Book Reviews

Review: “The Dream Thieves,” Maggie Stiefvater

April 24, 2016
Review: “The Dream Thieves,” Maggie StiefvaterThe Dream Thievesby Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #2
Published by Scholastic on September, 2013
Genres: Mythology, Psychics, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 439
Book Depository | Bookworld | Booktopia

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.

And sometimes he's not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan's secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.

The Dream Thieves was a great follow-up to The Raven Boys. I’m so glad I didn’t have to wait to read the second book, as the two are pretty seamless in the way they line up and continue. I was eager to find out more about the search for Glendower, Adam’s sacrifice and of course be reunited with Blue and her Raven Boys!

 “In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them.Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her raven boys.”

The thing I love most about Maggie Stiefvater books (and it’s hard just to pick one thing!) is that she makes me care about her characters in a way that only few authors can. Her characters are all incredibly flawed but still remain damned loveable. Within the Raven Cycle series, Adam Parrish is the perfect example. On paper, he infuriates me like no other. I grumble and grumble over the fact that he refuses help from people who love him, but when I look back I wouldn’t want it any other way. It distinguishes him from the rest of the boys and it makes things so incredibly interesting. Would we love the group as much as we do without the four distinct personalities within it? Nope.

And let’s talk about how adorable Noah is. I want more Noah page-time, damn it. The Noah/Blue kiss was incredibly unexpected and sweet, and although it wasn’t really romantic, it made me want to ship them… just a little… in a sad, melancholy way.

“He was brother to a liar and brother to an angel, son of a dream and son of a dreamer.”

The Dream Thieves is undeniably Ronan’s book. While I wasn’t happy to have the focus shift from Gansey (GANSEY!) it was great to see some solid character development concerning Ronan, and for us to get a good look inside that head of his and understand what he’s all about. I know he’s Maggie Stiefvater’s favourite in the series, and her love toward him really showed with how much thought went into his personality and development. Ronan is so multi-layered and unpredictable. While he’s not my favourite Raven Boy, the series just wouldn’t work without him.

My main problem with The Dream Thieves is that I didn’t feel as if the whole ‘Glendower’ storyline really progressed much. There was so much discovery in The Raven Boys and this book seemed to focus more instead on Ronan’s ability to bring things back from dreams, as well as the discovery that Kavinsky, too, was like him. However, I was able to put aside my annoyance because there was SO MUCH character and relationship development in this book, which made up for lack of story progression.

“I wish you could be kissed, Jane. Because I would beg just one off you. Under all this.”

I’m still waiting on Blue to really ‘wow’ me as a character. Unfortunately, like Noah, she didn’t have a whole lot of page-time in The Dream Thieves, but there was some excellent groundwork laid for her undeniably doomed relationship with Gansey. While she seemed solidly interested in Adam in book one, somewhere during book two, she realised she wasn’t really feeling it anymore.

I’m really loving the secondary characters in this series; Maura, Calla, Persephone, etc. Even the Gray Man proved himself to be pretty interesting, as did Kavinsky (as much as I loathed him). It’s impossible not to fall in love with the world of Henrietta and all its magic and mystery.

I thought by now, having made it halfway through the series, that I would have a fair idea of where this series is going – or how it’s going to unfold – but I still find myself scratching my head. I doubt I could even explain to someone what this series is about. Maggie Stiefvater has managed to craft an incredibly compelling series based on the promise of something magical, without really revealing the source or the point of it all.

“It was nothing, but it was Adam Parrish’s nothing. How he hated and loved it. How proud he was of it, how wretched it was.”

The dialogue between the characters really flows nicely ALL THE TIME and is a high point where this series is concerned. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of just listening to Maggie Stiefvater’s characters talk, letting their distinct personalities shine through, as well as their humour.

As much as I’m still kinda confused about this series (not in a bad way) I’m enjoying myself immensely. I’m so excited to just dive into Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

About Maggie Stiefvater

All of Maggie Stiefvater's life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you're a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she's tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She's made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

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