Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Let me tell you a story:

After a long wait, spent eagerly awaiting an ever-delayed release date, The Raven King was finally here. What did Stiefvater have planned for our strange little found family of teens? What would Gansey find when he finally met Glendower? Eager to find the end of the story I’d fallen in love with, I dove right in, hopes high that this would be another The Dream Thieves, a book I still can’t help but think about almost daily.

It was not.

It was a horrible, miserable disappointment.

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was incredibly excited for this book. I loved the others in the series and couldn’t wait to see what the final conclusion would be. I’m sorely disappointed with the outcome, to be quite honest, for a few reasons:

– The writing. Throughout the entire book I felt that Stiefvater’s writing was no where near as polished as the previous books. This came across to me as a race to the deadline, and really yanked me out of the story a few times. By the end, I was so utterly sick of the “it was really about (so-and-so)” mechanic of starting chapters I could hardly take it. All this did was further disjoint the already disjointed storyline.
– Henry Cheng. Shoved into the storyline almost forcefully, given hardly enough background to be interesting at all, and there solely as a plot device, as needed.
– The entire rare artifact side characters. They were pulled in, caught up in the climax, and completely and utterly forgotten, which felt like both a huge waste and a very frustratingly dissatisfying way to wrap things up.
– The ending was predictable, but I could live with that if I at least felt like I was given enough information to go on. I don’t, because Gansey’s outcome hardly makes sense and Noah was written entirely off and Blue reverted back to “along for the ride” status.

Now for some spoilers:

I expected Ronan and Adam to be A Thing. I expected it when I knew it was the internet’s preferred pairing of choice for the series and I expected it when I read snippets as Stiefvater wrote the novel. I did not, however, expect it to be so hastily and so uncharacteristically rushed into existence. The build up just wasn’t there, and what we ended up with was a relationship that felt so hurried that I hardly understood why the characters ended up together.

This makes it sound like I hated this book – I did not. There were moments where Stiefvater’s writing truly shined as it always had, with beautiful imagery that sucked you in alongside the characters. But the magic of The Dream Thieves just wasn’t there for me, and that kind of sucks.

I’m glad I saw it through to the end, even if I’m not happy with the end result.

Bout of Books 2016

Bout of Books

Ah, spring. A time for cleaning out closets, drawers, and musty old stacks of who-knows-what from the cabinets. Spring cleaning is a concept I pretty strongly get behind, because, let’s face it, I’m terribly, awfully lazy in winter. Between the cold and the short days it takes all the energy I can muster to not straight-up hibernate each year. Piles upon piles of clutter magically create themselves during the winter months, and I hardly have the willpower to address them. So yes, spring cleaning is a thing that is Very Necessary around the Writerly household.

When I spotted Bout of Books, I thought to myself “well, I have a tremendous backlog of books that I’ve hardly touched. A week worth of reading sounds like just what I need to spring clean the bookshelf!” A perfect opportunity! Read some books, make shelf space, kick start this new blog, and maybe meet some new bloggers… sounds like a win-win, to me.

Here’s the blurb on Bout of Books:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

The goal is to read more than I would normally read, which isn’t much, lately. More specifically, I’d like to:

  • Read at least 1 hour each day. Can be a totally disjointed hour between other things, so long as I read instead of going for mindless scrolling of Facebook, for example.
  • Clean up the book backlog, consistently write reviews (both to GoodReads and this blog), and actively communicate with other participants.
  • Finish any books I’m halfway through.