I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
TITLE: The Ravens
AUTHOR: Kass Morgan, Danielle Paige
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
PUBLICATION DATE: November 3, 2020
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Kappa Rho Nu isn’t your average sorority. Their parties are notorious. Their fundraisers are known for being Westerly College’s most elaborate affairs. But beneath the veil of Greek life and prestige, the sisters of Kappu Rho Nu share a secret: they’re a coven of witches. For Vivi Deveraux, being one of Kappa Rho Nu’s Ravens means getting a chance to redefine herself. For Scarlett Winters, a bonafide Raven and daughter of a legacy Raven, pledge this year means living up to her mother’s impossible expectations of becoming Kappa Rho Nu’s next president. Scarlett knows she’d be the perfect candidate — that is, if she didn’t have one human-sized skeleton in her closet…. When Vivi and Scarlett are paired as big and little for initiation, they find themselves sinking into the sinister world of blood oaths and betrayals.
Setting the Scene
Review in 10 Words (or Less)
Loved the premise and college setting.
Mood Before Reading
Two words: Reading. Slump.
The Ravens is about Scarlett and Vivi, two very different girls attending Westerly College. One is a junior aiming to become the next president of her sorority; the other is a freshman trying to join that same sorority. Oh, and did I mention that sorority is actually a coven of witches? Trust me, the premise is just as cool as it sounds.
The Ravens started a bit slow with all the info-dumping in the beginning. I get that we need to establish the magic system behind the witches’ powers and some background on our main characters, but I shouldn’t feel like I have to bookmark a page to refer to later. It was unnecessary, too, since the powers and spells are explained and categorized enough throughout the story. It didn’t all have to be unloaded at once.
That said, I really did love the magic in The Ravens. It was done in a way I haven’t seen before, although to be honest, this is the first book with witches that I’ve read in some time. But I mean, a sorority of witches? That’s a concept that’s hard to beat.
I also really loved the college setting. It was so nicely done and so, so relatable. However, I find it kind of funny (and sad) that the character I related to the most is a love interest. The dude was literally used as a plot device. 😆 It’s not a knock against the girls and how they were written; it’s just that his internal struggles and my post-grad crisis are basically the same. It also happens to be a struggle that I don’t read too often, so The Ravens definitely gets some brownie points for including it.
Speaking of love interests, I wasn’t the biggest of the romance. It wasn’t bad, just kind of meh and pretty predictable. I almost wish the romance wasn’t included at all.
Vivi and Scarlet were relatable in their own ways and struggles, as well. But I kind of went back and forth between liking them, being annoyed with them, and wanting to facepalm because of them. Their individual journeys were a bit of a w-i-l-d ride. It’s interesting because, at the surface, I relate to Vivi more, but I actually prefer Scarlet, even if she’s bitchier and sometimes got blinders on. Vivi’s just more naïve and, honestly, confusing.
Vivi’s growth kind of feels… inauthentic? It just feels too glossed over. She went from insecure to super confident in like two weeks after pledging The Ravens. Maybe I should have joined a sorority in college? If only there was a coven that masqueraded as a sorority at my school.
Still, my favorite aspect of The Ravens was the mystery embedded within it. That aspect, along with the magic (after all the info-dumping), was so well done. I’m not fooled by books too often, but dang, The Ravens got me good. And honestly, it was enough to bump this read up by 0.5 stars – this was veering into 3.5-star territory before it became more of a thriller. Let’s just say the second half went a lot faster than the first. No more info dumps and more action makes for a happier Emily.
The Ravens has a great magic system, mystery, and college setting. But it could have been better with less info-dumps, less romance, and some more character development. I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel!
What are your favorite witchy reads?