Raven (Delirium 2.5) - Lauren Oliver
This captivating 50-page digital-original story set in the world of Lauren Oliver’s New York Times bestselling Delirium series focuses on Raven, the fiery leader of a rebel group in the Wilds.
As a teenager, Raven made the split-second decision to flee across the border to the Wilds, compelled to save an abandoned newborn—a baby girl left for dead and already blue from the cold. When she and the baby are taken in by a band of rebels, Raven finds herself an outsider within a tight-knit group. The only other newcomer is an untrustworthy boy known as the Thief until he finally earns himself a new name: Tack.
Now she and Tack are inseparable, committed to each other, the fledgling rebellion, and a future together. But as they both take center stage in the fight, Raven must decide whether the dangers of the revolution are worth risking her dreams of a peaceful life with Tack.
As her story hurtles back and forth between past and present, Raven transforms from a scared girl newly arrived in the Wilds to the tough leader who helps Lena save former Deliria-Free poster boy Julian Fineman from a death sentence. Whatever the original mission may have been, Raven abides by a conviction that she believes to her core: You always return for the people you love.
By turns surprising, revelatory, and poignant, Raven’s story enriches the Delirium world and resonates with a voice that is as vulnerable as it is strong.
*May contain spoilers*
I don't even know what to say. I feel so sad for Raven! Having read what happens in Requiem it's made all the more awful by what I've just read in this short story. Throughout the series I hadn't connected with her as a character. Yes she was strong and feisty, but she seemed harsh, cold. I wasn't her biggest fan despite loving Tack! She was quite a distant figure but thanks to this short story I now know why!
The story shows us the rescue scene in Pandemonium where they swoop in and save Julian but from Raven's point of view. This was so insightful as it was clear that she really did care about Lena. She could relate to her, until she found out that Lena's mum was alive. With the novel taking a 'then and now' approach each alternate section give us a glimpse into the traumatic childhood of Raven before she escaped to The Wilds.
Her hard exterior and lack of emotion is explained away through the violence suffered as a child. It was heart breaking to read and I found myself praying for a different ending in Requiem despite knowing that it's impossible. We see her connection with Blue and her first encounter with Tack. I loved this story, tying up so many questions that I had about the relationship between these two characters.
An enjoyable and eye opening read that I'd recommend to all Delirium fans. It made me feel so guilty for not liking and trusting Raven throughout the series!