Call Down the Hawk
Every time I forget how much I love Maggie Stiefvater’s writing, and then I’m reminded.
Picking up a little after where The Raven King left off, Ronan has been left behind by his friends, and even Adam has gone off to college without him. Ronan wants so desperately to have a normal life with Adam, but dreamers are being hunted, and Ronan is next.
Stiefvater stepped up her game with representation. There was a casual non-binary person within Adam’s new friend group. Jordan and Hennessy, a couple of the main characters, are black women. Carmen, with the last name Farooq-Lane, is part Arabic, if the origins of her surname are right. Ronan is gay, and this isn’t a coming out story: he just is. Representation like this should be the bare minimum, so I’m not applauding a white author for doing it. I’m merely using it to point out that more books by white authors should be like this, and it’s disappointing they aren’t.
The one major thing I didn’t like was the fact that the Crying Club was introduced and then mentioned only once or twice more. It seems like a waste of characters, besides to show that Adam is sort-of fitting in at Harvard. I wonder if they make an appearance in the next two books, but it also fits within the confines of the story. Plenty of characters were introduced by name, built up a bit, only to be ruthlessly murdered by one thing or another. The Crying Club bothered me a little, but I have hope that they come back.
The things I did like were more numerous. Stiefvater’s writing style is one of my favorites. She has a way with words that you don’t see very often. I love the way she writes. Like I’ve said in previous posts, I am a sucker for pretty prose.
Like her actual writing, her parallel storylines are masterfully crafted. There was not an instance where I was confused, because I trusted the story to explain itself in time, and whatever it didn’t get to, we’ll learn in the second book or the third. Questions are always answered in time. The parallel lines make for a well-rounded story, since you are able to get perspectives from multiple parties.
I also like that the stakes are high. I know Stiefvater likes happy endings, but that doesn’t mean anyone is safe. I was hoping all of the Hennessy’s making it out, but no one is safe. Matthew, Declan, Hennessy, Jordan, Ronan, Lilian, Parsifal, Carmen…they’re all in the line of fire, and they might all have their strengths, but that doesn’t mean Stiefvater won’t kill them off. She’s done it before (I’m still heartbroken over Noah).
I was waiting for Opal! I love that little guy so much, even if she is a budding sociopath. I missed her, and I was so excited when she finally showed up. If anything bad happens to her, though, I’m gonna lose it~!
Anyway. Now to read Mister Impossible.
Trigger warnings: murder, gun violence, suicide, death of a parent, violence, body horror (specifically eye-related in parts), death, blood, self-harm, physical abuse, suicidal thoughts, injury, injury detail, gore, animal death, cursing, mental illness, alcohol, drug use, trafficking