We hope everyone is having an amazing reading day !
Petrik is sharing his amazing review of Blue Lilly, Lilly Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3 by Maggie Stiefvater) with us today.
Rating : 4/5 stars
You might want to underestimate this 4 stars rating slightly.
The Raven Cycle continues to improved with each installment and this is literally the second time I ever gave a 4 star rating to a YA book (the first being Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo) as I’m not a fan of the genre. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (BLLB) will probably be an easy 5 stars read for those of you who have no qualm with the genre in general.
The problem I had with The Dream Thieves was that I feel like that there’s a lack of satisfaction in the sense of plot progression to the main plot in exchange for full characterization. This problem is completely unfound here. After establishing the characters background, personality and relationships for the past two books, the plot can finally move on in a well paced manner. The main characters are back in full focus on their hunt for Owen Glendower, the sleeping Welsh king and there are some captivating twists and turns with some tensions in the plot that were long needed for the series to get better and I enjoyed every moment of it.
Something you should know is that although I enjoyed the plot of the series, I do think the plot can be too complex for the audience it catered to. The plot is actually quite complex on the borderline between new adult and adult urban fantasy, it’s definitely not what the fandom led you to believe that this series will be all lovey dovey romance series with all the shipping of the characters. Don’t believe me? Check out the reviews on GR, you’ll see a lot of 5 stars reviews that stated “I don’t even understand the plot” and yet still gave it a 5 stars because their characters ‘shipping’ still sails. I’m not here to judge other ratings at all, people have different criteria on the books they read, my point is to tell you that there is a deep plot here for NA and even adult audience to enjoy. However, in the end there’s no doubt that this series main strength are the characterization and Maggie’s prose.
Remember what I said in my previous review that Ronan Lynch is one of the most well written character in the entire YA genre? Well, that’s still true but you know what? There’s another addition here, Adam Parrish. I’ll be honest, I didn’t like Adam, his unnecessary angst and pride that never wanted to accept anyone’s help pissed me off. This is why he had the most potential for great character developments and Maggie completely delivered on this. Adam’s character development in BLLB is one of the best strength of the book.
It’s not only Adam though, the buildup to everything that shaped the friendship between all the main characters since the first book took a fruition here. The friendship between Blue and The Raven Boys is the most realistic friendship I ever read in any YA books. They’re realistic, beautiful, and somehow, they remind me of the times I had with my friends in high school. (The supernatural aspect being only the infamous school ghosts stories though.)
“Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.”
At this point, you should know by now that Maggie’s prose is lyrical, easy and beautiful to read. I’m delighted to find that her prose improvement doesn’t stop there; it keeps on getting better with each installment. I truly believe that her prose is what truly makes this series works; she knows how to write characters realistically. Imo, what she did to this series as what Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern should’ve been (except that this series does have a plot unlike that black and white tent.)
“Maybe it was good that the world forgot every lesson, every good and bad memory, every triumph and failure, all of it dying with each generation. Perhaps this cultural amnesia spared them all. Perhaps if they remembered everything, hope would die instead.”
The only minor con I had with the book is that Blue’s indecision and attitude in making up her mind can be infuriating to read sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, as I mentioned before, her thoughts and anger, as incoherent and illogical as they are is actually very realistic but at the same time, seeing her repeat them can be tiring.
BLLB is the best entry in the series so far and it has set up everything it needs for the conclusion. It has proven itself to me that there’s still a gem to be found in this desert of horrible overhyped series like ‘Shade of Magic’. However, for me, it all comes down to the last book of the series on whether Maggie could deliver the conclusion the series deserves to see whether the series truly deserves the hype and praises it gets and I’m going to find out about it now.
Review by Petrik.