Here we are for round 2. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater is the sequel to the book The Raven Boys. This review will contain spoilers for the second book after a point. There will be a warning there, so please don’t read past the spoiler warning if you don’t want to be spoiled. I will create a shorter, spoiler-free review first so that you know my overall feelings about the book, but it may contain spoilers for the first one. But if you didn’t read the first one, why are you reading the review of the sequel? Anyways. On to the reviewing.
This book picked up a little bit after the sacrifice of Adam for the ley line. It also picked up right after the info dropped that Ronan had brought Chainsaw (the raven) out of his dreams. Obviously with that info and the title, this book focuses more so on Ronan’s story and how he fits into this larger world. I did not hate this choice. While Ronan wasn’t flat in the first book, he didn’t get as deep of a review by the first book. He just didn’t need to be looked at that deeply. But I’m a sucker for giving characters their own arc and time and that was what happened with Ronan.
With that in mind, I almost felt like this book went a little bit too far in exploring the characters. I like to watch characters live their own lives, but when you’re just coming out of a book that was moving at a steady clip and the sequel slows down, it’s just a little bit disappointing. I dragged my feet through reading this book. But just when I was starting to feel like I wanted to take the book back to the library early, there was some action. And by some, I mean a lot. The last 100~ pages, maybe less (I’m bad at estimating where things happened in the book), were so jam packed with stuff that I felt like I had gone through whiplash.
Pacing-wise, I didn’t like this. I felt like it was just so slow going that we needed that action earlier. There were moments of it, but they felt so far and few between during the actual reading.
At the end of this, you’re left on another cliffhanger that I am very much interested in. I have put the third book on hold so that I can read it. But I am definitely going to put a couple of books between this one and that next one. I need a mental break to see if I’m ready to go back into that wonky pace.
So let’s talk about my favorite things that came out of this book. Obviously I love the development of Ronan as a character. He went from the wild child to a wilder child to understanidng what it was that he was brought into the world with. His role as a Greywaren is still mysterious, but the fact that he has a real role and isn’t just able to pull things out of his dreams as a fluke is fascinating to me. Obviously since he is featured in the story, he was going to have some sort of important role, but Ronan the person and character doesn’t scream that he’s going to be able to commune in his dreams with a mysterious force that will allow him to pull things into reality. There are still tons of mysteries around this power, but the way that it fit into his character arc was amazing.
Another part that I wanted to talk about was the continuing arc of Adam as a character. His arc has been in the background of the last book as well with his feelings for Blue, his family’s situation and where he was going to wind up in the world, and how he sacrificed himself for the ley line. He has been on a rocky road since the beginning of the first book and the events of this book don’t let him really have a place to settle until the end. Him being the “Magician” (whatever that is) came upon really suddenly at the end. I’m interested to see what comes of it, but I’m worried that Adam will have a series of being given a new name and then the responsibilities not being explained to him or ever really needed until a much later point.
But also man did I feel for Adam during a lot of this. He got kicked when he was down again and again, but it was good to see him find a place to belong.
And finally, Gansey and Blue. I mean, we knew this was coming. I didn’t expect them to mention Adam during all of this. I also don’t really see exactly how it fit correctly. I’m interested to see how the relationship develops, but it feels too fated. It feels like there was no reason for it to happen and yet every reason for it to. And that might be intentional. I guess that’s what the next book will be about.
I’m very conflicted by this book. There were a lot of very good movements in the story, but there are portions that I have problems with. I don’t know. At the end of the day, I can’t expect a piece of art out of every book that I read. Right now, this series and this book are on the fence for me. Like I said, I’m getting the second book at a later date to read.