Book Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

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Posted 02/12/2014 by alicemarvels in Fantasy
Book Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Rating

Rating:
 
 
 
 
 


Overview

Genre:
 
Author:
 
Year:
 
Publisher: Scholastic Press
 
Release Date: September 17, 2013
 
Page Count: 439
 

PROS:

wonderful characterization; creative use of paranormal elements; fantastic supporting characters; beautiful writing
 

CONS:

MY FEELS HURT
 
BOTTOM LINE

A wonderful middle book with fantastic character development and heart!

The Dream Thieves is a wonderful second book in what is swiftly become my favorite Maggie Stiefvater series. It is pretty much the perfect middle book. I waited so long to review this because I read it, adored it and couldn’t find the words to do it justice (still can’t, but oh well, enough is enough). I also should mention that I listened to it on audio as a re-read. Will Patton did an amazing job on the narration, so if you haven’t read this yet, and want an opportunity to read it in a hands free way, the audiobook is a good way to go.

The Raven Cycle is so outside the normal paranormal/fantasy fare I’m used to, and Stiefvater continues to surprise and delight with her originality in ideas, plot and characterization in The Dream Thieves. The concept of dreaming things into life is something I’ve never read (at least that I can remember) and certainly not in the context of this Dead Poets Society-style group of boys and an artsy outsider girl seeking a long dead king’s magic. It’s completely captivating, alluring and original.

In this book, we delve deeper into Ronan’s past and come to better understand his personality. We also get to see Adam’s unique connection with Glendower develop more, as it manifests itself in frightening ways. There’s more action on the romance front as well. We know Blue is terrified of intimacy because of the very cruel prophecy that predicts the death of the boy she kisses. She starts off the story in a kind of flirtation with Adam, but she doesn’t want to kiss him and bring a death sentence on him. She also has complicated, unexplored feelings for Gansey. There’s no love triangle, only hurt feelings and unrequited/forbidden love. It’s all very dramatic, but never melodramatic, and full of genuine emotion.

I’ve waffled so much on who my favorite character is in these books, so at this point I have to say I love them all equally (ok, maybe not Noah because he’s not as important). In The Raven Boys I would have said it was tied between Adam and Blue, but in this book I would say Ronan really shines the most, with Gansey almost equal. The characters are all so interesting, and I’m pleased that we get plenty of time with each of them. Stiefvater knows how to balance multiple characters’ inner emotional lives and motivations so that you find yourself desperately caring about all of them, and hoping to god they don’t hurt each other. Sidebar on supporting characters- there’s an interesting relationship between Ronan and another Aglionby boy named Kavinsky, and I really like the antagonistic friendship they have. It was such an unusual, challenging and lively relationship, and I love the way it was handled.

The pattern in the series seems to be that each book contains wonderful emotional and character development, and a sort of mini dangerous plot that is dealt with fully, while contributing to the overarching Glendower plotline. There is no cliffhanger, just the typical middle book knowledge that this story is in no way over. But it’s not in any way uncomfortable, it’s the perfect middle book feeling—a lot happened, a lot was resolved, but there’s still so much more to come and you’re excited to read about it.

There are a several loose emotional and plot threads that are going to be yanked in book three, and I can’t wait.  I don’t have anything negative to say about this book, except that a few things happen that kind of make my heart break a little bit, but I think it’s damn good writing, so I can’t complain. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, remedy that immediately. You won’t regret it!

 

Read an excerpt here.
Listen to Maggie talk about The Dream Thieves:

 

Listen to an audiobook excerpt:


21 Comments


  1.  

    I absolutely loved this one as well. I can’t wait for book three!




  2.  

    I feel so horrible that I couldn’t get into this one. I really enjoyed the first one but I couldn’t reconnect to the characters. Maybe if I reread the first and then go straight to this one, I’ll be good. Or, perhaps, I should wait for all three to come out and do a binge. I love Maggie’s writing — it’s so beautiful but. Yeah. So happy it worked beautifully for you, though!!




  3.  

    I was just so meh about book 1 so not for me :/




  4.  

    YAY! Glad you loved this one so much! Ronan was actually my favorite character in the first book because he seemed the darkest and most broken, and for whatever twisted reason, that always appeals to me (in fiction at least, not so much in real life). I’m super excited that he’s more of a focal point in this second book and that he captured your interest. CANNOT WAIT:)




  5.  

    I did not love the first as much as many others (yeah I know I’m the black sheep again lol) but it sounds like a wonderful sequel. I do recall book 1 being very character driven so I’m glad that’s kept up in this one. It also sounds very emotional! And I like the no cliffhanger ending – even though it’s obviously not over – and that it’s not a middle book fluff read either!




  6.  

    You’re absolutely right, I listened to the audio version of this book and am so glad that I did. Will Patton did an amazing job bringing the magic and mystery of this series to life! You peel back the layers to find surprsing depth and detail underneath all the magic and it’s a beautiful thing. It’s one of those rare stories that captures your heart and your spirit all while avoiding a lot of popular YA clichés and each and each of the characters is as unique and engaging as the last. Loved it!




  7.  

    I know exactly what you mean when you can’t decide between characters. I love all of them 😀 Noah is okay, I thought the kiss scene was a really cute addition and added some depth to his character. Love this series too 🙂




  8.  

    I NEED to read this one soon. I’ve been planing to but the problem is that I always have something else that’s priority. It sounds wonderful and all Maggie’s characters are always amazing. I’m not surprised by that. Amazing review, Lauren 🙂




  9.  

    I loved this too and I so agree Will Patton does an excellent job with the narration. I totally love his Kavinsky voice. I was shocked and confused at the end for sure. I can’t wait for the next book.




  10.  

    Fantastic review, Alice! Like you, I absolutely loved this installment, particularly the fact that ALL the characters were so well-developed and I couldn’t pick a favorite. Plus, I was a HUGE fan of the plot line with Ronan and getting to know more about his powers. I can’t wait for the sequel now! 🙂




  11.  

    I agree. I loved this one too and I liked it even more than the first. I really did like all the characters. I can’t wait for the next installment!




  12.  

    Ah so glad you loved it! Ronan definitely is great and amazing character! As much as I loved the first book, this second book didn’t do it for me – Can’t even describe it, but I felt disconnected from the characters…Still, can’t wait for the next book!




  13.  

    great to hear that it is different from other fantasty/para ideas out there and its your fav by her. I read the shiver falls but haven’t gotten around to these yet.




  14.  

    I really need to read these! I’m glad to hear it’s a nice book that can stand-alone. A lot of times the second book in a series is the least popular.




  15.  

    Awww, your poor feels! I understand and sympathize! Can we have a group hug?
    But even when she crushes my little heart, I wouldn’t trade Maggie magic for anything in the world. There’s not a single author out there who makes me feel everything she does. She always gets it right for me, and I think she really matured and changed as a writer, not that she needed to.
    Lovely review, Lauren.




  16.  

    I haven’t read the first book yet, so I skimmed your review. But I had to laugh at the ‘Cons: MY FEELS HURT’. Not that it’s funny, it’s funny that you put it as a con. 😀




  17.  

    OMG your CON! EEEEEEEK! I can’t believe this is still sitting on my shelf. MUST pick it up soon! This is the second time today I’ve been reminded of the book, that’s probably a sign, right? 🙂




  18.  

    Beautiful review, my friend! I’ve loved Ronan since book one, and he is easily my favorite (with his ADORABLE little brother a close second). I enjoyed this sequel very much, but not quite as much as the first (aside from all we learned about Ronan — those moments were perfection). I can hardly wait for the next installment, and I am right there with you — MY FEELS HURT, too! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this — such an incredible review!




  19.  

    Now I must pick this series up! So far, I’ve seen only raving reviews about the book and I wonder what I may feel about the characters when I read it – seems like the boys are all unique and wonderful in their own ways. 🙂




  20.  

    I loved this one so much! The characters are so amazing and the next book is not going to be out fast enough. Wonderful review.




  21.  

    Wow, ok I am kicking myself for not starting this series and I love how you struggle with the characters and this made you “feel” I will add book one to my list Lauren!





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