I was a little hesitant to read The Raven Boys because of the sheer amount of hype around the series. So I didn’t read it, I listened to it. And I have to say that while I liked the audio quite a bit, I didn’t hear a lot of the voices as the reader did. Actually I think in my head I had different voices for all of them. But I’ll get to that later.
I LOVED the whole psychic part of this book. I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the series, just because I love the way that the magic is thrown in. I’ve always had a fascination with tarot card readings and psychics in general, and the way that they’re so casually presented, and in such a southern fashion, really kind of pulled me in. I desperately want to see Persephone’s deck because it sounds beautiful.
There’s such a mixture of different magical elements, too. The ley lines are, the psychic magic, the more traditional tarot readings, the actual magic of the woods. It seemed like a coming together of different magics, and I liked that. I could, of course, be entirely wrong, but I like thinking of it like this so don’t burst my bubble (I mean, you can if you want, I just might not talk to you again).
The reader for the audio, though, really kind of went overboard with some of the accents. Or, well, just with Adam’s. I know he wouldn’t sound quite as polished as Gansey and Ronan, but in the audio version he just sounds more…too southern. He sounds too southern. I think Adam tries to hide his accent most of the time, tries to sound as polished as the boys he goes to school with, and that his true accent would come out when he’s not paying attention, or when he’s anxious or nervous. Or scared. But the reader for the audio, Will Patton, gives Adam a very tangible accent all the time. More so than Blue, and she’s not doing anything to disguise her Henrietta accent.
I’m hoping for a little more Welsh mythology as the series goes on, more about Glendower and cabeswater and all that. I’m a sucker for mythologies that aren’t the traditional ones constantly being thrown in your face (i.e. Greek, Roman). I really want the Welsh to play a bigger role as the series progresses.
As far as characters go, I liked them all pretty okay. I felt like Gansey was a little much at times, a little too affected, but I think that’s how it’s supposed to be. I still don’t think we’ve really seen the real Gansey, even though some of this book is from his perspective. Maybe Gansey is afraid to be Gansey even in his head. I liked Ronan, because even though he was angry at everything and everyone, I felt like at least he was honest about it. Blunt and cruel, sure, probably, but still honest.
I don’t know if I’ve gotten a real read on Adam yet. He doesn’t want to be owned by anyone, that much is obvious, and he doesn’t want to be saved. He wants to do the saving. Of himself, mostly, but I suspect of Gansey, too. I’m not sure what Gansey needs to be saved from, but I have a feeling he will need to be saved from something. I liked that Noah was a ghost the whole time. He even says at one point that he’s been dead for seven years and no one really catches it. I kind of believed it, because something like that being brushed off the way it was screams “NOTICE ME” while dancing around in a peacock-feather hat and a turquoise suit.
I also think that we’ve met the villain of the series, and that they’re not necessarily cast as such. Yet. I’m not sure though, as there doesn’t really seem to be a clear villain, except for Whelk, and he was so obvious that I don’t think it was really him. I think there’s a subtlety to this series, and that it extends even to its villains.
All in All
The hype for this book (and probably series) is there for a REASON. A good one! I’m definitely going to keep going with this, and I’ve got the second book all queued up in my car, ready to go. Now I just have to drive around aimlessly for an excuse to listen to it more.
Let’s talk! Have you read this? Are you putting it off like I was? Which Raven Boy is your favorite?