The second installment of Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle is as mind-blowingly spectacular as the first.
Now that the ley line near Henrietta, Va., has been woken, strange currents race through the town. There’s too much electricity—or none at all. The four Raven Boys—Gansey, Adam, long-dead Noah and Ronan—continue to search for the grave of the Welsh king Glendower, but now Ronan is starting to pull objects out of his dreams. Small ones, like the keys to Gansey’s Camaro, and larger, lethal nightmare creatures. But his greatest nightmare can’t be grasped—how do you hold onto home? Not-quite-psychic Blue Sargent realizes that Gansey might really be her true love—and if she kisses him, he’ll die—and meanwhile, her wholly psychic mother is dating the hit man come to steal Ronan. Stiefvater’s careful exploration of class and wealth and their limitations and opportunities astounds with its sensitivity and sophistication. The pace is electric, the prose marvelously sure-footed and strong, but it’s the complicated characters—particularly Ronan, violent, drunk, tender and tough—that meld magic and reality into an engrossing, believable whole. Remember this: Ronan never lies.
How long until Book 3? (Fantasy. 12 & up)