The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #2) / My rating: ★★★★★
One sentence summary: Objects can be taken out of dreams, a forest has disappeared, cars are destroyed, romance is budding, and there is a hit man in town.
He was brother to a liar and brother to an angel, son of a dream and son of a dreamer.
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Paranormal
Plot: As the second book in a series, I thought that this novel moved the plot along flawlessly. Much like the first book, I never quite knew where the story was going, but this time around I knew I could trust the author to bring me where we needed to go. While the last book focused on the beginning of the characters’ journey to find a dead Welsh king, this book was derailed from the mission a bit, but not without good reason. As we delved into the mind of Ronan Lynch, a character who’s point of view we had not been privy to in the first novel, he opened up a plot directed by his ability to take objects from his dreams. It takes us on a wild ride of fire, destruction, and secrets that open up doors for the continued mission for the king. It is suspenseful, dangerous, and straight from the heart. I couldn’t get enough.
Characters: Ah, my Raven boys and Blue! This book did a fantastic job at developing the characters I’d fallen very in love with in the first book, particularly Ronan Lynch and Adam Parrish. In the first book, we had been in to the minds of Adam, Gansey, and Blue, but Ronan had been left mysteriously absent- and that’s because this is his book. The plot slowly unravels Ronan’s secrets, his self-hatred, and his deep and loyal heart. By the end of the book I’d felt that Ronan had come a very long way. As for Adam, we dive deeper into the mind of a boy who’d payed a deadly sacrifice in the last book. Adam is angry and pitiful, and while Ronan’s part of the story felt like the crashing part, Adam’s felt like the burning. It was so easy to be frustrated by him and to dislike him, which wouldn’t have bothered me if I wanted so badly for him to make the right choices, to let his friends love him and for him to do right. But when a character pains me in this way, it means the author is doing something very well, and I love Adam’s development since the beginning of the first book. I can’t forget Kavinsky- a walking disaster and the most heartless of jerks, but brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I loved that when I expected one person to be the villain, we got another instead. And Noah. Noah, melting my heart as always.
Writing: Two particular scenes come to mind when I think about the writing in this novel. First, the scene on the first floor in Monmouth Manufacturing. The way it rains outside, the dust in the air, Ronan standing, facing away. I said in my review of the first book that Stiefvater writes with a film-like quality, and I’ll say it again. I’ll say it a thousand times. The second scene that comes to mind is our introduction to Ronan’s family’s barns, the storm overhead, the eerie sleeping animals, the quiet, and the homey familiarity. I’d go into it more deeply, but you may as well just read the book.
Was I satisfied? YES. Give me the third book.