Monday, July 11, 2016

The Raven Cycle | Series Review

I finished the last book of the Raven Cycle, Maggie Stiefvater's paranormal-fantasy series just yesterday and wanted to of course share my thoughts. The series has gotten a lot of praise and people love it but I have some mixed feelings. Spoilers start here, so if you have not read the series and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now!

I have heard that people have found the first book a little hard to get into but I didn't feel that way. I admit a lot of characters are introduced very early and information is given in bits and pieces. The concept of ley lines and Glendower might be difficult to grasp but that is exactly what interested me the most while reading and has to do with my mixed feelings. In the first book the hunt for Glendower has the biggest emphasis and I like the first book most because of that. As the series goes on I feel like Glendower becomes less and less important and the focus is on other things and when Glendower is finally found he is not even woken but just dead. I felt betrayed that in the end he has no significance.

As for characters my favorite in the first book was Adam but through the series he changes and I somewhat lost interest in him when he was no longer the ultimate underdog. Ronan's story is one of the most logical which is funny since he is the most illogical character. Adam and Ronan have nothing to do with Glendower which is why I think the hunt had less and less impact on the overall story. Their relationship was great up until they kissed. I would have needed to see them talk about what they are to each other but it was all left out.

From the start I had zero interest in Gansey and was not bothered to think that he would die. His relationship with Blue reminded me of Bella and Edward and made me resent them a little. Blue on her own is an OK character and I shipped her and Adam but that obviously was doomed. The trio Maura, Calla and Persephone are awesome though I feel like they are forgotten and pushed aside towards the end of the last book.

There are a lot of very insignificant characters that in the end have little to no say in what happens. The characters that have some impact are forgotten or not tied in satisfyingly like Neeve or Mr Grey or Gwenllian or Artemus. What happened to them?

The ending is why I mostly have mixed feelings. Not only that Glendower was dead and didn't matter at all but Gansey waking from death was a cop out. I didn't enjoy Divergent series that much but one of the upsides is Tris dying in the end, that felt like an adequate solution and brave move. Gansey's waking wasn't even explained properly. I would have wanted one more chapter before the epilogue, maybe from Mr Grey's point of view which describes how the demon perhaps shatters or ceases from being, what the effect for Cabeswater was, little something else. So many things were left unexplained and I'm not happy about that. Even still it's a fairly good series, four stars for the first three books, three stars for the last book.

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