**NOT spoiler free**
Blue has never been psychic, like her mother and all her mother’s friends, but she does enhance their abilities when she is around. Upon seeing Gansey’s soul, she realizes he will be dead within the year. Eventually, her and the four Raven boys meet and strike a friendship that leads them down a strange path involving magical places, murder and spirits.
And I mean, eventually.
The first twenty pages are interesting, I’ll give it that. We meet Blue and her many strange (and at times unbelievable) roommates, and then we venture to the Corpse Road, which is interesting within itself. Seeing the souls of everyone that will die within the next year? Okay, I can dig that. Blue sees a soul for the first time? He will either be her first love or she will kill him…. or both. Also, totally can dig that. Then we get into the other POV chapters which are…. less than interesting.
150 pages later and Blue and Gansey finally meet! And know who each other are! That was a trek. I really had to push myself to get through those 150 or so pages. Keeping track of the four boys, their backstories, and their appearances was a challenge. The scene where Blue is describing the four of them eating at her restaurant is a mess. I could hardly understand which boy she was trying to describe, as I hardly was familiar with them myself.
I had some problems believing Gansey’s character, and at times, Adam’s. I’m supposed to believe Gansey, a 16 year old sophomore, has traveled the world, without his parents, researching and tracking down a dead king, that he believes he can bring back to life to receive a favor? I understand he has the money, but that doesn’t sound like any 16 year old I know. His character was such an old soul, he was so in tune with others emotions and thoughts, he acted like he was a wise old mage reincarnated into a 16 year old rich boy. I also had problems with Adam’s reasoning for not wanting to leave his abusive household. His father beat him, yet he didn’t want to take any help from his friends?
The redeeming quality of this novel was its originality. I loved the psychic aspects; the foreshadowing was brilliant. Living with psychics all around, they are constantly dropping hints about what is going to happen, causing the reader to keep guessing. The folklore about the welsh king and lay lines was also very original in the YA genre, and was refreshing. I was also impressed with the writing; Stiefvater had some beautiful lines in this novel.
There were two moments that really shocked me: the truth about Noah, DID NOT SEE THAT COMING, and Adam’s sacrifice, WHAT. Those points really catapulted me into the story (as I was having such a hard time getting into it for most of the book). Those two twists definitely made the story for me.
Hopefully the sequel will have better pacing. The foreshadowing of Gansey’s death has got me; i have to read the next one, just to find out how it all plays out!