**Warning: Spoilers May Abound**
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...(source:goodreads)
Cover-Let me just take one, quick moment sum up how this cover makes me feel.
Ready? *takes breath*
Okay, done. But, seriously. That cover is freaking gorgeous and basically completely encapsulates what the book is about. There's Ronan (it's obviously Ronan), with, well, things coming out of him. Which is basically what most of THE DREAM THIEVES is about: Ronan's dreams intruding into reality and vice-versa. It's dark and light, shadowed and mysterious. Basically? Perfection.
Narrative-I take back every bad thing I said about Stiefvater's writing style in THE RAVEN BOYS. Told in third person POV from the perspectives of Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and occasionally a new character who goes by the name Grey, the narrative is...well, it's gold.
What constantly got me was the way I was put into the shoes of the character. Simply by the language and emotions evoked, I was sucked in and short of breath half the time, particularly in a few instances that are told from Adam's point of view. I don't understand it. I just know that it kept me hooked and reading, almost like a poem (even though I don't even read poetry so it's not really my strong suit).
And of course, there were a few times where I was just laughing at inopportune moments (earning me strange glances from passersby in the hallways at school). Stiefvater has such a quick wit that she manages to pass on to her characters that I don't even know how I managed to get this far in life without it.
Plot-In the same way that THE RAVEN BOYS could be said to be mostly about Gansey and Blue, THE DREAM THIEVES is very much about Ronan. Very much. At the end of the first book in this series he lets loose the bombshell that he took his raven, Chainsaw, from his dreams, which kicks off the introduction to this sequel.
Ronan has this fantastic gift of being able to take things out of his dreams and bring them into reality. The entire book, then, is spent with him trying to both run from the nightmares that occasionally come loose, and also attempting to get his abilities under enough control that he can willingly take things that he wants instead of objects appearing from his consciousness by mistake. We (the readers) learn a ton about his past, the death of his father, and also that he's not alone in this gift. There's actually somebody (that he hates) who winds up sort-of helping him, but I digress.
Of course, it's a Raven Cycle book, as well; regardless of what I said, this book also follows Gansey closely as he continues to look for his treasure (a king supposedly buried nearby). Of course, the forest that he and the other boys, with Blue's help, disappeared. So that makes things difficult. So Ronan needs to use his dream-ability there. And then there's Noah, who's dead and losing energy. And Adam's going crazy. And Blue's...well she's Blue (or Jane, according to Gansey).
And then there's an explosion. Explosions rock.
Have I mentioned how much I love the subtle waves of magic that are threaded through the book? It's not overloaded. And the characters' lives actually don't get pushed into the background and replaced with "more important" things. The supernatural and reality are so carefully balanced. And this review is getting long.
And can BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE get here, yet?
Characters-While there's the introduction of a few new characters, what I really loved about this book was how the existing characters were fleshed out. As already mentioned, we learn a lot more about Ronan: his father's murder, and also the reason why there was a section of his will that forbade his sons from setting foot in their own home.
There's also more going on between Adam and Blue: previously, they were a cute little couple, but with Adam going a little crazy, and also his abusive past, things get a little rocky. We see Blue getting closer with Gansey (only slightly, I swear), but their firm friendship still stands strong.
Gansey, himself, is kind of wonderful. He has his self-imposed mission, sure, but what makes me fall in love with him just a little more is that he also cares deeply about his friends. Only, some of them (*cough*Adam*cough*) are too proud to accept help because it feels like pity. A recurring thing I noticed, though, was his insistence at keeping his friends safe and in line: making smart decisions, staying in school, not throwing away their future over something silly like pride or embarrassment. He's like a male mother hen, concerned first and foremost with the actual lives of those he calls friends, and their roles in the treasure hunt come second.
And I have to mention Noah. Poor guy. Occasionally he reenacts his own death, and he's legit running out of energy to keep his ghost visible and, well, there.
Now, there are a few villains, and I won't name them, but I will say that while not too much is actually known about their lives or their past (we get details, of course), they still manage to come out as, well...real. Attention-seekers, eager to find someone like them, running from their past...it all comes out and came across as incredibly real to me. Human, you know?
So, obviously I'm biased. But I really hope I backed myself up enough to qualify THE DREAM THIEVES as getting one of my incredibly rare perfect scores. If you haven't, already, read this book. Or read THE RAVEN BOYS, first, and then read this book.
And then join me on the long wait until the third book, BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE is released in October.
Final Answer: 5 / 5
An explosive sequel (literally, there's an explosion). @Rae_Slater reviews THE DREAM THIEVES @mstiefvater (Click to Tweet)