The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review

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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.

Of The Raven Boys, Entertainment Weekly wrote, “Maggie Stiefvater’s can’t-put-it-down paranormal adventure will leave you clamouring for book two.” Now the second book is here, with the same wild imagination, dark romance, and heart-stopping twists that only Maggie Stiefvater can conjure.

The second book in The Raven Boys series still had Blue as the central character but it also focused quite a bit on Ronan. Ronan’s backstory was quite mysterious in the first book, so I was excited when I realized we were going to find out about his past.

In Ronan’s storyline you get to meet his second brother and we find out more about his absent mother. There is also the enigmatic Mr. Gray in town, who is looking for someone matching Ronan’s description of talents. Ronan’s abilities grow a lot in this book and you discover how they are connected to the search for Glendower. Ronan is violent, aggressive, quick-witted, and sad; fittingly, his storyline matches him to a tee.

Adam’s character is also explored further in The Dream Thieves. Adam goes through a dramatic change at the end of the first book and The Dream Thieves explores the consequences of that change on his friendships, relationship with Blue, and his future. Unfortunately, the event that Adam experiences in The Raven Boys changes him in ways I did not particularly enjoy.

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Gansey still isn’t developed too much. The book does show more of his motivations and how he seems to require his friends to need him all the time. Gansey is portrayed in a way that makes him seem almost desperate to be the centre of his friends’ lives. This doesn’t come off in a way that is irritating, just more human insofar as he wants to feel needed.

One thing that I wanted from the first book and received in the second book was more focus on Blue’s family. You discover more about the history of Blue’s family members living in the house with her. Blue’s father is brought into the picture, not in actuality but more so in stories told by Blue’s family. The family reveals that he disappeared as soon as Blue was born and that they are now searching for him again.

Blue’s mom, Maura, has a romantic interest who happens to be an assassin stalking Blue and The Raven Boys. This was the only plot line in the book that I didn’t particularly enjoy. I found it odd that everyone knows that Maura’s love interest, Mr. Gray, is an assassin and they’re all totally cool with her dating someone who kills people for a living. The whole thing was just a bit too far-fetched for me, despite it being in a book about magic.

Rating: 4.5/5

 

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Liked… The Mortal Instruments? Try…

Missing the epic fantasy, adventure, and love story that was  The Mortal Instruments series? Here are three series to satisfy that craving. Each of them has something different to relate them to what made The Mortal Instruments so incredibly addicting, and you’re sure to enjoy at least one of them:

1. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

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I read this a really long time ago so plot details are a little bit fuzzy but here it goes: Aislinn, the protagonist, is able to see faeries when no one else can. Due to her ‘Sight,’ as she calls it, a handsome and dangerous faery begins stalking her. Aislinn soon finds out that his name is Keenan, he is the Summer King, and he has been searching for centuries to find his Winter Queen, whom he believes to be Aislinn. Ancient faery courts, dark magic, and an epic love triangle all make this a great read after the heartbreak of finishing The Mortal Instruments series.

2. Penryn and the End of Days by Susan Ee

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The series is centred around Penryn, a female protagonist searching for her sister who has been abducted by an evil group (sound at all familiar to Clary and her mom?). Along the way to finding her sister, Penryn meets a handsome guy who just happens to have been exiled from this evil group and has a way to get her back. Oh yeah, did I mention these evil group members are actually avenging angels sent to Earth to let loose their wrath and basically take over the world? Although they are addicting, be forewarned that the books have some decent cheese to them, so go into the series with that knowledge.

3. Throne of Glass by Sara J. Maas

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The other two series are set in a real world with a fantasy underground and magical elements to them, whereas this series is full-on fantasy. This series is great for anyone who loves badass female characters. The main character, Celaena Sardothien, is the best assassin in the land but she has been betrayed by her mentor and imprisoned. In order to be set free she must agree to compete in an assassin competition as the Prince’s champion. Once she arrives at the castle though, the competitors are being taken out one by one in a grisly fashion and Celaena has to fight for her life, not only in the competition but in real life as some darker force emerges from the shadows of the magical world. Of course, there are multiple love interests thrown into the books, and I really enjoy how Maas develops Celaena’s character. Each book gets better and more complex, exploring farther regions of the land and adding in more character POVs. It’s a great toned-down, YA Game-of-Thrones-esque series.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review

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Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. But she is too practical to believe in things like true love. Her policy is to stay away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there — known as Raven Boys — can only mean trouble.

Have you ever had those books that utterly consumed your life? Where all you can think about is the next time you’re free to read. When walking down streets turns into a fun game of trying not to trip as you read and walk simultaneously because — god forbid — you stop reading to travel from one destination to another. Dishes pile up in the sink and boyfriends get ignored as you and your book become one, forgetting that life exists outside the pages of your literary drug of choice. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater was one of those all-engrossing novels that I hated having to put down.

The Raven Boys was the perfect mix of character story, love story, mystery, and magic. Blue, the protagonist, is intelligent, confident, witty, and quirky (but not in an annoying manic-pixie-dream-girl kind of way). Her living situation is unique in that she lives with her mother and multiple extended members of her family, all female. I extremely enjoyed the portions of the book that had interactions between her family, and although they are infrequent, I am happy to see more of them in the sequel (which I am currently reading).

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The Raven Boys, Adam, Ronan, Noah, and Gansey all have quite different personalities and that makes their dynamic fun to read. I definitely had a large crush on Adam with his bashfulness, kind demeanor, intelligence, and motivation. That might be changing now in the second book but we will see. Ronan would be a dick if not for the fact that you can’t help but feel for him after his father’s murder, and laugh at his offensive yet sometimes true commentary. Noah is almost a shadow in the background of the story, but for a good reason that you will find out upon finishing the book. Gansey is a difficult one; I never really knew if I liked him or if I thought he was another rich boy obsessed with an unsolvable mystery because he’s bored with his rich life.

There are so many mysteries in this book that I, as described above, basically couldn’t put it down. The plot is fast-paced and will pull you in right off the bat.

Rating: 4.75/5

Similar Books: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins, A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty, and The Diviners by Libba Bray