I’ve listened to a few that were really wonderful, generally written and read by Neil Gaiman, but usually I end up getting frustrated with the slow pace (even if the narration is wonderful!) and picking up a hard copy of the book so I can just read it at my own pace. I was never tempted to stop listening to this book. Will Patton is a marvel, and every character had a different voice and a different feel. I can’t believe that one man was able to embody so many characters; I was completely blown away. Everyday, I was finding excuses to keep listening. I’m not sure my house has ever been this clean.
Onto the actual story itself. YA isn’t my favorite genre, but I feel like this book could appeal to just about anybody. Interesting setting, compelling and mysterious plot, varied and well-crafted characters. And honestly, not a lot of teenage drama. Don’t get me wrong; there is definitely angst and drama. But that angst doesn’t feel like teenage angst to me. Instead, the drama feels completely understandable, as each of the characters have endured hardship and thus have very legitimate reasons for their feelings. And it was such an interesting cast of characters! Blue Sargent and her house full of psychics and Gansey and his motel crew of Raven Boys were all unique. So often in YA books, I feel like the main characters (especially the heroine) look exactly like a dozen other YA characters, just with different hair. But Blue and Gansey and Adam and Ronan and Noah all seem fresh and original to me. The only things that really kept this from being a five-star read for me were the slow start and the repetition of poor decisions by the characters. Even though I love them, some of their decisions made my eye twitch.
As for the plot itself, I loved the mystery of it. And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t remind me the teensiest bit of the show Supernatural, which I love. The supernatural aspects, the search for ley lines and the reference to Welsh mythology, were fascinating. I’ve always loved mythology, but Welsh mythology is a branch I’ve never really dug into, and I really enjoyed getting to learn more about that. There was beautiful, otherworldly scenery was phenomenal, and I honestly felt like I was right there next to Blue and the boys. Maggie did a phenomenal job crafting this story, and actually giving us some sort of resolution at the end of the book while still leaving us with enough questions to want to continue reading the series, which I really appreciated. I thoroughly enjoyed reading/listening to this, and I will most definitely be continuing this series. I’m looking forward to more Blue and more Raven Boys. And more Will Patton. And definitely more Maggie Stiefvater.