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The Raven Boys

Written by: Maggie Stiefvater
Narrated by: Will Patton
Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"There are only two reasons a nonseer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve," Neeve said. "Either you're his true love... or you killed him."

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them - not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He has it all - family money, good looks, devoted friends - but he's looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the best-selling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we've never been before.

©2012 Maggie Stiefvater (P)2012 Scholastic Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Will Patton is perfect

This is the first book in my all time favourite series. I love all of the characters, and this is THE character driven series, and Will Patton brings them to vivid life. I have reread/listened to this series multiple times and I never grow tired of it. #Audible1

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Maggie Stiefvater is a Damn Genuis

I genuinely haven’t read (or listened to) a book by Maggie that I haven’t adored, or that hasn’t made me scream and ugly cry. Fantastic characters, outstanding plot, amazing writer.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Worth a listen/read if you like Supernatural

This book was good over all. I did however find some things described in so kuch detail that my mind wondered. the narrator took some getting use to, as he pronounces his "S" very snake like and it hurt the ears but once I was invested in the characters (about 3 or 4 chapters in) I mostly got over the harsh static of the snakey "S".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Twas ok

I've heard time and time again it gets better as you read the series, so maybe if I continue I'll enjoy it more? I found it pretty confusing and also really hated the narration. The characters were ok and the writing style a bit too flowery for me. I LOVED the parts where you got to listen to the tarot readings and the second half was pretty engaging. I would say overall a solid 3.

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Liked it

Good book except too quick of ending. Needed to be more decriptive as rest of story. Want to read next in series.

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Great work by Will Patton!

I'm hooked! from the characters to the performance, I couldn't stop listening. Can't wait to start the next book!

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Love the story; excellent narration

Love the story - Maggie Stiefvater writes unique characters, interesting stories, and uses lovely words. Great narrator, with unique voice/tone/accent for each character, which works well (it supported the telling of the story nicely, rather than distracting). Highly recommend.

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Great story, not so great narrator

I loved reading this book, the story is awesome and was so excited to have it be read to me. Though I can't stand the narrator.

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  • C. ALLINGER
  • 2012-09-20

Stiefvater does it again!

Although The Raven Boys is quite different from Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and The Scorpio Races, it highlights her amazing characters, exciting suspense, and that intriguing sense that the words could almost be poetry.

Each of the characters in this novel are both utterly deep and (despite the supernatural themes and plot) utterly real. For fans of Stiefvater's other works, this is expected. The bonus of this novel is that we get so many characters and yet can feel invested in all of them. Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronin, & Noah (the most central characters) were especially wonderful because they were neither wholly good nor wholly bad. Each had his/her own idiosyncrasies and failings as well as moments of heroism and compassion. I fell in love with all five!

I'm not generally a fan of the supernatural genre, but this story had me mesmerized and on the edge of my seat. I would have listened straight through if it weren't for those pesky distractions of sleep and work. You can tell that this is the beginning of a series ("The Raven Boys Cycle," according to the audiobook), but it does not end in an annoying cliffhanger.

The prose itself is captivating. I'm not even sure how to describe it, really, except that you can tell that Stiefvater's writing style is influenced by her love of music. I highly recommend reading/listening to any and all of her works.

Note about narration: Will Patton did an excellent job; he really brought the text to life! I wasn't sure if I would like his narration because I expected the narrator to be about the same age as the characters (late teens) and Patton is definitely much older. However, the 3rd person point-of-view and his engaging narration really made it work and, I think, added to the whole experience.

73 of 77 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • T. L. Walker
  • 2016-03-25

Magically Alluring!

This is my first outing with a Maggie Stiefvater book, and after reading some synopses on her other books, I think this was my best introduction to her writing. Stiefvater excels in many areas with this book. The story takes a little time to jumpstart itself. However, it is never dull, and it certainly lays the groundwork for a thoughtful story. Her handling of the supernatural elements are done in a way that could make them almost believable if placed in a real world setting while retaining that magical allure. She’s taken typical genre tropes, such as the “rich boy meets poor girl” and the “tormented bad boy,”and weaved into these familiar stories a complexity and nuance that both young adults and adults can appreciate. While I would’ve enjoyed just a little more depth of character for some of her characters, she does a fair job of presenting characters that you care about, characters that have their flaws and strengths. You love them. You cheer them. You get angry with them. One thing that kind of irked with me with the story, as far as character is concerned, is that the main antagonist felt so weak in the grand scheme of the story. This person had weak motivations, weak intentions, and no substance. I dislike antagonists that I can only feel apathetic toward at best. Antagonists should pull emotions from me I didn’t even know I had. Finally, as a history nerd and supernatural buff, the coupling of history and the supernatural kept my interest. This was almost Arthurian in a way without being about King Arthur.

As for the narration, I have a bit of mixed feelings about Will Patton’s narration. I feel his voice is both perfect and imperfect for this book. I enjoyed the almost hushed tone he used for the overall book However, parts of the book are narrated so brilliantly and other parts of the book, his narration felt jarring, a clash of tone and words. Funny thing is I can’t say whether there were more brilliant parts or more clashing parts, but it doesn’t turn me off to the narration. This is probably just another case of a narrator that I need to spend much more time with before I decide if I truly like them or not. One high praise I have for him is that I enjoyed his Southern accents, which I can be really finicky about as a Southerner myself. In fact, I enjoyed most of the voices he did for the characters in this book.

This book was quite a pleasant surprise, I didn’t expect to get as involved with as I did, especially since I wasn’t drawn to this book. However, the books I don’t feel any particular way about are usually the ones that manage to really capture my interest and imagination. Stiefvater has created something amazing with this story, and that ending certainly prods readers to seek out the next book.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • wmaursta
  • 2012-09-26

Wow, so pleasantly surprised. Ready for more!!

I was expecting a mildly entertaining semi-supernatural thriller. Wow was I off the mark. This book was not only well written, but the story has complex and real characters - even those who aren't "real" - the quest is really very interesting and based upon existing mysteries. The chemistry between all characters is fantastic and lets you become involved with all of them and their friendships. The prose is rich without being bogged down and wordy - you can SEE the situations and almost smell the woods or dusty apartment. I also read Tarot and am always fascinated to read stories involving characters who wear that skin being portrayed with dignity and respect rather than the charlatans and grifters they are often painted as. Yep, really liked this one so much more than I thought I would and was so happy that there are more in the series - I want more of this group and their quest for the King. Will Patton is one of my FAVORITE narrators - he always imparts class and so much honeyed Southern charm to his narration - love to listen! Thumbs Up all around!!

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • green ice cream garden
  • 2016-06-07

Interesting start

Since I read this series back to back without time to write individual reviews, I'm summing up the whole series in one review. Lazy? Guilty as charged.

Book 1 - 3 stars. It was different and though set in real time, easily drifted into fantasy time.

Book 2 - 3 stars. Possibly the one I enjoyed most in the series. The concept of a dream thief was fascinating. Plus, loved the action.

Book 3 - 2 stars. What happened? New characters were overwhelming. Something I overlooked in the other books - dialogues that left things unsaid as well as confusing dream sequences - really irritated me in this one.

Book 4 - 2 stars (maybe 1.5). This could have been a trilogy in my opinion. This last in the series dragged. Again, why are all these new characters not fundamental to the tale of the foursome? I was hoping for lots of action to resolve the story but it lacked for me, regretfully.

Narration - 5 star across the board!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • 2012-10-01

A very good listen

I wasn't quite sure if this was a young adult book or not. I tend to think it is. However, even adults can enjoy this one.
If you like paranormal, ley lines and mystery, you should like this book.
Each major character is fully fleshed out, which gave me a reason to keep listening and rooting for them through out the book.
Will Patton does an excellent job of narrating and bringing the characters to life.

Have fun listening......

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Melanie Parker
  • 2016-03-07

Perfection

The Raven Boys made me feel exactly what I want to feel when I start a new book. That magic of not being able to put it down. The ignored glances at my alarm clock when I notice it's past three AM. The heart wrenching pain when I become so obsessed I forget that these are just fictional characters. The Raven Boys is the best book I've read since The Name of the Wind.

This completely unique story is about a girl, Blue, that lives in a house full of psychics. She is the only one in her family that does not have psychic powers, but instead possesses something much different. Blue amplifies the spirit's voices. This not only helps her family, but also helps the spirits in other ways. Blue is a little bitter that she cannot actually see the spirits, until one night she is able to see one.

Then, of course, we have our raven boys who are in hunt of something that is much bigger than they are aware of: Gansey is the ringleader. Adam is from a broken home. Ronan has a lot of anger trapped inside him. Noah is carrying the biggest secret of them all.

Basically, most all the raven boys are very privileged young men that go to an even more privileged college preparatory school. Blue tries to stay far away from them, or any boy because of a prophecy her mother has told her since birth, but their paths inevitable cross.

I think that is the theme of this whole book: inevitability. How we all have choices, and how much that one small forgettable choice can change not only your future, but so many people's future. How that choice can make different paths cross, which in turn develops even more inevitable events.

This is such a whimsical story, written so beautifully, filled with magic. The foreshadowing, the metaphors, the prose. Maggie Stiefvater is a God amongst men. I have nothing to compare it to, because it's incomparable. This book has everything I'd ever want in a story. This is the type of book that makes me feel guilty giving other books five star ratings, because this is deserving of something more, something that surpasses all the others.

Hopefully this is a little better than my paragraph gush of Shiver, but I'm going to guess it's not by much. My personal opinion is that the blurb of this book does nothing for what the book actually is. So if you're holding off because of that, please give this book a try.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Myrtha
  • 2012-09-29

VERY GOOD STORY, AMAZING PERFORMANCE !

As an audiobook listener, surely you must have had that feeling that a narrator is just right or not for an specific book.

In THE RAVEN BOYS the performance is so right that gives the characters a kind of depth, it takes you into the story and makes you jump or sight with relief.

The story itself is good, an interesting and new approach to magic and to the supernatural interweave with the protagonists mundane thoughts, feelings and lives. Always good and evil fighting to prevail in the human soul.
The combination of the story itself and its masterful performance kept me a bit anxious and not being able to stop the listening unless absolutely necessary till the end !

I know my review is over simplified but others before me have already said a lot with which I agree.I only want to insist that it is a very enjoyable production and worth your time and credit!

Aahh and a very nice surprise is the music, which i liked it, is composed and executed by Maggie Stiefvater.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Reen
  • 2012-12-30

Character driven and deliciously spooky

I am not drawn to books about the paranormal, but like many other adults I have enjoyed high quality books categorized as young adult, such as Hunger Games and Harry Potter. Having spotted this on a best of 2012 list, I downloaded it before a long drive. The writing is lovely, with such care and precision paid to descriptions of mood and feeling that the result is deliciously spooky. Serious and thoughtful, the author explores friendship, fate of birth and consequences. The paranormal events are used effectively, not to evoke disgust/fear or otherwise titillate (my general criticism of the genre), but to add gravity to each character's actions and to their relationships to each other. Understanding this makes it a little easier to accept the slow-ish pacing as you take time to get to know the principles. It ends satisfactorily but clearly is the first leg of a longer journey these characters face.

In the Raven Boys world, it is easy to believe in ghosts and magic in part because they are introduced so naturally and matter-of-factly that they lay beside the greater meaning of characters working hard to identify their moral compass and reconcile their values and actions with the circumstances of their lives.

Surface cliches - rich boy/poor girl - are freshened by insights into each character's inner thoughts which are complex and considered. Blue's cursed fate to kill her one true love felt like contrived drama when first introduced, but the question of how and who she will love does not at all. I find I want to read more not to see what happens in a plot-driven sense, but to find out what happens to these characters. How do they grow up? Who do they love? What becomes of their friendships? For me, that makes this a five-star story. I have no idea whether those looking for innovations on the paranormal genre will find what they are looking for here. But if you love characters full of youth and potential, you will enjoy this.

The narrator does a great job, inserting gentle southern drawls at just the right moments. Characters voices are distinct. The reading as a whole creates the feeling of a great campfire story. Please, Ms Stiefvater and Mr Patton, continue!

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Darice Mendez
  • 2018-10-29

A Little Disappointed

I had purchased this because of a Raving review and was very disappointed. It was ok but really nothing to Rave about. I kept going thinking it would get better, but really it just stayed the same throughout.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • choozee
  • 2017-02-04

Not what I expected

This is a story of psychic originality. It combines science with the paranormal through a few college students. The characters and story line are interesting but the story seemed to be lacking. It's not the worst book I've ever read but unfortunately I'm not overly excited to read book 2....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful