Books: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

I'm so sad now because I know anything I try to read next will pale in comparison to this series. It's been a long time since I've felt so impacted by a book, much less a series of them. And while I still think the first book is the best in the series, it's easy to speculate that might simply be because the shock of being introduced to such wonderful characters becomes something one takes for granted the more one reads about said characters.

Still, this is my second favorite book in the series. [SPOILERS] This is because of Adam and Ronan. I adore them as a couple.

At the same time, the introduction of ever more characters who then seem to do very little was . . . I dunno. Not well planned. Between the previous book and this one, there are so many characters that had to have their stories tied up, so many that were hanging around except for one or two key scenes, that the whole thing felt cluttered. And the plot just breezed by. I still don't fully understand what Cabeswater did to revive Gansey. I mean, I think I do, but we don't see how this effects Gansey's life or changes him (and it must have, right?). We don't even find out what explanation he manages to give his family for missing the big fundraiser.

And I know these are things that the author probably felt would constitute over-explaining, but . . . I dunno. It's possible my lack of satisfaction comes from not having more. It's possible—likely, even—that I'm just being greedy.

My copy of the book included the short story "Opal," and I wasn't sure at first that I wanted to read it. Greediness won out, and I did enjoy the window on Ronan and Adam. Like Opal, I'm a voyeur, I guess. But again, that story gave the sense of there being more (the strange woman going through Ronan's computer and notebook?). Some unresolved plot lines hang in the air here.

Overall, however, I just adore this book and this series, and I'm incredibly sad now that I've read them all. On the other hand, I'm now reading them aloud to my kids, and it has been fun reliving the stories and characters and seeing my kids (and husband, who listens in) fall in love with them too.