In my experience, more often than not, the second book in a series never outshines the first, however Stiefvater was able to outdo herself with The Dream Thieves. She pairs lovable and compelling characters with an original and fantastical plot, and the outcome is an addictive read.
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #2
Genre: Young Adult > Fantasy
Version: Audiobook (12h 45min listening length)
Narrator: Will Patton
Publisher: Scholastic Audio
If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?
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.
*Spoilers for book #1 in The Raven Cycle, The Raven Boys*
You can read my review of The Raven Boys here → Book Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
The characters are really what make this series so good! I’m sure I mentioned this in my review for The Raven Boys, but they just feel so REAL.
I am going to start off with the man of the hour, Ronan. Stiefvater purposely left Ronan’s character a mystery in the first book to set him up to be further explored in this book. Can I just say how much I LOVE Ronan? This book satisfied my desire to learn more about him, and man oh man did we learn more about Ronan! We learn much of Ronan’s back story in this book, particularly his family history. I think Ronan’s story definitely explains the tough exterior he puts up. The guy has been and continues to have to live through so much, however you never hear him complain about the hand he was dealt. This book made me love him even more. There was also a very important aspect about Ronan that we learn in this book… If you have read this book, you know what I am talking about. Apparently Stiefvater hinted to this in The Raven Boys, but her subtle hints went WAY over my head. Kuddos to anyone who picked up on these!
Gainsey takes a back seat in The Dream Thieves. I have to get something off my chest… After reading the first two books, I find myself indifferent to Gainsey. I don’t particularly love him, which is interesting since he seems to be the glue that holds the crew together. I am not sure what is preventing me from forming an attachment to Gainsey, but I think it has to do with the fact that he puts up a front in public, but is his true self around his friends. He just feels a little fake to me. I have not given up hope though! There are still two more books for Gainsey to find a place in my heart.
Much like in The Raven Boys, Blue’s character felt like she was in the background for much of the book, but I have a feeling that we will finally get a deeper look at her character in the next book, much like we did here with Ronan. I mean the next book is titled Blue Lily, Lily Blue after all. I find Blue very elusive, and I am very curious about her. I definitely think there is more to Blue than meets the eye. Blue’s family however was on point as per usual. I just love them. Eccentric characters are my absolute favorite.
Adam is still a character I struggle with. Much like I felt after the first book, I sympathize with Adam and his situation, however I still don’t get the misdirected aggression towards his friends who only want to help him. His jealousy of Gainsey, who only wants to help his friend in any way he can, really annoys me. I find myself suspicious of Adam and how this is all going to play out.
Noah. Poor Noah. This guy can’t catch a break. First we find out he is dead, then Ronan throws him out a window because he is dead… Then there was THE scene with Blue… THAT scene, although seemed awkward at first, turned out to be so very sad, since they both realized what they are missing out on.
We are also introduced to a few new characters in this book. The Gray Man, who happens to be a hit man for the other team, is a mysterious and complex character with such blunt honesty, it’s humorous. Can I say how much I love when authors blur the lines between good and bad? Well I just did. Oh yeah, and Maura gets involved with him. So there’s that. I enjoyed this aspect of the book so much because it was just so absurd, a hitman and a psychic. Another character we are introduced to in this book is Kavinsky, arch nemesis to Ronan. Holy self destructive tendencies batman! This kid needs a therapist STAT!
Now on to the plot! The hunt for Glendower is placed on the back burner for this book while we dive into Ronan’s world. Don’t worry, it is all still related to Glendower, but this is very much “Ronan’s book.” As much as I love the hunt for Glendower, I really enjoyed diving into Ronan’s world and back story in this book. I found the concept of Ronan being able to take things out of his dreams intriguing. Can you imagine? Ronan dropped this little bomb at the end of The Raven Boys. Obviously I did not see THIS one coming. Maggie Stiefvater is such a vivid writer, that I had no issues seeing the fantasy elements happening in my mind. I was particularly impressed with the battle scene, it was so action packed and animated. Stiefvater is slowly making me fall in love with the fantasy genre.
As much as I enjoyed the first book, The Raven Boys, I found I liked the second book even more. This NEVER happens to me. Usually, the first book is by far the best, and all subsequent books are dull in comparison. This is NOT the case. I can’t wait to see what the next books have in store for me!
“In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her raven boys.”
“While I’m gone,” Gansey said, pausing, “dream me the world. Something new for every night.”
“He was brother to a liar and brother to an angel, son of a dream and son of a dreamer.”
“He danced on the knife’s edge between awareness and sleep. When he dreamt like this, he was a king. The world was his to bend. His to burn.”
About the Author:
New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.
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.