Book Review: Ravensong
Author, T.J Klune
by Jarad Johnson
I have to admit, I had some reservations about reading this book. I normally wouldn’t hesitate to read a book about gay werewolves and witches, but I was worried that certain plot points would put me off. Specifically, several key characters were absent for a long stretch of time, and I as worried that the dynamics between them all would change in ways that I didn’t like. Eventually, I realized that I couldn’t continue staring at it forever (and I also needed to see what would happen) and within the first 50 pages I realized how stupid my 2-month standoff with this series was because I ended up enjoying it more than the first book, which centered around Joe and Ox and their relationship, and a whole host of other things. It was very good, and I really should review it at some point. This book, however, revolves around Gordo, although the first characters are there. When I read the first book, I quite frankly wasn’t the biggest fan of Gordo, who is the main character of this book and featured prominently in the first one, but after getting so much insight into his character I can say definitively that he is one of my favorite characters in the series. I found him to be rather unlikeable, even standoffish at first, but this installment gives greater insight into why he behaves the way he does.
Like most books in a series, this installment continued to build upon the world of the first book. It was much darker and complex, the threats were much more intense, which I enjoyed, and since this book is written from an entirely different perspective, I felt as if I was reintroduced to all the characters from the first book, because they were seen and experienced in a different way through Gordo’s eyes. Ox and Joe, the main characters of the first book, had less history with the Bennett’s (the clan or family around which most of both books revolve) than Gordo does. I was a little disappointed that Ox and Joe were mostly background characters in this book (because now that they are finally together, I wanted to see more of their relationship), but they were still there thankfully, and did play a part. Also, getting a glimpse into another characters perspective opens up many more possibilities for the rest of the series, insuring that it doesn’t get repetitive or dull.
Furthermore, I’d like to briefly discuss the villains in this book and the overall series. Villains can be hard to write. You worry about them being to cliché or too overdone, too unrealistic or underdeveloped, etc. Basically, bad people are hard to get right, and the bad people in these books are very well crafted. They’re evil, of course, but they’re also deeply flawed and damaged, pitiable creatures. They’ve been warped by trauma, religiosity or driven insane by other means. That, to me, makes them seem more realistic, and thus more effective. Since they’re essential for driving the plot, a badly written villain can ruin an entire series. Thankfully, Klune’s villainous characters are as well written as all of his others, equally as complex and multifaceted, so much so that I’m not entirely sure who all of the bad people are yet.
I find it difficult discuss the plot spoilers (and there is so much there to discuss!) without rambling on for several more pages, but in the interest of maintaining suspense, I will say that I highly recommend the series and I look forward to the next book! I’m very interested to see which character the next installment will center around!
Jarad is the co-administrator and writer for Sacred Chickens, attends college at MTSU, loves tea, and tries to spend every spare second reading. Jarad is an English major. Bless his heart! Let's all light a candle for him and send him happy thoughts!
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