I knew halfway through this book it would earn a 5-star review!
You can’t miss what readers are saying about Jennifer Brasington-Crowley’s Raven Song characters in social media – especially her rock god headliner, Raven Xerces. I just had to find out what the stir was all about, so I fired up the Kindle. Turns out the praise was well-earned! (Find this book on Amazon here.)
Let’s talk first about Brasington-Crowley’s writing. It’s tight. The work the author surely put into perfecting each page is obvious. Or maybe it’s not so obvious! Never once was I pulled out of the story as I read. This tells me the author knew exactly how to deliver each sentence. Brasington-Crowley is a master of her craft.
Now let’s talk starring roles. You have a set of two very different main characters (although I might argue that Stanzie Butler is THE protagonist) AND two very different points of view informed by all the history and baggage picked up over time. It must be challenging to bring both distinct voices out in the same book, weaving back and forth without tripping up the reader. Yet again, the author pulls it off.
Some readers might identify more with straight-laced and “average” Stanzie, but even with Raven’s wild side, we can connect with the kindness he displays early on in the story through gentle interactions with Stanzie and animals in need. A scene with the two stark opposites dancing cheek-to-cheek will find you quietly listening for their heartbeats. We can identify with the vulnerability Brasington-Crowley reveals in both characters – and even want a slice of it for ourselves.
Raven’s backstory begins to surface in this first-in-series, but author Brasington-Crowley never allows us to fall into pity for Raven. Instead, she brings us to fall in love with him. We even get the chance to examine the pieces of Raven we might’ve seen shining softly in that “troubled” boy – or girl – we went to school with so many years ago.
I do not intend to reveal any spoilers in this review but let me say this about the story’s resolution: Aha! So, the author IS a romantic at heart! The ending – which is just the beginning – will leave you in a good headspace.
Lastly, I typically read mysteries, so diving into Raven Song was a step to the left of my preferred genre. BUT, if you’re a mystery reader (like me) and love Janet Evanovich’s Wicked trilogy, or the EARLY books in her Stephanie Plum series, you will devour this book.
One Last Thought
If you like reading rock star biographies AND ever fantasized about anti-hero John Bender from the movie “The Breakfast Club,” you will definitely LOVE reading Raven Song.