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