I have been waiting for this book for three years. It’s very surreal to be reviewing it right now, but it was even more surreal to read this. Scratch that, it was completely mesmerizing to hold this book, as an actual physical object because I have been waiting for it so long. If you have been following this blog for a while then you know that I adore The Raven Cycle. I am sure I have read many books that have objectively better quality, but I am also sure that no book has ever made me feel like The Raven Cycle. I have many-layered emotions tied into those books, so I was both ecstatic to read Call Down the Hawk and terrified to do so. Turns out, I needn’t have worried, because Call Down the Hawk is my favorite book of the year.
It needs to be said right in the beginning — I bring a lot of baggage into this book. And by baggage, I absolutely mean my undying love for Ronan Lynch. If you knew me personally, you would find it strange that I love an asshole like him, but the heart wants what it wants (
and in this case, it wants a gay farmer who brings stuff from his dreams). So I already knew and adored Ronan with my whole dark soul and being when I started reading this.
And it was so interesting to read a book where you know one character so well, and have yet to meet the others. It takes getting used to, but it also elevates the reading experience because Ronan now exists as a separate entity, that doesn’t interact regularly with Gansey or Blue or even Adam (more on that later), so he is new while also being so familiar. Despite this newness, I still had so many emotions while reading this and the fact that I knew some of these characters totally elevated my reading experience.
This is why I would argue that you have to read The Raven Cycle before you read this book.
Ronan Lynch in Call Down the Hawk is well-written, but when you take into account the way he was written in the Raven Cycle, Ronan Lynch in Call Down the Hawk is a masterpiece.
I wasn’t sure how Stiefvater this book would be and I am here to report that it was very Stiefvater. This is dark and weird and complex, and it’s very on-brand. It has that same eerie tone that Maggie does so well, and the plot is very strange. I really loved how she expanded the dreamer concept in this, and how the plotline was handled. It feels more contained and focused than The Raven Cycle did, and I think that’s great. I think it has more focus on the plot than TRC, while still being able to really focus on and build characters and relationships. I was living for the characters, but I was also interested in the plot. It’s clever, it’s got a very lush atmosphere and it was pretty great. Also, lots of dreamfuckery. It gets weird. I don’t want to spoil the concept of the book, but Maggie plays with time and the self on a whole new level and it’s super weird and super epic. We stan.
I really love the new characters that were introduced in this novel. Hennessy is fantastic, and sort of mirrors Ronan at the beginning of The Raven Cycle, which is a very different Ronan than the one at the end, or the Ronan in Call Down the Hawk. I loved how that was a really important aspect of the story and serves to both define Hennessy and Ronan as characters. Jordan was also amazing, and had the perfect dynamic with Hennessy. It was really complex and nuanced and I loved it immensely. Carmen Farooq-Lane was also a really interesting character. I cannot wait to see her interact with the rest of the characters more. I feel like the dynamics and relationships is where Stiefvater’s characters get made, so I cannot wait to see how she fits in with the rest.
Also, Stiefvater having more female characters and no “I am not like other girls” mentality in here? WE LOVE GROWTH. Now let’s hope we get a f/f ship in future books as well, because THERE IS POTENTIAL, MAGGIE.
Not to be dramatic, but I would face Ronan’s night horrors for Declan Lynch. Yes, folks, turns out the bland, boring, nagging Declan Lynch actually deserves rights?? Who would have thought? Not me, and not Ronan Lynch but there it is. I love Declan with my whole heart and soul and the way his character was carefully written made me feel physical pain. HE JUST WANTS TO BE A GOOD PARENT TO MATTHEW AND RONAN and I am truly not okay.
PROTECT DECLAN LYNCH 2K19
I love when an asshole turns out to be a loveable asshole who is just trying his best and failing miserably. WE LOVE TO SEE IT. Also, the ship of the book is not what you think it will be, and I was living for every second of it.
Yes, this section exists SOLELY for me to tell you that every time Ronan and Adam interacted (which wasn’t nearly enough) I had to put the book down and scream into a pillow. For full three minutes. I loved seeing their relationship develop and mature and the way they say I love you is obnoxious and so important and it made my insides hurt.
To convey how I actually felt and processed this book, you need to see my Goodreads updates (or you can add me to be constantly updated):
See? I was unstable, and this book made me a MESS. TOO MANY EMOTIONS. NOT USED TO IT. DOES NOT COMPUTE. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH, ESPECIALLY RONAN LYNCH.
This book has three major flaws:
- Not Enough Adam (we need more in the sequel, we need Pynch at all times)
- Not Enough Gansey (let Gansey be the mom of all dreamers, you cowards)
- Not Enough Blue (let Blue be bffs with Jordan and Hennessy, you cowards)
I am not saying this book is perfect, but I am also not not saying that. I get that there are people who would not like this, but my question is why and how. Book of the year, friends, just read it.
I would love to hear from you! Have you read The Raven Cycle? Do you plan to read this one? Did you already read it? Thoughts, cries and feelings? Let me know all of it in the comments below!
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