I am a stubborn cuss at times. It took me FOREVER to read any Harry Potter (well into the publishing of Book 3, I think). And although I have been watching the book media circus around Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle series, it wasn’t until this summer when I was looking to read something just for me that I tried it. Yeah, she IS good.
Some books are excellent because of their story, some for their wording, some for their characters, some for their descriptions, some for their ingenuity, some for their world-building. Possibly only Harry Potter has been equivalently excellent on all of these. Raven Boys is really approaching the finish line close behind. The characters are unique, the story is ingenious, the setting is rich, the word choice is perfect in that evokes good mental imagery without being too wordy (ahem, a Game of the Thrones fail!), and the style, the voice, is lyrical. I was initially surprised that the audiobook version was read by a man (since I expect books by women to be read by women, especially when the first character introduced is a woman). But I find myself looking forward to times when I can put on this narrator (Will Patton). He really embodies one of the second book’s characters and so seems logical now that I am into Book 3.
Word choice is a funny thing. I prefer to read a style of author who doesn’t use long or complicated words to get her point across. I like it when an author can use normal, everyday words in a unique combination to really create an image. This author has THAT! Here, look!
“Her mother had asked Blue if she would go along as usual, but it wasn’t really a question. Blue had always gone; she would go this time. It was not as if she had made plans for St. Mark’s Eve. But she had to be asked. Maura had decided sometime before Blue’s birth that it was barbaric to order children about, and so Blue had grown up surrounded by imperative question marks.”
Maggie Stiefvater. The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Book 1) . Scholastic Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Or this…. I love the phrase “the ruin was cupped in the densely wooded hills”. Why yes, I do understand that the ruin sits there. But I also get the idea that it is gently held, welcome, if somewhat hidden, by the landscape, a part of the hills themselves. Ahhhhh. Like a cool drink of water, the author’s simple but sweet word choice let’s in a wide audience of readers.
So I am off to finish this series and to work on some of my other rebelliously ignored choices. What have YOU purposely avoided trying because everyone loved it?