The third installment in the mesmerizing series from the irrepressible, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.
There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.
Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.
The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.
Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.
Very rarely do you encounter series where the books just keep getting better and better. Usually there’s at least one downer – typically a book 2 – and it’s enough to color your impression of the series as a whole. That’s why The Raven Cycle is so spectacular; because there hasn’t been any letdowns, and each book really does outshine its predecessor. Each book has introduced new twists and turns – and new characters – and yet still seamlessly continues the flow of the adventure and the ups and downs the core characters go through. I even don’t mind the fact that we keep getting new points of view to hear the story from; sometimes too many characters just causes confusion, but with Blue Lily, Lily Blue (and the other books) I loved the look into the heads of some not-so-nice folks.
It also helped that I again chose to go the audiobook route for this book; Will Patton is an amazing narrator, who changes each of the characters voices just enough to let you know who’s telling the story. His pacing and style is perfect for someone like me who tends to lose focus when listening to a story for too long. I was able to stay with the story, focused on the characters, and never once found myself getting bored. I know I said it in the previous books’ reviews, but I’ll say it again: if you haven’t yet read these books, do think about giving the audio versions a try. I know you won’t be disappointed!
Just like with The Dream Thieves, it’s sort of hard to review this one without divulging any spoilers for the series. This one picks up right after the end of book two, with Blue and the boys returning to school and everything that entails. It also physically introduces a character you learned about earlier in the series in the form of Professor Malory. I have to say that the snark and sass via Ronan regarding the professor was definitely one of the highlights of this book! I also liked the more introspective Gansey we get in this book, as well as this new version of Adam; he’s much stronger and more with it and I finally felt like I was connecting with him. Plus his and Ronan’s friendship is just precious and is to be treasured and protected at all costs. We likewise get a different Blue, who is sort of spinning off course without her mother. And the shenanigans of 300 Fox Way will never get old, particularly with their new houseguest!
Unlike with book two, I did not find myself loving the villains of this installment, which come in the form of Collin Greenmantle and his wife, Piper. They definitely helped drive the story forward, but I didn’t find any redeeming qualities in either of them; they actually seemed rather flat – evil for evil’s sake – and were probably the only thing I didn’t love about this book. I much prefer characters with hidden layers, and the Greenmantles just really seemed to lack that. Yes, they were integral to the plot – and the cliffhanger ending – but I honestly won’t be sad to not see any more of them. Not sure if that’s possible, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed all the same.
With the end of the series in sight, Blue Lily, Lily Blue managed to do what all great series books do: it ramped up the action, threw in more twists, and added depth to characters you thought you already knew. The ending leaves the reader with a major question that has implications for the remaining book, and definitely makes you want the final book right now. There are a lot of balls in the air being juggled by almost all of the characters and I look forward to seeing where they all land in the end!