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review 2020-04-05 13:51
Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater

by Maggie Stiefvater


This is a YA story but very well written so I didn't feel like I was reading children's literature, as is often my problem with YA.


Grace has a fascination with the wolves around her rural home, but when she is dragged off her swing and attacked by the pack, she makes a connection with one of them that saves her life. From then on, her wolf comes to visit her every winter, though he also watches her in summer, but in human form.


This was a sweet romance story with a paranormal twist. It is written in alternating points of view so we see both Grace and Sam's thoughts about the developing bond between them and the effects when a local boy is bitten and becomes one of the shapeshifter pack.


Despite the high school age concerns which is something I don't usually care to read about, I enjoyed this one al the way through, though I thought the ending was a little too abrupt and left the last events unexplained. Some loose ends are expected though as it's a series.


YA Romance readers who like a little paranormal should enjoy this one.

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review 2020-01-06 01:43
Review: The Raven King
The Raven King: The Raven Cycle, Book 4 - Scholastic Audio,Maggie Stiefvater,Will Patton

Once again, Will Patton did a wonderful job with the narration. At the beginning of the audiobook I had kind of wished that all books in a series would get a brief recap because it's been a while since I read the first three books and I was a little lost. It didn't take me long to get back into the swing of it though.


The progression of the story flowed well, I think. I was surprised, by the truth of Capeswater and the Raven King and just all the little things pile up into one big, "WHAT?!" But in a good way. I didn't predict anything in this story, especially not Ronin and Adam! If this was obvious, where the hell was I? But I loved it. Henry was a nice edition to the group. I think there was a bit of growth for all of the characters, which is always a good thing.


I loved the ending and thought this book was a good finale to the series. I know some people didn't enjoy the series, but whateves. Good read, would probably re-read in the future.

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review 2019-12-08 01:43
Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
Call Down the Hawk - Maggie Stiefvater

Right off the bat, here is a Beth's World PSA.


Fair warning:


There will be a controlled burn of fangirling in this review. I was aiming for low key reverence but the Force is strong with Padawan Maggie. Hopefully this is more of a tame, reflective piece of quiet admiration. SO, if a bibliophile with big heart eyes, fervently in love with a book, an author or a fictional world isn't for you then stop right here and move on to the next review. I hope that doesn't come off as rude... I mean that in the nicest way possible BUT if you think I'm a shameless zealot now, you should see all the goopy lovey bits I omitted. Okay? Are we good? I'm glad you stayed... let's move on BUT you've been warned!


End aggressive announcement!!

Now, if Freaking Awesome Badassery had a nom de plume its would be Maggie Stiefvater. She has a way of leading you down the rabbit hole with a tempting trail of well placed, prickly yet succulent literary breadcrumbs. Then when she has you firmly in her grasp... enticed and ensnared...BAM... you're bludgeoned over the head with verbal magnificence and dazzled with Lynch brothers and Apocalypse fearing Dreamer hunters and psychics and more. Then you realize you're not alone, you're now one of us.


:::chant::: one of us... one of us.


BUT do not fret, there are many wonderful things here like Nuance. There are onion-like layers of intricacies within this pièce de résistance... mottled subplots within plots that'll have you scratching your head and wondering what in your life has brought you here and where in the hell is this story going? There are characters that are multifaceted hues of Gray, just the way I like them. They are so deliciously complex you won't be certain which side of them will show up to any given scenario, keeping you on your toes. There are doppelgangers, secret societies, magical markets & artifacts. Most of the time I was wondering where in God's green Earth were we being led? I laughed. I cursed aloud "Holy Hell in a Handbasket" (PG version). I wondered how one person can imagine all the slip-n-slidey, turny twisty bits (plus freaky horror dreams), BUT there are most certainly twisty bits aplenty! Plot twists worthy of M. Knight Shyamalan's respect.


true fact: in my house he is known, affectionately, as M. Knight Shama- lama-ding-dong. He was dubbed this by my daughter who has yet to watch any of his movies BUT after eavesdropping on the adults one night (and because she thinks everything that comes to her mind and out of her mouth is automatically gold... which, in this case it was)... she blessed us with her 2 cents ... here it was born, here it stuck, and here it shall stay... but I digress.

There were other types of depth to the book as well. There was suspense, and intrigue and a plethora of confusion (in a good way). You'll be kept guessing the entire read (on multiple fronts) and for the most part, things will begin to click but don't expect to fully know what's going on and where things are headed. With one question answered, 2 more pop up.

Speaking of dark brooding enigmas... you were thinking about him right? Am I right?? Do you love Ronan as much as I do? Silly question, how could you not? But just when you think you couldn't love Ronan any more, Call Down the Hawk has come along to correct your folly. I found myself following the subtle trails of this complex plot and they led straight to my smitten heart AND do you know what I found there hermetically sealed and stuck with an impervious layer of sticky stuff (that's definitely the technical term)? I found Ronan Lynch (and Adam of course but this book didn't really feature him much) Gorilla Glued with glittery embellishments and bells and ribbons... Ronan would absolutely detest it YET there it was... and there he was... and there they all were (both old friends and new ones) and there they all shall live for forever and a day in a big heaping mess of veneration.

Remember that humor I spoke about earlier? Well, it was subtle and it elicited pure expressions of joy from me. It was the type of humor that crescendos from quiet appreciation ---> school girl giggles ---> laughing so loud even a train full of jaded NYers stop their busy, mind your own business mottoed, lives to look over at me with unbridled curiosity... hoping to find something funny enough to bring a little joy, a little mirth to brighten up their robotic 9-5 lives.... praying that the bubble of happiness I now radiate... personify... exude, will at least expand to incorporate them and at best grow to include the whole damn cynical World.


Sorry for the extreme runon. When Life happens, it often happens in long drawn out runons and I just report what I see BUT, I also digress... again.

Anyway, back to the goods...

One of the best parts of the book was that we also got to be better acquainted with the Lynch Brothers Trio and man-oh-man let me tell you just how broken, resilient, beautific, humanly flawed and how perfectly imperfect they all were. There's a Lynch brother flavor for every type of reader and one for any bipolar mood swing you might have and one for the most eclectic of admirers. Our foray into the lives of the Lynch brothers 3 was so much better than in the Raven Cycle that I even found myself commiserating with/swooning over Declan ... D-Bag... Mr. Boring... Zippy Shoes or whatever name you assign him (I vote for Zippy Shoes). Each brother believed himself to be the "fake" brother... the fuckup... the black hole, deep dark void, infinitly blackest of black sheep of the family. Who's right? Who will be the Lynch family's downfall? Who will survive and come out the other end still intact and emotionally unscathed? Will any? All? None? Can anyone truly claim to be able to accomplish that feat as they traverse Life in all of its fickle glory? Who knows? I have my theories although with THAT ending no one besides Mrs. Maggie can say for certain and she's not telling... for now.

You know what IS telling? I preordered this a la Amazon Kindle (not a paid for endorsement) and after gobbling it up in record time in print... errrr digital, I still bought the Audiobook from Audible (also not a paid endorsement) as well. It was SO worth having both forms because narrating it in your own head using your own cadence, tempo and tone is a vastly different experience than listening to another person's perspective, their inflections, their rendition of how each character, piece of dialogue and the overall essence of the book should be portrayed. It feels like you're experiencing a whole new book that feels familiar but doesn't convey as such.

What it all boiled down to was this, Call Down the Hawk's accolades are 100% deserved in any format. I loved Maggie Steifvater before this gem and I'm relieved to report that she has most assuredly not disappointed this time around!! Although it's apparent that I'm a bit biased, I admit that I'd pay to read her take on anything (even a farmer's almanac), especially if it's set in this World with these Characters with this gorgeously creative, poignant writing and honey sweet narration.

Now, who exactly is this Will Patton guy you might ask? I'm so glad you did! He is the same voice that gave life to the Raven Cycle series and if you know even a little bit about me you'll know how I fawn over and covet all things Raven Cycle especially its characters. Gansey, Blue, Adam, Ronan et al are family now... no, better than that they are indelibly etched into my soul (cue dramatic music) and it's partially due to Patton's performances. He was born to embody these books! His voice is haunting and lilting. It can be crooning, comforting and capricious as hell. Just when you are one with the ebb and flow... WHAM... it's now all sorts of razor sharp edges and gravel on fire.

You might be wondering if it is necessary to read The Raven Cycle series beforehand. Personally, if you started here, I feel it would keep you from picking up on some subtle nuances and semi-critical background info BUT it is not imperative. Mrs. Stiefvater gives just enough backstory to keep you from needing a rescue party. For me, I believe that having prior insight into this universe helped make things more tangible, relatable and definitely more enjoyable. So take that as you may.

And that ending... it has an ending (duh) but you know the sort... the kind that ramps up the cardiac BPM... offers the promise of answers and peace of mind but delivers emotional scars and (forgivable) disappointment. I loved it but I want, I crave, I NEED answers... STAT!!


This was an extremely addictive timesuck (in the best possible way). With highest marks for Mrs. Stiefvater for acing the Trifecta of Awesomeness (Writing Quality + Character Development + World Building). My only gripe was with the ending. The last few pages felt more like a sheer drop off a steep cliff instead of a drawn out, suspense laden Cliffhanger. I'm not a huge fan of even the tamest of Cliffys but thankfully this one wasn't torturous. The rest made me want to climb the tallest NYC fire escape and scream my ardent adoration at the top of my lungs (into the smoggy night) until my breath gave out, my throat dried up and the neighbors started yelling out of their windows... a la West Side Story style... for me to "Shut the hell up already"... ahhhh, now that's the good stuff right there. If a book leaves you breathless, hoarse and recieving police citations for noise pollution and disturbing the peace, then it's a keeper... AND this one's undeniably a keeper... grab one asap! I can't wait to see... hear... read what you think.

I wholeheartedly apologize for the brain farting mental tangents. Both the hard copy and Audiobook held me completely captive the entire time so please don't take my squirreling mind as an indication of a sloppy, wandering narrative because it's probably just my age showing or the beginnings of insanity... oh well... both sound fatal but neither are Mrs. Stiefvater's fault.

~ Enjoy

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review 2019-11-06 09:03
Ansteckende mystische Schnitzeljagd
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater ist eine Frau vieler Talente: Autorin, Künstlerin, Musikerin, Rennfahrerin, Ehefrau, Mutter. Sie besaß stets das Selbstbewusstsein, jede ihrer Leidenschaften auszuleben, doch ihre vermutlich älteste Passion ist das Schreiben. Sie begann bereits als Kind, Geschichten zu schreiben und schickte ihre Manuskripte erstmals mit 16 Jahren an Verlage. Bekannt wurde sie vor allem durch ihre Reihe „The Wolves of Mercy Falls“. Ihr Name ist mir schon lange geläufig; sie tanzte jahrelang durch meine Peripherie, bis ich entschied, sie endlich kennenlernen zu wollen. Ich wählte „The Raven Boys“ aus, Auftakt der Tetralogie „The Raven Cycle“, die Kritiken zufolge anspruchsvoller ist als „The Wolves of Mercy Falls“.


Dein Kuss wird den Tod deiner wahren Liebe besiegeln – ihr ganzes Leben verfolgt die 16-jährige Blue diese düstere Prophezeiung. Also entschied sie, sich einfach niemals zu verlieben. Am Markustag hält sie wie jedes Jahr Totenwache für die armen Seelen derjenigen, die in den nächsten 12 Monaten sterben werden. Bisher konnte Blue die Toten nicht sehen, dieses Mal erscheint ihr jedoch der Geist eines Jungen in ihrem Alter, der die Uniform der schicken privaten Aglionby Academy trägt. Er sagt, sein Name sei Gansey. Blue weiß, dass seine Manifestation nur zwei Gründe haben kann: entweder, sie ist für seinen Tod verantwortlich oder er ist ihre wahre Liebe. Normalerweise hält sie sich bewusst von den sogenannten Raven Boys fern. Sie bedeuten Ärger. Verstört flüchtet sie zurück in ihren Alltag – bis Gansey plötzlich lebendig vor ihr steht. Er und seine drei Freunde Ronan, Adam und Noah sind keine normalen Schüler der Academy. Sie sind auf der Suche: nach Macht, nach Energie, nach Antworten. Schon bald ist auch Blue von ihrer mystischen Mission fasziniert. Und das Schicksal nimmt seinen vorbestimmten Lauf …


Schriftsteller_innen fantastischer Literatur lieben die Theorie der Ley-Linien. Die Annahme, dass bestimmte Landmarken wie Steinkreise, Kirchen und prähistorische Kulturstätten systematisch über Kilometer hinweg auf geraden Linien angeordnet sind, lädt zu wilden Spekulationen ein und dient immer wieder als Inspirationsquelle für magische Geschichten. Ich schließe mich der Faszination freudig an. Es interessiert mich nicht, dass es keine statistischen Beweise für ihre Existenz gibt, ich sehe Ley-Linien als prickelndes Geheimnis, das andeutet, dass unsere Welt vielleicht etwas zauberhafter ist, als sie wirkt. Maggie Stiefvater mag das ähnlich betrachten, denn „The Raven Boys“ basiert auf der Hypothese, dass Ley-Linien nicht nur existieren, sondern magisch-energetische Strömungen darstellen. Hätte ich das vor der Lektüre gewusst, hätte ich wahrscheinlich viel eher begonnen, „The Raven Cycle“ zu lesen. Der Reihenauftakt ist eine ansteckende und manchmal angenehm gruselige mystische Schnitzeljagd, die mich fesselte und mir großen Lesespaß bereitete. Die Geschichte beginnt mit Blue, die aus einer Familie von Wahrsagerinnen stammt und herausfindet, dass ihr Schicksal an vier Jungs geknüpft ist, die die örtliche Aglionby Academy besuchen. Diese vier, Gansey, Ronan, Adam und Noah, sind ihrerseits auf der Suche nach den Ley-Linien. Es handelt sich dabei jedoch nicht um den naiven Zeitvertreib privilegierter, gelangweilter Söhne oder um ein unschuldiges Abenteuer, nein, die Jungs haben alle sehr individuelle, komplizierte Gründe für ihre Suche, komplexe Motivationen, die viel tiefer gehen, als ich jemals erwartet hätte. Stiefvater konzipierte jede Figur gewissenhaft und überzeugend lebendig. Ich hatte bei allen das Gefühl, dass sie über reiche, detaillierte Biografien verfügen, die ihre Verhaltensweisen in der Gegenwart konsequent beeinflussen. Dadurch fand ich sehr schnell in die Handlung von „The Raven Boys“ und ehe ich mich versah, fieberte ich atemlos mit. Ich wollte die Ley-Linien und das, was sich besonders Gansey von ihnen erhofft, ebenfalls finden. Seine Leidenschaft infizierte mich, ich wurde jedoch auch von der Atmosphäre elektrisiert. Ich konnte mich des Eindrucks nicht erwehren, dass unter der Oberfläche wesentlich bedeutendere Mächte am Werk sind; als sei es vorbestimmt, dass Blue den Jungs begegnet. Diese rätselhafte, beklemmende, schicksalhafte Aura zeichnete eine diffuse tragische Melancholie vor, die nicht unbedingt ein Happy End verspricht. „The Raven Boys“ schließt mit einem befriedigenden Erfolgserlebnis, Stiefvater lässt allerdings keine Zweifel aufkommen, dass es sich dabei lediglich um ein Zwischenziel handelt, das die erste Etappe der Geschichte beendet. Ich bin sicher, dass der weitere „Raven Cycle“ für die Figuren eine Menge Schmerz und Kummer bereithält und sie schwerwiegende Opfer erbringen müssen, um ihre Ziele zu erreichen. Selbstverständlich werde ich sie auf ihrem steinigen Weg begleiten; die unausgesprochene, aber unbestreitbare Düsternis der Reihe ist einfach reizvoll.


Es ist schade, dass ich so lange gewartet habe, um Maggie Stiefvater kennenzulernen. Hätte ich geahnt, wie viel Talent die Autorin besitzt, wie mühelos sie eine erregende Geschichte erzählt, deren verschlungene, geheimnisvolle Kraft beinahe unbemerkt die Grenze zwischen Leser_in und Geschehen überwindet, hätte ich „The Raven Boys“ schon viel eher aus dem Regal befreit. Neben den schockierend realistischen Charakteren hinterließ vor allem die melancholische, sehnsuchtsvolle Atmosphäre starken Eindruck bei mir. Stiefvater setzt dieses nonverbale Mittel hervorragend ein, um die düstere Ernsthaftigkeit ihrer Geschichte zu transportieren. Die Suche nach den Ley-Linien ist kein Spiel und ihre Bedeutung für die Figuren ist es ebenso wenig. Einem fantastischen Thema in einem Young Adult – Roman so viel Gewicht zu verleihen und es unmissverständlich als Folge der inneren Dämonen der Figuren darzustellen, ist bemerkenswert. Aber… auf ein Happy End für den „Raven Cycle“ darf ich trotzdem hoffen, oder?

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/06/maggie-stiefvater-the-raven-boys
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text 2019-09-11 02:19
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Book 1) › Maggie Stiefvater $2.99!!
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

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