Ravencliffe by Carol Goodman

Ravencliffe by Carol Goodman
Ravencliffe by Carol Goodman
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Genre: Paranormal Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (432 pages)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 4 stars
Review by Lupine

Avaline Hall is no ordinary girl.

She’s a student at Blythewood Academy, an elite boarding school that trains young women to defend human society from the shadowy forces that live among us. After the devastating events of her first year at Blythewood, Ava is eager to reunite with her friends—and with Raven, the compelling but elusive winged boy who makes her pulse race. She soon discovers, though, that the sinister Judicus van Drood hasn’t finished wreaking havoc on Blythewood—and wants to use Ava and her classmates to attack a much bigger target.

Ava’s the only one with any hope of stopping van Drood. But to scuttle his plans, she must reveal her deepest secret to everyone at Blythewood. What’s she willing to sacrifice to do what’s right—her school? Her love? Or her life?

​The first book in this series, Blythewood, was difficult for me to read, since it was full of world building and really the action was really left until the end, but this sequel didn’t fail me–it was so much better than the first. I enjoyed the book from beginning to end, and though it lagged in some parts, it wasn’t enough to discourage my interest.

There’s more character development in this book, which was fun to read about . I felt more connected to Ava than I did in the previous book, and I was able to see deeper into her friends’ lives and really understand the bond they shared. I laughed quite a bit at some of the events, which is always a good thing to have in a dark story setting, plus secrets about Ava continue to be revealed which further the plot and her relationship with Raven.

There were a lot of new questions being asked and lots of problems to solve, which sort of kept you jumping back and forth from Ava to her parents to her friends and what was happening in their lives, and then of course, Raven…

I appreciated the lack of an actual love triangle. Really, this book focuses on her and Raven, and though Nathan clearly cares for her it seems Ava chose Raven from the beginning. I loved the journey they take together in this book. I was also fascinated with the Darklings and how they blend themselves into the human world–you’d think it would be a little difficult with those huge wings on their back!

If each consecutive book keeps getting stronger, as this one did, I’ll be such a fan of this series. I look forward to reading the next installment.

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