My rating: 2 of 5 stars
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE BOOK:
I listened to CDTH via audiobook. It was painful to sit through: nothing happens in this story. It’s mainly following the characters and their slight-problems in life. There is no ‘big-action show-down’ at the middle or end. The only reason I did not DNF this is because Ronan was my favourite Raven Boy. DO NOT LISTEN TO THE AUDIOBOOK. THE NARRATOR SOUNDS LIKE EVERY SOUTH PARK CHARACTER. IT’S HORRIBLE.
Ronan: My god, how did Stiefvater manage to make him so dull and toned down than before? He’s bleak and a shell of who he is in the Raven Cycle.
Declan: Declan shun as a side-protagonist in this. He has a romance with Jordan (a dream-copy of Hennesy). Which is cool: it’s another couple with White Privileged Boy falling for Punky Black Girl (aka Gansey and Blue, no?). I enjoyed his angst, however it is troubling to see why he’s in this “YA” book (also: why is Ronan and Adam still considered YA, when they’re college aged now???).
Matthew: Matthew is a dream Ronan had as a toddler. Matthew, now roughly aged 15 or so, is starting to realise who and what he is. He goes through a lot but honestly, we don’t delve into it enough for me to find it effectively meaningful. It was more of plot device for Declan and Ronan to develop rather than expanding of Matthew’s individual arc.
Jordan/Hennesy: Hennesy has a dlimma; she keeps dreaming copies of herself. Each time she does, it’s painful and gruesome and scary. Each time she finds a copy of herself, the tattoo on her neck extends– Hennesy knows exactly what is means. It means her time is almost up. These clones are taking away her life. Hennesy lives 6 lives: and the 5/6 clones live the same life. I don’t understand WHERE Hennesy’s family was now that she’s in her early-to-mid 20s. It sounds like a lot of this could have been sorted if she had a family system or ran away to a farm (not a major freaking city). Hennesy is also a con-artist who steals/replaces classical paintings, with the help of Jordan (her first clone that she created at puberty). Jordan catches the eye of Declan, and they have a hoot flirting away at each other. Until Declan realises Jordan is a dream. That ruins everything (or will their love overcome??? TBC in Book 2).
Carmen: honestly wtf. She represented everything that made me want to DNF Stiefvater’s last book, All the Crooked Saints. Carmen embodies what I can only imagine what a Gypsie in the 60s looked like. She has this paralleled plot line to Ronan’s. She is sort-of like a bounty hunter, and she teams up with some magical guy who sometimes is old/young/old/young etc. They have good banter with each other, but then (view spoiler). They don’t really achieve or do much, let alone interact with Ronan. They’re on the hunt for him and trying to end all dreamer’s from ruining the world.
Nothing happens. It’s just a handful of 18-20 year olds encountering 1 or 2 inconveniences while in their urban cities. There’s “realistic magic” (as Stiefvater so lovingly likes to define her obnoxious, circumlocutive realms of fantasy) such as a Dreamer Black Market, and bounty hunters, but that’s pretty much it. This book should be no longer than 200 pages, my god.
We experience third-person narration, alternating between Ronan, Jordan, Hennesy, Carmen, and sometimes Declan.
– “realistic” magic
– self-identity and uniqueness
– sin vs evils
– entering college
– cities 🙂 Idk what it’s commenting on, but this story features cities.
I hated this, but saying that: I hated The Raven Boys the first time I read it (only because I speed-read it though). I read this as an audiobook, which I will usually give 3.5+ stars for, but this was awful. In delivery as an audiobook, but also for the quality of the content. Blugh. I will not read this again: but I most likely will continue reading the series (my brain is screaming NOOOO as I type this) as I love Ronan and will give into the stupid hype of TRC, as usual.