The Girl and the Raven by Pauline Gruber

The Girl and the Raven by Pauline GruberWith the death of her troubled mother, Lucy Walker is making a fresh start. Life in Chicago is a bit different; she is living with her loving uncles, making friends, and enjoying a flirtation with her hunky upstairs neighbor. As Lucy settles in, though, she learns that there is much more going on than she ever knew. Lola, her deceased grandmother’s pet raven, is missing, and Lucy must recover her in order to receive the full legacy of her blood line.

Means girls, summertime jobs, and what to wear to the Homecoming dance are going to be the least of Lucy’s problems as she discovers the full scope of her heritage and catches the eye of some very dangerous people. With the help of her grandmother’s batty friend, the cute boy upstairs, and her new high school friends, Lucy might be lucky enough to survive the secrets of her family’s past.

The Girl and the Raven was a pleasant surprise for me. First and foremost, since this aimed at a younger crowd Gruber absolutely nailed the high school feel: from the mean girls to the actual nice ones, the feelings about first love, the anticipation around school events and the nebulous future ahead. This all set the mood of the story so well.

The narrative flowed nicely and the little cuts away from Lucy’s point of view added tension and helped build the story. Additionally, I was intrigued by the mythos. The hints we got of how demons worked in this world, the powers that witches had, and all of the other creatures that fit in made a rich tradition to pull from.

As for the characters, while overall they were interesting, development across the board was a bit lacking. I found Jude to be the most solidly-drawn character and one of the ones I was most drawn too. Lucy needed some refinement, as she came across as smart but then made some decisions that counter that and felt uneven. Some of this could be chalked up to her being a troubled teenager, but I seriously questioned some of her decisions.

Other characters needed to be more defined, as well. It was never clear to me why Henry and Persephone were afraid to let Lucy in on more. Dylan was a nice surprise but a tiny bit cliché, and I needed more from Marcus to understand the depth of feeling that develops between he and Lucy. Really all of the characters just needed a little bit more oomph, some sharpness, some clarity.

Overall, The Girl and the Raven was really well done. The dynamic between the characters was excellent, and while there are some issues with pacing and character development there was a solid foundation to build upon. I would have no problems at all giving this book to my younger female relatives–it was age-appropriate, engaging, and an engrossing read.

Book Stats:

  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Dragonfly Ink Limited (December 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0991077407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0991077403

Buy a print copy of The Girl and the Raven from Amazon by clicking here.
Buy a Kindle copy of The Girl and the Raven from Amazon by clicking here.

With the death of her troubled mother, Lucy Walker is making a fresh start. Life in Chicago is a bit different; she is living with her loving uncles, making friends, and enjoying a flirtation with her hunky upstairs neighbor. As Lucy settles in, though, she learns that there is much more going on than she …

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Summary : Overall, The Girl and the Raven was really well done. The dynamic between the characters was excellent, and while there are some issues with pacing and character development there was a solid foundation to build upon. I would have no problems at all giving this book to my younger female relatives--it was age-appropriate, engaging, and an engrossing read.

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About KristinD

Kristin is loving wife and doggie mom with a serious book addiction. When she is not in the kitchen whipping up a tasty confection (or cocktail) she can usually be found on the couch with her nose in a book. And she really did not hear what her husband just said to her, never mind that she responded… he should know better, she was reading. Her favorite books to read feature vampires, fae, & Gods of any pantheon (oh my!) but she has been known to pick up some pretty heavy philosophical tomes, funny memoirs, and scientific gobblygook. She also has a soft spot in her heart for good high fantasy. She fell in love with Anne Rice at far to young of an age and still has not found her way to NOLA! Kristin also spends time as a foster mom for a herding breed dog rescue in Illinois, indulging her husbands’ “silly” hobby of import/vintage video gaming, and spending as much time as she can with various members of her ridiculously large family. Somehow she manages to work full time in insurance sales but would much rather be having a kitchen dance party.

One comment

  1. Kristine –

    Thank you very much for the stellar review!

    -Pauline Gruber

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