Title: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: September 17th, 2013
Standalone/Series: Second book in The Raven Cycle
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy – Paranormal
My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: New all-time favorite
What it’s about:
If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?
Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.
One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.
And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.
Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.
“In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them.
Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness.
Her raven boys.”
Me too, Blue. Me too.
I’m finally jumping on the train and binge-reading these books all the way through. And while it took me a while to get into The Raven Boys and I was not entirely sold at first, The Dream Thieves has me questioning my own sanity on that impression.
This book was AMAZING. I was immediately sucked in to the story and flew right through it. You know some books draw you into their story so deeply that you forget the entire outside world while reading? This is one of those books. It may be too early to tell, but this may become a new favorite all-time series.
There are a multitude of reasons why this is, but here are some of the most important ones
The writing is absolutely gorgeous and one of the most atmospherically beautiful writing styles I’ve ever read. Honestly, it does take some getting used to and that is why I did not like The Raven Boys at first. But oh man, do I love the writing style now! It’s completely unique and lyrical and just completely breath-taking.
The characters are some of THE BEST CHARACTERS I have ever read about. They are so realistic, flaws and all, that they actually feel like real-life people. Except you know, they’re not. But because they feel so real it’s just so easy to fall completely in love with them. I don’t often love book characters as much as I loved these characters. And I can’t even choose a favorite. One scene, a character would say or do something to make me fall in love with them and proclaim them my favorite, but then the next scene someone else would do something equally favorite-worthy and it just went on like that for the whole book.
This book does focus on Ronan a lot more than the previous book, which is definitely a good thing. I was not a fan of Ronan before, but seeing things from his POV really does give the book a lot of its’ beauty. That said, I still love Gansey, Adam, Noah and Blue just as much. Also, The Gray Man? I need more of him. Just saying. And of course all the ladies of 300 Fox Way.
Speaking about these ladies, can I just say how much I love the family aspect in this? Not just Blue’s family, but Ronan’s and Gansey’s as well. Not only are they present in a big way, but I especially love how we get to see so many different types of family, and just like the characters, they are all so flawed but that is part of what makes them so lovable.
Another aspect that is done so, so well in these books? The romance aspect. I love how it’s not overpowering to the story at all and there are just these tiny little hints spread throughout the book in a subtle way. There is the big, epic and doomed love story that has been hinted from the very first line of book one that is finally coming into play. There is another one that has me swooning with every subtle and gorgeous reference. And there is a kiss that is so beautiful and so meaningful to both parties that it had me tearing up just reading about it.
But if beautiful writing, amazing characters, character development and relationships are still not enough to sway convince you to read this book or start this series, then here’s one more: magical realism.
I’m a big fantasy nerd. I love big epic stories with magic and dragons and evil kings and brave princesses. This is not one of those kind of stories and that’s maybe why it took me a while to get into it. It is magical and epic, but it’s just rooted a lot more in our present-day life. There’s school, the internet, cell-phones and crappy part-time jobs. But then there’s also psychics and magical ley lines and ghosts and magical forests and people who can take things out of their dreams.
This book was just completely unique and wonderful and I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re like me and you had some trouble getting into The Raven Boys, please just continue on with The Dream Thieves. I’m pretty sure it will win you over in no time.
“While I’m gone,” Gansey said, pausing, “dream me the world. Something new for every night.”
“I wish you could be kissed, Jane,’ he said. ‘Because I would beg just one off you. Under all this.’ He flailed an arm toward the stars.”
“And Ronan was everything that was left: molten eyes and a smile made for war.”
“She wore a dress Ronan thought looked like a lampshade. Whatever sort of lamp it belonged on, Gansey clearly wished he had one.
Ronan wasn’t a fan of lamps.”
“So what you’re saying is you can’t explain it.”
“I did explain it.”
“No, you used nouns and verbs together in a pleasing but illogical format.”
“Want and need were words that got eaten smaller and smaller: Freedom, autonomy, a perennial bank balance, a stainless-steel condo in a dustless city, a silky black car, to make out with Blue, eight hours of sleep, a cell phone, a bed, to kiss Blue just once, a blister-less heel, bacon for breakfast, to hold Blue’s hand, one hour of sleep, toilet paper, deodorant, a soda, a minute to close his eyes.
What do you want, Adam?
To feel awake when my eyes are open.”
“You really didn’t see the sadness or the longing unless you already knew it was there. But that was the trick, wasn’t it? Everyone had their disappointment and their baggage; only, some people carried it in their inside pockets and not on their backs.”
“He danced on the knife’s edge between awareness and sleep. When he dreamt like this, he was a king. The world was his to bend. His to burn.”
“One moment, she was wearing clothing, and the next moment, she was wearing a bikini. Fifty percent of the world was brown skin and fifty percent was orange nylon. From the Mona Lisa smile on Orla’s lips, it was clear she was pleased to finally be allowed to demonstrate her true talents.
A tiny part of Gansey’s brain said: You have been staring for too long.
The larger part of his brain said: ORANGE.”