13 June 2016

The Dream Thieves

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #2
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

It's not often when a sequel surpasses its predecessor, but here you have it.  Not that there was anything wrong with The Raven Boys, because I enjoyed it as well.  But The Dream Thieves held my attention pretty much from the get go, and kept it to the end with revelations, plot twists, and character study galore.

While The Raven Boys focused primarily on Blue's relationships with the Raven boys, The Dream Thieves branches out.  In fact, Blue is really just a secondary character this time around.  Instead, we focus mainly on Ronan, whose ability to pull items from his dreams into real life becomes core to the plot in this second installment to the series.  While Ronan's broody attitude and propensity to snap into some serious anger management issues prevent him from being my favorite character, the insight into his backstory we get in this novel is definitely key to the plot.  The character study into his relationship with his two brothers is also a fascinating read.  Ronan's story arc is definitely my favorite, even if he isn't, although I thought the addition of Kavinsky's character to help along the plot could have been done a little better, but he is definitely a piece of work as well.

Then we have Adam, who is dealing with the aftermath of sacrificing himself over to the Cabeswater at the end of the previous novel.  Adam is struggling to come to terms with what that even means, and we get a further look into his character as well.  While I like how self sufficient Adam is, he's a little hard to like at times as well because of how he insists on doing everything himself.  Sure, there is something to be said about being a self made man.  And perhaps I cannot understand, and I haven't had the same kind of socioeconomic upbringing as he has.  But man, sometimes I wish he would stop being so pigheaded and just let the people he cares about help him.  Also, I'm not the biggest fan of the "romance" between him and Blue.  While it's kind of sweet, it also feels forced from the start, since we know right off the bat at the beginning of the series that Gansey is apparently her first love.

And Gansey.  He may just be my favorite.  Spoiled, rich, too smart to have good social skills.  I can related to one of those.  All of them make him endearing, as does his fierce devotion to his friends and his obsession with his quest.  I wish I could care about anything as much as Gansey cares about Glendower (which also takes a back seat in this novel, though it was the foundation for the first).

The introduction of the Gray Man was an interesting choice.  I'm still not sure how I feel about that, especially after the ending.  If feels like a plot ploy by Stiefvater, and he certainly has a primary focus in this novel and no doubt in the next.  But whether I like him or not, there's something to be said for the fact that he's just as dynamic and dimensional as the rest of the characters Stiefvater creates in this series.

While I'm unsure of how this book ends, I'll definitely interested in stinking my eyes into the next one.

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