The Dream Thieves
by Maggie Stiefvater
Read: July 8 - 10, 2013
Published: September 17, 2013 by Scholastic Press **UPCOMING**
Source: From publisher at BEA*
Category: YA, Fantasy
Series: The Raven Cycle 2
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... (From Goodreads)
NOTE: The Dream Thieves is the second book in a series. See my review of book 1, The Raven Boys, HERE.
I read The Dream Thieves back in July, but for some reason my brain is having a very difficult time distilling this story into an appropriate form for a review. It's not that I don't have any thing to say about it. In fact, The Dream Thieves has induced one of my longest and most extensive email book discussions, but because of that, and it's location in the middle of a four book series (or cycle), I am having trouble writing about it without wanting to just talk about everything that happens with exclamation points!!!
The Dream Thieves is book two in the Raven Cycle. While The Raven Boys began slowly and then halfway through the book - BAM - revelations came fast and furious as the pace increased, this one features a steadier balance of action and revelations that carries through the entire book. As the title and cover indicate, The Dream Thieves is very much Ronan's book. We delve deeply into Ronan's mind and family, and find out some truly delicious and heart breaking secrets. Like pretty much everyone else, I fell hard for Ronan in this book.
Adam also gets a fair number of important moments in book two, which I'm very thankful for because after the end of book one, it was anyone's guess what role he'd play in the future. Sometimes I think it still is. However, in The Dream Thieves we're given a better picture of what the events near the end of The Raven Boys will mean for him in the future. Like Adam, I finished reading book two much more settled about his purpose in this group. Although, admittedly I am still a tad worried. I tend to think of Adam as the ticking time bomb of the operation His direction seems stable for now, but you never know when he might go off and change the course of the series.
For those of you who are as crazy as I am about Maggie Stiefvater's ability to build romantic tension between her characters - you know the kind that starts so subtly and is paced so carefully that you don't notice it until the characters are so crackling with tension, you think the book might catch on fire - we get some developments on that front as well. Stiefvater is a very clever in how she paces her romances, and The Dream Thieves includes some deliciously quiet scenes between our budding love interests. If you are fearful of a huge love triangle, Stiefvater is true to her word and I don't see that being an issue. That doesn't mean there won't be any romance induced drama, however.
While The Dream Thieves may be weighted more towards Ronan revelations, I think what is most exciting about the book is that we are finding that these characters journey to discover Glendower isn't just Gansey's quest any more, although he is still at its heart. The same major players are all fully invested - Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Blue and Noah - and every one of them has something at stake. But even more than that, a connection to Cabeswater and the ley lines extends beyond those 5 to include both Blue's family and also Ronan's. Plus some truly fantastic new characters who are quickly becoming favorites. Be on the lookout for Kavinsky and Mr. Gray especially. I hope they surprise, delight and horrify you as much as they did me. Basically, Maggie Stiefvater is brilliant at adding layer upon layer of plot and characters to her story.
In The Dream Thieves, Maggie Stiefvater has once again proven her ability to string together fantastically complicated plots and interconnect a cast of characters who at first appear to be completely unlinkable. We now have so many plot pieces and characters happening, that I can't wait to see how they'll be thrown together next. However, it is Stiefvater's small personal scenes that are her true superpower, transforming her stories into magical experiences with wonderful character depth. Two stand out to me in The Dream Thieves. The first is a beautiful and bittersweet scene that features smudgy Noah. The other is The Gansey Family's attempt to be helpful. One made me laugh, the other tear up. But they're two examples of why I love Maggie's writing so much, and why she'll forever be one of my favorite authors.
Love Triangle Factor: Mild
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium