New mysteries are exposed, and things get ever more dangerous in Maggie Stiefvater’s second Raven Cycle book, The Dream Thieves. Expect to be surprised…
Book Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Title & Author: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Boys #2) (Raven Cycle) by Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA Fantasy- Paranormal, Occult
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Series: The Raven Cycle #2
Publisher: Scholastic Press
How I Got the Book: ARC via Publisher
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…”
Something Wicked This Way Comes
In every sense, The Dream Thieves was darker and edgier than The Raven Boys. The first book was like a first date: introductions were made and we got to know each other a little. The Dream Thieves more like a third date where you’ve moved past small talk and things can get a bit more physical.
A few things surprised me:
1Ronan stole the show– Right from page one, Ronan becomes the focus of the book. Granted, Gansey, Adam and Blue all have their moments to shine, but The Dream Thieves is mostly about Ronan and his family. There’s obviously a reason for that, but it threw me off a bit. The Raven Boys focused mainly on Blue and Gansey, I think, so I went into this book thinking that pattern would follow.
2Pacing was slower– When I was reading The Raven Boys, there was so many things that pulled me into the story – Blue’s crazy family, Gansey’s Glendower obsession and Adam’s vulnerability. This time around, I felt like that same pull was there…just with less force.
I loved how the story picked up so easily where The Raven Boys left off, but it moved with such drastic moments. When everyone wasn’t searching for Cabeswater or talking to the Gray Man (<---interesting new character), things felt flat. I often felt myself pushing my way through the pages instead of being dragged through by the compelling tale.
3Book 3 has a lot of questions to answer– I was definitely surprised with how many questions stayed unanswered in The Dream Thieves. A few are asked and answered within that one book, but so many from The Raven Boys are left floating and tentative. I’m almost afraid of reading the last novel in the series because a lot of my hopes are riding on it.
Aside from those surprises, I do think The Dream Thieves is an overall good book. I think it wasn’t as good as The Raven Boys, though. I felt that way because I was sure Stiefvater was taking one, clear path, and instead the book totally veered off course. That is not the book’s fault, only my perception of the book. Still it was hard to recover from that at times because I was struggling to keep up and understand what was happening now.
One thing didn’t surprise me at all – Stiefvater’s great writing. This lady is a master at descriptions and evoking emotion.
Here’s a few examples:
“If you never saw the stars, candles were enough.”
“He was polite like tentacles were polite, testing the surface carefully, checking ot see how it reacted to his presence.”
“Maybe she’d go for a walk, just her and the pink switchblade. They were a good pair. Both incapable of opening up without cutting someone.”
A few surprises both spurred on my enjoyment of this book while also pulling me out of the story. I was hoping to love the second Raven Cycle book more than the first, but it isn’t so. What the The Dream Thieves lacked in high intensity and action, it made up for in excellent writing and relationship development. Still a great book, just not the best I’ve read this year. If you loved the first book or just adore Maggie Stiefvater, then on September 17 check out The Dream Thieves.