“He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.”
I did enjoy reading this book, and many times I felt my heart would beat out of my chest either from the cuteness factor or the suspense. There were also a lot of good parts in the book. I would have to say that if this were not the conclusion and just another book in the series, I would like it more. But this is the conclusion. While every author has the right and artistic license to do whatever the heck they want in their books, there are certain… guidelines to follow. One of those being the last book should tie up all or most of the loose ends. Usually, the finale books that don’t tie up the loose ends and really complete the story are generally disliked. If you don’t see the point I’m getting at, it’s this— The Raven King did not tie up all the loose ends. Not at all.
If you read my earlier reviews, I mentioned about how in each book, the main stories are tied up together very well by the send of the book. This one? Not so much. I also mentioned about how these books can be compared to a puzzle, and each book you get new pieces to try and complete it. This book did not complete the puzzle, it left a gaping hole in it (as well as my heart.)
There were just so many things missing. I think I mentioned that in my last review, that I feel like there were scenes missing that should’ve been there, but they were few enough scenes that it hardly mattered. It almost felt like about maybe a quarter of this book just forgot to be published. There were just so many missing components. The book actually ends with half of the story unfinished and then skips to the epilogue where it because clear what the main gist of the ending of the other story was, but it never gives an ending to some of the characters that have been there since book one. It’s just not an ending book. Not a finale or conclusion.
I read somewhere that Maggie said that she wrote and finished this book hoping to leave all her readers wanting, but not quite sure what they want. I can tell you what I want, a better conclusion to this spectacularly thought out series. Just to say this again, I did enjoy this book, I did not enjoy that it is supposed to be considered the end of the series. There is just not enough things that were wrapped up to be considered the end. I don’t need my story wrapped up perfectly with a gorgeous bow on the top (though, I do like it when series do that), but I do at least like it to feel half wrapped. Sorry about all the analogies, I’m not really sure how else to express my feelings on this book.
Disappointment, confusion and annoyance are my main opinions on this book. Disappointment because I was hoping for and expecting a better conclusion. Confusion because I’m really confused about what the point of half the book was if it wasn’t even really going to be relevant enough to be mentioned or wrapped up in the end. And annoyance because I really loved reading this series and falling in love with the characters and journeys and this book, I feel, did not exactly do them justice.
It’s a similar feeling towards how I felt about The Beauty of Darkness (Book 3 in the Remnant Chronicles). So many things that happened in the book just felt irrelevant, and I was disappointed in the ending. Of course, it was a different kind of disappointment, but disappointment none the less. Like I said in the beginning, it’s really hard to write a good conclusion to satisfy all the readers. I’m one of the unsatisfied readers.
It is nearly impossible for me to rate this book— I don’t know how I feel about it. I know I’m upset about the ending and some of the things that happened in the book, but I also know that I enjoyed a lot of it and the characters. After finishing the book I literally sat and clicked 5 stars and then 4 stars on my phone back and forth for about three minutes, unsure of what I really felt. I think, after going to bed with this on my mind and waking up thinking about it, that I would have to give The Raven King 7.9/10 stars. I did enjoy it, it was good, but that all seems a little overshadowed by my overwhelming disappointment in how Steifvater ended her spectacular series.
The thing that the story did wrap up and finish pretty nicely was the fate and endings of (most of) the Raven Boys Gang (Plus Blue.) The Epilogue was complete dedicated to the ones alive at the end, and what they were up to. It’s pretty incredible, looking at the characters and what they’re up to in the ending compared to how they were in the first book. Some of them had some pretty spectacular story arcs and have changed a lot since book one. They all have changed, but some have had drastic changes instead of smaller, more minimal ones. I did appreciate that at least they had decent, well wrapped up endings, but it still didn’t help that this book left me wondering what the heck happened to everyone else.
“It’s only your origin story, not your final destination.”
When I finished the book, I just sat in the car feeling empty. Then upset. This book felt all too fast and too slow at the same time, I’m not really sure if that makes any sense, but I felt like that’s how the book was. A lot of people said that the ending felt way too rushed, and I can see how they think that. It did have a tad bit of a rushed feeling to it, having a little bit of a slow pace all through the book and then the ending just happens like BAM and it’s over. I could’ve accepted the rushed feeling of the ending if all the storylines had been tied up and finished, but they weren’t.
This could’ve been such a good book, but to be one (for me, at least) it needed more. I wouldn’t have minded if it was a 700 page long book. (I do love long books) This book just made me feel like maybe I fell asleep and kept reading because there were so many vital things that I felt like I missed. I really loved reading this series, but after finishing it I was just left thinking… What was the point? About some of it, at least.
One of the storylines that upset me the most was Noah’s. He was hardly in this book. Out of all the Raven Boys, Noah always got the least amount of time, but if I were to use a kindle or something to search Noah, he would be in maybe 2% possible 1% of the book. Since he was one of my favorite characters, I was really disappointed that he was hardly in it at all. It kind of just felt like Stiefvater just forgot about him and then remembered OH! I need Noah to do this one last thing! and then just wrote that part in and never really explained why.
That was another thing I felt— I felt like this book needed to explain the whys and the hows more, as well as give a bit more time explaining the emotions and thoughts of the characters on certain things that should’ve had a HUGE impact on their thoughts and feelings, but didn’t have nearly as much as it should. Sure, I get it, they were in a rush to save the world and whatnot, but still. It doesn’t really take away from their time to convey their feelings and thoughts on certain subjects.
Anyway, here’s the synopsis:
If you’ve already read the first three books and are wondering whether or not to read this book, I say you should, I mean, you’ve already read the first three, might as well finish it up. Just don’t go into it thinking everything will be wrapped up well in the end, but also don’t go into it thinking it will suck. This review may be all complaints, but that’s just because I’m not very good at pointing out the good things since the negative things have a greater impact on me. Like I said earlier, there were parts of the book that I really enjoyed. Just off the top of my head, most of the stuff with Blue and Gansey. Most of it. Sorry, I am really a glass half full kind of girl.
Anyway on to the spoilers section.
SPOILERS BELOW FOR THE RAVEN KING.
Okay, was I zoning out or did Blue never tell Gansey he would die and he just figured it out on his own? I was very confused about that.
NOAH. NOAH. NOAH. Like I said before, I was very disappointed in his lack of appearance in this book, he was hardly there. I would’ve liked to see him at least show up and say something to Blue after nearly tearing her eye out. Instead, he stayed away because he was ashamed and just never really got his story fully wrapped up. Though, he did have that moment before passing on that just left me going WHAT THE FUDGE?! It was him that whispered the thing about Glendower to Gansey… but why? Sure, it changed Gansey’s whole life, but why would Noah do that? So himself in the past could have friends? I don’t really understand. I just want to know the answers to more of the WHYS in this book.
Ronan and Blue’s friendship was very evident in this book and I found it very cute and endearing. Like when Ronan finds out that Blue got suspended.
“‘I’m not proud of it.”
Ronan patted her leg. “I’ll be proud for you.’”
And then when he came to the hospital and told her she looked really bad ass or something like that. I just loved their friendship IT WAS SO CUTE.
And then there’s the Gansey and Ronan friendship. That’s adorable, and then when Ronan found out Gansey would die and he was wrecked? THE FEELS. THE FEELS. Ronan crying over Gansey’s dead body was just the worst feeling, worse than my own feelings of distraught over his death. I did honestly think he was gone for good for a minute there, and that was just too upsetting for me. It was sweet that Ronan spent a lot of the beginning trying to find a cure/protection for Gansey, but in the end, I didn’t really see the point of it. I felt like it was foreshadowing because Ronan kept feeling like he was running out of time and that meant that Gansey would die by bee again, but he didn’t. He died by kiss. (Again, how did that kill him? It’s really the hows and whys that Maggie needs to answer)
And then Ronan and Adam. That became a thing. I liked it, especially since it made Ronan happy, but I still didn’t really see it as a thing. Like I accepted it, but I didn’t love it. I can see how they would fit, but in my mind they just don’t really fit together. Maybe that’s because they just didn’t really actually have time to really think about it or feel emotions about it that much during the story. Hows, whys, thoughts and emotions.
“When it came to it, it wasn’t like there was an option. The lunches would always save one another’s lives, if they had to.”
And what I’ve been waiting for since book one… RONAN AND DECLAN RECONCILING. It was beautiful and I loved it. I was nervous that maybe Maggie didn’t have that in her plans, but she did and I JUST ARG THE FEELS.
“And third, most importantly, Gansey was outrageously and eternally driven to distraction by the image of her behind the wheel of his car.”
Gansey and Blue’s relationship really hit me perfectly in the feels most of the time during the book. Like the toga party? I WAS SO HAPPY AND THE FEELS. I was listening to this while reading it and felt like it fit them really well— Fall for You by Secondhand Serenade.
Adam is really good at figuring out secrets— he figured out Gansey would die and he also figured out that Blue and Gansey were secretly together (not that that was especially hard to figure out.)
ANOTHER THING. THEY WEREN’T TOGETHER IN THE END. Like the gang were all alive (save for Noah, who technically was never alive), but they weren’t together. sure, they had separate missions and stuff (what was the point about finding the wheel in the last book? It had me panicking for nothing.), and would be back for more adventures, but they weren’t together and that was sad. Also, sorry Henry, but I’ll never see him as part of the group.
There are so many things about the story that made me feel like What’s the point? Like I don’t understand the point of Ashley being smarter than Declan thought (maybe I’m just expecting too much), Malory’s visit in the last book, including Malory’s dog, the whole Piper-Laumioneer(I forgot how to spell)-demon-Henry’s Mom-Gray Man storyline if it literally wasn’t going to be closed up at the end, Gansey’s family thing and him missing it, Orphan girl, etc. There’s just so much that I just. Ugh. I don’t know how to describe my feelings on this book.
… I don’t really know what else to say, so.. Um. I just don’t know actually what to feel either. (I AM IN A HUGE BOOK SLUMP NOW)
Thanks for reading,