On November 1, I had eight books to read and just over eight weeks to finish them if I’m to complete this year’s reading challenge by December 31. I have all eight of those books chosen—lined up nicely on a bookshelf separate from the one that holds my ever growing to-be-read pillar—in an effort not to be distracted by so many options when it comes time to crack open a new read. The Scorpio Races was not one of those books.
But then Kennedy pointed out that if I were to read it, November 1 would be a good day to start, given its ominous yet intriguing first line:
It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.
Of course, I agreed with her. Combine that with my unparalleled skill for procrastination and my inability to stop reading a Maggie Stiefvater book once I start (this woman is hella talented), and dag nab it if I haven’t read yet another book that contributes absolutely nothing to my reading challenge.
I’ll say this: It’s a damn good thing I enjoyed it so much.
I’ll say it again: Stiefvater truly is a magician of language. While I admit there were a few instances where it seemed a little like she was grandstanding for the big finale, this was most definitely a fantastic denouement for the Raven cycle. I am happy.
And seriously, I can’t get over how perfect this is:
“Once, when Adam had still lived in the trailer park, he had been pushing the lawn mower around the scraggly side yard when he realized that it was raining a mile away. He could smell it, the earthy scent of rain on dirt, but also the electric, restless smell of ozone. And he could see it: a hazy gray sheet of water blocking his view of the mountains. He could track the line of rain traveling across the vast dry field toward him. It was heavy and dark and he knew he would get drenched if he stayed outside. It was coming from so far away that he had plenty of time to put the mower away and get under cover. Instead, though, he just stood there and watched it approach. Even at the last minute, as he heard the rain pounding the grass flat, he just stood there. He closed his eyes and let the storm soak him.
“That was this kiss.”
The last for no. 2 on my challenge.
- Thank heavens the second book was as good as the first. I would have been mighty disappointed were it not.
- What a lovely scene between Blue and Noah.
- I did not expect Adam Parrish to be such an enigma, but I’m looking forward to learning even more about his sacrifice.
- For a boy who never lies, Ronan Lynch certainly carries around more than a few substantial secrets.
- Who knew I’d be cheering for a hit man?
- I almost wish that a fourth book wasn’t forthcoming—I want to know all the secrets right now.
Another for no. 2 on my challenge.
Stiefvater is really a fantastic writer. Her striking prose and a compelling plot alone make The Raven Boys a worthy read, but I was most intrigued by the bonds between the four Aglionby boys. They’re a brotherhood—constantly fighting for and against one another, always within the confines of respect, loyalty, trust, and solidarity. They rely and depend on one another almost completely (whether they like it or not), and they know their greatest strength (and conversely their greatest weakness) is each other. It’s the best depiction of male friendship I’ve read in a long time (dynamic, fortifying, honest—the type of platonic relationship frequently written for female best friends). And since it is cleverly hidden in a teen fantasy novel, it snuck up on me. I’m impressed, Stiefvater. Well done.
No. 2 on my challenge. Psychics and ghosts and ley lines, oh my!