November 26, 2021

The Ravens (The Ravens Book 1) by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige


The Ravens (The Ravens Book 1) by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige
Rating: 3 Stars

Release Date: November 3, 2020

Format: Audiobook (library)

Publisher: Clarion Books


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The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige takes the meaning of sisterhood to another level, as members of a magical coven masquerading as a college sorority must race against the clock to solve a mystery and save the lives of their witchy sisters before its too late. 


Vivi is a bit of a loner, living with her tarot card reading mother whose frequent moves across the country make it difficult for Vivi to make any friends. Her acceptance to Westerly is her best hope for a new start, but things will not be as easy as Vivi might have hoped once she is introduced to the Ravens and accepted as a pledge. Our other point of view character in the book is Scarlett, the headstrong junior who is determined to follow in her family’s footsteps and become the next president of the coven. She has the rest of her life neatly planned out, but things don’t go as she had hoped. Vivi and Scarlett butt heads at the beginning of the story, but they are forced to work together to save the sorority from being destroyed by the actions and secrets of past members. 


It took me a bit to get into the book, but once the magic element was introduced and the action started I was hooked. I was less sold on the sorority aspect (I’m not a big fan of hazing in real life or in books), but I loved how solid the sistership between the members of Kappa Rho Nu (also known as The Ravens) is. I was also intrigued by how the authors handled the comparisons between Scarlett and Vivi, and the fact that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Scarlett has grown up her entire life knowing she was a witch, but the expectations her mother placed on her as a result were stifling. On the other hand, Vivi thought her mother was a charlatan and cursed her for their constant moves. Once Vivi is actually introduced to magic, her wonder and raw power end up softening some of Scarlett’s ire towards her. 


While I connected strongly to the magic and the sisterhood aspects in the story, I was left puzzled by the romance. Granted, it is not the focal point of the book but the events surrounding the relationship didn’t really make sense to me. There was no build-up to Mason and Vivi’s flirtations and attraction. I’m not super into “insta-love”, so this ended up putting me off of the story a bit. I was also disappointed by how things ended for Scarlett and Jackson - fingers crossed things turn out better for them in the next book! 


Overall, The Ravens is a fast-paced read that should appeal to readers who are fans of fantasy books grounded in a contemporary setting. There are also dark academia vibes in the story, but it is not as prominent as books like Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House. I’m curious to see where the authors will go with the sorority in the next book, especially with the new developments in Vivi’s and Scarlett’s lives from the end of the book. I’d also love to see more interactions between Scarlett and Vivi’s moms, as the small scene they gave us at the end of the book was not enough (I feel like there’s a lot more history to explore in their relationship).  


CW: Death of Loved Ones, Blood Gore, Terminal Illness (Cancer), Animal Sacrifice and Death as Part of Magical Ritual

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