is nice with the showing what's going on, but this was COMPLETELY comput. I thought it was a joke. To not even MENTION it, beyond a "the blood river in the road was gone, so the demon was dead"? Come ob, that's pathetic. Was that just after Piper died? Exactly what was the demon doing with Piper, by the way? Was it about to possess her body? Cause that's what it seemed like. Had it killed more people by time the sacrifice was made? Was Mr. Gray able to make it out okay? Speaking of him, so how are the ladies of 300 Fox Way? We didn't get an epilogue update on THEM. How's Maura? What is she thinking about this all? What's the situation with Artemis now? Is he still in the tree? And Gwenllian? Mr.Gray? Are he and Maura dating? Seriously, casually, marriage? Would he move into 300 Fox Way? How is everyone coping without Persphone? Will Maura and Calla be able to make do without the 3rd part of their group, psychically-wise? Have Jimi and Orla moved back in? Does 300 Fox Way even exist anymore?
3. The event. We all know what that means. The one event that we've all known was coming since the first chapter of the first book. The event we've all come to dread at some point or another. The event, we realize in this book, is not a surprise to the party in question. Gansey has known all along that this is the year he is to die. Now... the fact that it wasn't a surprise took a lot of oomph out of it, which I was grateful for at the time. The fact that it was a willing sacrifice helped. Was it less dramatic? Possibly. There was less suspense leading up to it, that's for sure. What was really, truly awful (sorry. But I'm not going to sugarcoat it) was the reversal of Gansey's death. We had all expected him to be brought back to life, it was the HOW we were waiting for. And it was not Gansey-worthy. And didn't really make sense, either. So, Gansey dies, and they're all pissed and sad until they realize, "hey! let's just ask Cabeswater to die and give it's life for Gansey. Life for a life sort of dealio." And Cabeswater is like, "Okay, cool! But we can't exactly put him into a human body. Sorry. Them's the breaks." So then Blue's like, "I know! All these trees are my fellow half-men-half-tree folks from medieval times! Surely if I ask them they will all give themselves to the cause, and then Gansey will have a body." SO SHE ASKS THEM TO KILL THEMSELVES FOR GANSEY, AND THEY ALLLL DO IT, AND BECAUSE OF THAT, GANSEY GAINS A BODY. Despite Cabeswater JUST saying that it can't put itself/make?/I'm-still-unclear a human body. And he wakes up, and is Gansey again. No probs. Which begs the question: if Blue kisses him now, will he die? Or was that a one-time-only deal? Like, he survived the first deadly kiss, so all the following ones shall be normal, non-fatal ones? Does that take the drama out of it now? Anyway. It just seemed like after SO MUCH BUILD UP, it should have been more than just Cabeswater mashing itself inside Gansey to wake him up. It should have circled more things around, ESPECIALLY since that was a main theme of the book-- the characters living time over and over again. I really thought they were going to be tied into Glendower's day somehow, especially after Blue's face showing up on the flag, but there was no evidence of that in this book. Glendower was totally lost in this book. What was up with that, anyway? Another weak spot, I might add.
Overall, I was unsatisfied with this book. I was never really shocked, because I was too busy being mildly horrified that this book was so far off from where I had hoped it would be. The quest for Glendower was lost in this book. Random bits and bobs were throw in without much relevance to the plot. Many parts that were important to the plot were never explained or were completely glanced over. And the event, the death that was foretold in the first lines of the first book, was so very underwhelming indeed. Alas, I am happy my beloved characters all found happiness (except Noah? I'm not sure where or what happened to him) and love. But their story was not what I had hoped and dreamed it to be. And more importantly, it was not the quality I have come to expect from Ms. Stiefvaters' work, which was SERIOUSLY dissapointing. Especially since this books publishing date was delayed by like 5 months. Expectations only rise when fans see that you ask for so very many extra days to get things right... and when they don't live up to any of those expectations, big or small, the disappointment is the most profound, and the people the least forgiving. But will I continue to read Maggie's work in the future? Of course. One book I, as a reader, was unsatisfied with, does not constitute giving up on my favorite author. So I suppose the fans are COMPLETELY unforgiving, after all.
*Yeah, no, you know what, I am going to rant about the trees. Cause I'm mad. The trees were an EXCELLENT example of what set this book apart from other books-- magic for the sake of magic. Creative bits and bobs of magic mixing with nature, making beautiful, awe-inspiring things, even when read from a page. Sentient trees that spoke Latin? That was one of my most favorite things about this series. I just loved it. So when I found out that the trees are really magical mideval half-men-half-tree immortals, I was pissed. Why couldn't they just be trees? Why did the beautiful things have to be human? As if being human is the prerequisite for being beautiful. It just felt like the magic was becoming less and less real, and all that was left was humans and darkness and I was sad that there was nothing left to cling to....more
So. Basically: I liked the girls. I liked the ghosts. I liked their interspersed stories. (Although I wish we had seen at least a few glimpses of theSo. Basically: I liked the girls. I liked the ghosts. I liked their interspersed stories. (Although I wish we had seen at least a few glimpses of the OTHER ghosts-- we know they existed, but we saw no existence of them).
But it was sorta predictable. I mean, this is a cliched story, so I knew what I was getting into when I picked it up. There were a few unique aspects.
But, I'm still not convinced I understand everything about the Wickhams and "healing the world" and exactly how the Victors worked. You sacrifice a girl, and bam, everything is good? The world is going to be healed? And everyone who ever attended the school goes to the Elijah hell that was in Malcolm's dream? That's pretty awful for all the students who had NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY OF THIS. And exactly what happened when they trashed that book in the fire? The ghost girls were able to move on... but what about all the other kids in Elijah's hell? Are they all released, too? And does everything just go away? Everything's all good now? There's a few loose threads that were picked at without being solved....more
You know, I thought I was a fan of Gothic novels, but this was makes it doubt that. It was Gothic-extreme. No, actually, it was like a mix of Gothic aYou know, I thought I was a fan of Gothic novels, but this was makes it doubt that. It was Gothic-extreme. No, actually, it was like a mix of Gothic and dark horror. It wasn't as good as I would have hoped it to be, but it wasn't AWFUL....more
So, after a super stressful time trying to get my DOODLED, AUTOGRAPHED copy... apparently there was an overturned Fed-Ex truck involved... I finally gSo, after a super stressful time trying to get my DOODLED, AUTOGRAPHED copy... apparently there was an overturned Fed-Ex truck involved... I finally got antsy and downloaded Blue Lily, Lily Blue on the kindle and devoured it.
Oooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (Moan of delicious love).
I mean, it's awesome enough that this sort of plot exists. It's so very... out there. It's unique, and fresh, and deep and friggin amazing. But to add to that Maggie's mind-blowing characterization and master storytelling, and it's impossible not to be awed by this book. No, truly, there were multiple times when I just had to put the book down and soak up the sheer awesomeness. And then I dived back in, because, dang, that story is freaking intense.
More characters are introduced in Blue Lily, Lily Blue. Greenmantle comes to town, and becomes a somewhat-main character, along with his wife, Piper. I sorta adored Piper. At least until the event. You know, (view spoiler)[when she friggin shoots the Gray Man. WITCH (hide spoiler)]. I felt so betrayed. The Gray Man isn't as prominent as he was in The Dream Thieves, but he's still definitely there. We get to meet Gansey's professor friend from England (I can't remember his name!), and his pretentious dog (although, if I was named the Dog, I would pretty peevish, too). We also meet a... well... without being spoilery, a half-crazy witch lady whom they shelter at 300 Fox Way. She, named Gwenllian, provides great insight into Blue's psychic abilities. I mean, it's totally ambiguous and confusing in the shape of fourteenth century songs, but there are insights.
Mirrors. Maggie wrote an article about her title, and how it's a deference from "The Raven Boys" and "The Dream Thieves" to "Blue Lily, Lily Blue," and her answers were mirrors. Mirrors, physical and metaphorical, are a main theme of this book.
Lonesome. "Lonesome" is a main theme, too. Because of all the events in the past two books, and the craziness of this one, each of the boys and Blue starts to feel lonesome. Not alone, because they are all growing closer as friends, and find support in each other. However, they find things in which they feel apart from everyone else.
Adam, who felt very alone in The Dream Thieves, is learning to understand the ley line, and feeling more in control. He and Ronan scheme together to keep Greenmantle off their backs, which means lots of Adam+Ronan times. No romance, but (view spoiler)[ is this a spoiler? ADAM KNOWS. ADAM KNOWS THAT RONAN LOVES HIM. I was like, WHAAAAAAAT?!?! WHERE CAN I GO ON THE INTERNET TO FREAK ABOUT THIS?! *here!* Adam knows, and says that he's flattered that someone like Ronan would have a crush on someone like Adam. The way the story is going, it definitely looks like there is going to be some Ronan+Adam romance. (hide spoiler)]. Ronan himself is starting to freak out about what will happen when he dies, that so much of the Lynch legacy will be destroyed (or simply sleeping... more so than we ever realized before), and spends his time trying to find a way to wake the sleeping dream things (practicing on his father's cows) who have lost their dreamer. Noah starts to morph into this scary version of himself via the leyline/evil sleeper? and it's awful, because Noah is one of my favorite characters of all time.
Gansey is suddenly experiencing panic-- about death. About bees. About dying before he finds Glendower. About simply dying. There is super foreshadowing going on, but it's not certain just what will happen yet. But one thing is clear: Gansey's starting to understand that something bad is on the docket for him soon. He's feeling that foreboding feeling, and he's starting to freeze up with it. Blue... Blue is blue. Blue is naturally upset, because, duh, her mom's missing. Underground. And they can't find her. A house full of psychics and a group of teenage boy-king hunters can't find her mom, and she really needs her mom. I mean, she's in love with a guy who's going to die in the next 10 months, and she can't kiss him. And he's starting to fall in love with her. I'm sorry, but I don't fault Blue a bit for wanting to talk to her mom about that. Who else is going to understand? Yeah. She needs Maura.
So, yes, the romance is buzzing in the book. Mmmmm, more than I expected! It was fantasmolistic. Yes, I just threw that one in there. It's frustrating, and intense, and romantic, and stressful and full of, yes, feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllsssssssssss. Both of them are feeling it all, which makes it all the more intense-- it isn't one-sided, or wishy-washy wondering anymore. It's solid, it's there, and it's as painful as it is wonderful (did we expect anything less?)
The search for Glendower has turned up two extra sleepers, one who is expressly NOT TO BE WOKEN. As our beloved characters get closer and closer to discovering the sleeping king, they suddenly have new obstacles to dodge, new villains to fight, new riddles to solve, new dreams to traipse through, and realizing that time is running out of time.
It's sooooooo goooooooood.
My real, hardback, doodle and autographed copy just arrived in the mail, so now I get to go back reread!! Eee!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Me reading this book: Yup. Yup yup. I'm totally digging these gargoyles. Yup. I'm down with having a torrid gargoyle romance. Mmhmm.
You know, althoughMe reading this book: Yup. Yup yup. I'm totally digging these gargoyles. Yup. I'm down with having a torrid gargoyle romance. Mmhmm.
You know, although this book was chock-full of romance, which is usually what I'm rooting for, I was totally cool with it this time. Why? Because the STORY is so good, not just the romance (although that's fabulous, too). The story is intriguing, and multi-layered, and told from different characters views. There were heart breaks, and dumb decisions, and long-awaited hookups. There were new characters, and new demons, and deaths. It was chock-full of AWESOME!
The only bad part? We have to wait for the next one....more
I picked up this book at least three times at the bookstore, only to slam it back on the shelf with scoff at the tag line: "Her mission was to kill hiI picked up this book at least three times at the bookstore, only to slam it back on the shelf with scoff at the tag line: "Her mission was to kill him. Her destiny was to love him." I'm sorry, am I in the crappy paperback romance isle by mistake? GOSH. So it wasn't until I found this book on Amazon-- with only a thumbnail cover, the tagline was too small to see, so I FINALLY actually turned to the synopsis and realized that it sounded awesome-- that I downloaded it.
Moral? It doesn't matter how beat your book is, or how pretty the cover (cause this one is gorgeous), if you dare put a sappy/cheese-tastic tagline on your book, it WILL keep people from reading it.
Anyway. I loved this story. I really did. It was like some sort of Alice in Wonderland take on Beauty and the Beast, plopped down in a skewed Greek-mythology worshipping society. It was rad. There were some story elements that were a bit confusing, but with some imagination on the readers part, it doesn't take too much away.
Now, Shade. I have diverse feelings about Shade. The moment we met Shade, I guessed who and what he was... halfway. I mean, I went a half too far. (If you read the book, you'll understand). So, immediately, I fell in love with Shade, but he quickly started to get on my nerves, until I wasn't surprised when he was suspected for purposefully killing 5 of Ignifex's wives. It was Ignifex, truly, who had claimed my heart from his first, snarky words. I truly adore him in all his screwed up glory. So, as the story continues, and Ignifex seems to progress and change as a character, I grew lost when Ignifex's "identity" was revealed. Could Ignifex truly grow, since he was more a personification of the Last Prince's hate?
What threw me the most was the "return" of the Last Prince. How he was not quite a mash-up of both Ignifex (yay!) AND Shade (boo, hiss), but a whole new person all together. Nyx loved Ignifex. I feel like it should have been the progressed version of Ignifex that he was becoming under Nyx's love.
However, I LOVED the end, how it ended in the alternate world. I suppose if Ingnifex was no longer Ingifex but someone else, it was only fitting that Nyx be different as well. I loved Astraia's sharpness, and I adored the Day of the Dead ceremony that Nyx was going to take advantage of, and "become the Bride of Tom-a-lone." Totally imaginative. And the fact that when she was 7 she sort of remembered Ignifex and tried so hard to save him/talk to him/marry him.
My two dislikes: It ended a little fast for me... If the characters were going to change, I wanted to have time with them to witness and get used to those changes, and with Nyx we had that, but not Ignifex/Lux. I would have liked to have spent a little extra time with the happy couple. Maybe an epilogue. Also, I would have liked to have seen a little more romance! Don't get me wrong, I appreciated the fade-to-black sex scenes. In a lot of YA books these days, I start to wonder if I've secretly stumbled upon some porn or something, it's so graphic. However, it could have used a touch more touchy-feely kissy-huggy lovin' with still being just as classy, but more satisfying for us readers. Wow, that was a disgusting sentence. Sorry. You get the idea.
Overall? Imaginative. Creative. Full of self-loathing and snarky characters. Combines classic fairy tale elements with mythology in a surprising, interesting, and clean (almost disappointingly so) love story. Definite favorite....more
So, I think I'm turning into a scifi fan afterall. Huh.
Okay, but first: Let me say, I am by no means a scifi connoisseur. I am a YA paranormal romanceSo, I think I'm turning into a scifi fan afterall. Huh.
Okay, but first: Let me say, I am by no means a scifi connoisseur. I am a YA paranormal romance connoisseur. And I thought this book was bomb.
First chapter impressions left me wondering if Cara was going to be an over-ambitious, selfish ball of jerk and cheese, but it ended up not being that way. Were her blog posts cheesy? Definitely so. Was she? Not so much. Was she a genuinely kind person? Yes, yes she was.
Was I surprised at Cara and Aelyx's friendship? Yes, indeed I was. I thought it was going to go either one of two ways: 1. Aelyx would be disgustingly mean and insulting to Cara and her planet, when not completely ignoring her and her attempts to make him comfortable and fulfill the exchange program's mission. They would, of course, overcome their differences and fall madly in love. 2. They would both hate each other while being extremely attracted to each other and the pages would be full of sexual tension and intergalactic roommate trysts.
So when they started out amicably and became close friends and stay that way for a long time, yes, I was pleasantly surprised. It made for good reading.
It ended with a set-up for another! Which made me happy, because 1. It didn't end of a cliffhanger, but had a satisfying but still not perfect ending, and 2. I want to keep reading about these characters!
First off, I'm a fan of this series. Really, I am! But there is a ton of things that I really didn't enjoy. This installment was certainly easier to fFirst off, I'm a fan of this series. Really, I am! But there is a ton of things that I really didn't enjoy. This installment was certainly easier to follow than Book 1, but it still wasn't the smoothest flowing book.
So I'll first share my thoughts on WHAT WENT WRONG:
1. Slow, lingering scenes for pages, and pages, and pages, and... 2. Again, confusing in reasonings for actions/beliefs of Folk. 3. The romance between Ink and Joy struck a creepy chord with me in this book, despite finding it sweet in Book 1. Joy just keeps repeating that everything Ink does, touches and moves and such, he's learned from others, i.e. HER. He's using her own moves on her. There is no evidence that he acts on any impulses, tries new things, ventures out of the box... It feels robotic to me, you know? He doesn't seem to have any passion to drive him when it comes to romance. (Also, as I pointed out earlier in my live-reading thoughts: did Ink allude that he and Joy needed to stop kissing because he hadn't drawn himself a penis yet?? First off-- that's crossing the line of acceptability, Ms. Metcalf. Second, since when did Ink learn to associate desire and romance to sex? Did the Cabana Boys have a sit-down with him and explain the birds and the bees? Cause that's actually adorable now that I think about it. But honestly. I don't think that particularly bit needed to make it into the book. Let him draw his nether regions in peace, and let us live blissfully unaware of how he got that way.) 4. Questions went unanswered... (I don't even remember what they were...) 5. Did I mention that it was hard to follow at times? Yeah, okay. 6. Where was Ink doing his thing, marking people? Not once did Joy accompany him to mark someone. That whole plot element was erased in this book, and it was one of the things I loved about the first book. I loved all the different Folk we met and their descriptions and learning the reasons why they would be marked... I really, really missed the creativity of those things. The book definitely suffered for the loss of those characters and situations.
But that's the thing: I still really like this series. I had absolutely NO CLUE what was happening for most of the first book, but it was so creative and fresh and new, that I just HAD to finish it. It's what made me stick with this one in particularly long scenes in this book. I like the idea. I like the premise. The characters are an awesome mish-mash of off beat people and Folk and I love them. I don't understand it. I don't understand the overall plot. I don't get why a lot of it is important. But for once, I really don't care.