SPOILER ALERT: The Dream Thieves is the second book in the Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater. This review will contain series spoilers for the previous book. Click here to read my spoiler-free review of The Raven Boys.
The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater.
Genre: YA – Fantasy.
Publisher: Scholastic Press.
Pub. Date: September 17, 2013.
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.
Personal Enjoyment: ●●●●●
Writing Style: ●●●●●
I immensely enjoyed The Raven Boys, and after finishing the audio book (and ordering the series in hardcover) I immediately dove into the second book. However, the longer I listened to the audio, the more I realized I was missing from listening to both the first and second books in the series, so I decided to re-read the first book again before continuing. Though I really do like the narrator of the audio, I highly recommend reading the physical books if you can. These books are dense with foreshadowing and it’s easy to feel lost in the narrative.
Since this is the second book, it’s really difficult to talk about without spoiling (most of my notes discuss my love of specific scenes… I made my own life real difficult.)
Maggie Stiefvater has this way of building up anticipation and tension steadily throughout her book, even though the events occurring could be somewhat commonplace. The tension builds up and up and up before inevitably exploding– no loopholes, no deus ex machina. The dust settles… and everyone is okay and on to the next adventure. It’s refreshing, honest adventure. For a book that deals so much in the idea of circular time, it feels like we are constantly pressing forward.
I loved how much more present some of the prominent side characters were in this book, from Blue’s family to Ronan Lynch. Everyone felt much more real. Every scene with Noah seemed strategically written to make me cry. I didn’t care much for Noah in The Raven Boys, but The Dream Thieves really began to flesh him out (pun intended har har har geddit cause he’s dead). I really liked Blue and Gansey’s friendship in the first book, and The Dream Thieves began to turn into something more romantic as it went on. It’s a kind of slowly-building, realistic teen romance that I really love to read. Since “Bluesey” has been fated endgame since the first page of book one, I was glad this series didn’t waste too much time on a love triangle.
However, this didn’t make me more fond of every character. Blue’s treatment of her cousin Orla was absolutely atrocious. My need for a strong female friendship only intensified in this book, but Blue seemed to be doing everything possible to thwart my hopes and dreams. This book also ruined another of my favorite characters when he threw out “raging feminist” as his worst insult. le sigh.
I am not sure how to feel about how coyly a certain character’s sexuality was dealt with. There is a gay character introduced in this book, and I begrudgingly keep it a secret as to who it may be mostly because I think the homoerotic tension made it obvious from the moment he was given his own point of view chapters. Considering how obvious it was, this particular reservation didn’t ruin the reading experience for me. I’m glad not everyone in this book is straight, and I’ve heard it only gets better from here!
If you liked The Raven Boys, I definitely recommend you continue with this series. It really is something special.