Prior to reading this review, be sure to check out the review of the first book in The Raven Cycle, The Raven Boys, and read the book itself!
As mentioned in my review for the first book of the cycle, I downloaded this, the second book of the series, immediately after finishing the first. I had literally gotten to that 100% mark on my Kindle and was on the Kindle store downloading while texting a friend and raving about The Raven Boys. I figured that The Dream Thieves would go one of two ways: it would even be better and I'd love the cycle more or it would be less interesting as some books in a series tend to do.
When I began reading the book, I knew it would be more focused on Ronan--my least favorite character of the group. I stepped cautiously into the tale, so ready to be disappointed, annoyed, and frustrated that I would have to go through this entire book of Ronan just to get the overall story before proceeding to the third book. I was dreading it, really dreading it, despite that by the end of The Raven Boys I felt Ronan wasn't as bad as I felt in the start of the book.
Gosh, I'm glad I stuck with it and went in despite my prejudices toward him. I actually grew to like Ronan in this book, I began to appreciate him, and while his vileness irritates me every now and then, I can honestly say he's a favorite character of mine. It's definitely a "there's more than meets the eye" moment when reading this book, especially if you didn't enjoy Ronan in the previous one.
Ronan has many, many secrets but one of the bigger secrets is that his nightmares are real. Well, nearly. What he dreams has the ability to manifest in the outside world and this is a gift bestowed upon him by his father who is no longer with us. He has a gift to dream up something and take it to the world--imagine the power that can have.
Unfortunately, Ronan (and now his friends) aren't the only people to know about his gift (or his father's) and that means danger for everyone he cares for. But it extends past that to the fast times of teenage angst and a rebellious, teen who also can make dreams reality. This makes one wonder, are there many more people like this? How does one become a dream thief?
So while this story continues to move along, we do have a lot of focus on Ronan, his father's death, his dream thievery, and the dangers that lurk due to it. The other characters grow and develop as well, most certainly aren't forgotten, and we see how the events of the previous book have affected all. Noah comes and goes in his ghostly way but struggles, at times, to maintain a hold on the world. Adam is distant and at times mean, his sweet and shy personality almost crushed, as he deals with the deal he made to the magical realm that was discovered in the previous book. Blue's family is considerably more prominent and helpful, and she is her honest and strong self as ever (really, there are some scenes where I applaud because she literally will not put up with anyone's shit). Gansey is more well rounded and likable, not that he was horrible in the previous book, but in support of Blue's initial dislike of him, he grows as a person and I found myself carefully considering all he did.
This book has hit men who mean business and that is quite interesting in and of itself. Ronan's family is much more at the forefront which I really enjoyed and the ley lines, which run through the town and are the reason Gansey really focused his search for the Welsh king to that area, are awakened (thanks Adam!) and cause all sorts of problems.
Stiefvater continues to weave together words to create a beautiful, intricate web. Her descriptions are so on point and beautiful, even for the darkest of things (like the nightmares). The "finale" of this book is just a wide-eyed, wild ride. You feel for the team, everyone, especially Ronan. I had bloodshot eyes by the time I finished this book because I had so intently read through it without pause. I couldn't put it down, sleep before work be damned. Once more, I was left quickly downloading the third book to the cycle so that I could continue with this story as soon as possible.
Last Week's Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Next Week's Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater