The Raven Cycle Reread: 1.1


This is the day Blue and her mother usually hang out watch next year’s dead make a nice neat parade through the grounds of an abandoned church. This year, Maura decides not to go and Neeve comes instead, because, as it’s very carefully explained, Blue is more of a battery than a psychic. She makes things louder for those who can see the future, and is absolutely blind to it herself. As we discover this, we are given generous descriptions of Neeve’s hands:

Blue was struck again, as she had been struck the first time she’d met Neeve, by her oddly lovely hands. Chubby wrists led to soft, child-like palms and slender fingers with oval nails.

The dead start to walk and we get a list of people who are going to die and the image of Blue frantically trying to spell all their names. I’d like to give a moment to remember Ruth, Robert, Frances, Dorothy, Clarence, Ralph, Esther, Herbert, and Melvin. May they rest in peace.

And then, suddenly, Blue can see someone! She’s excited for a second, and then she’s not because she remembers that he’s going to die.

His figure was as murky as dirty water, his face indistinct. There was no identifying feature to him apart from his youth. He was so young—that was the hardest part to get used to.

Blue asks his name and he tells her it’s Gansey. Everyone thinks, “what the hell kind of name is Gansey?” We’re confused but proud of Blue for seeing a ghost when she thought she’d never be able to. And then Neeve tells us why and we’re not so excited anymore.

“There’s only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, Blue. Either you’re his true love,” Neeve said, “Or you killed him.”

Why not both?

Thoughts and Feelings:

Have I mentioned that I don’t like Neeve? Should I tell you again? I DON’T LIKE NEEVE. She just sits at the ghost watch and says things to confuse Blue, and waves around her beautiful hands, and just acts fishy all the time. I’m full of distrust and I wish Blue would take her fingerless gloves and go wait in the car. Then again, that probably wouldn’t do the plot any favors and it would be kind of boring if Blue never fell in love, but I digress.

Other than that, I’m just excited Gansey and Blue had the first meeting they deserved: a pre-ghost and a psychic’s daughter walk into a churchyard. They exchange names and have a pleasant conversation until everyone realizes the psychic’s daughter will turn the pre-ghost into a real ghost, and then they all go home. That’s one to tell the grandkids!

Best character moment:

Blue didn’t reply. She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.

Best turn of phrase:

He fell to his knees—a soundless gesture for a boy with no real body. One hand splayed in the dirt, fingers pressed to the ground. Blue saw the blackness of the church more clearly than the curved shape of her shoulder.

Action: Gansey’s ghost was featureless but I know enough about the genre to know he’s definitely cute. I want him to live and I want gratuitous makeout scenes, and I know I’m not getting either. 6/10

Magic: A death parade! Very fun very fresh very funky. 9/10

Comic relief: This chapter was sad and confusing but we did hear about Blue’s determination to look cool in her poorly knitted fingerless gloves, which was fun. 4/10

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