I was pretty dang happy when the truly awesome Kathy loaned me her ARC of “The Dream Thieves.” But then life happened in the form of my sister’s wedding, so here I am a month later finally finishing the book. But I must say, it was worth the wait.
I’ll admit I was a little nervous going into this book. I’m not always the biggest fan of series, especially YA series, and I enjoyed “The Raven Boys” enough that I was worried the second book would end up being a big fat disappointment. But hallelujah, I was wrong. “The Dream Thieves” was a rock solid second book. And since this series is a quartet and not a trilogy, "Dream Thieves"—though dark—didn’t fall into the rut of endless angsty-ness that so many second books do. Another bonus to this being a quartet rather than a trilogy is that the overall arc of the series isn’t predictable. Even after finishing this second book, I still have no idea where the series is going next or what’s ultimately going to happen, and I love it.
I adored the raven boys—Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Noah—in the first book, and they grew on me even more in this one as I spent more time with them. I’ve shamelessly loved Gansey and Ronan from the start, and in this book they remained firmly entrenched in my heart, with my crush on Ronan growing even more towards the end. Noah seemed to be more of a background character in this book, but that scene between him and Blue on Gansey's bed . . . hands down my favorite part of the book. Adam has always been the boy I’ve struggled with the most—the chip on his shoulder always seemed a little too self-pitying and bitter to me. But by the end of this book, he won me the rest of the way over, and I’m excited to see what he’s like in the third book. In fact, the thing I'm probably looking forward to the most in the third book is seeing how Adam and Ronan have changed. Because I feel like both of them hit major turning points in this book, and I'm dying to know how it'll affect them and the dynamics within the group.
As for the other characters, Blue was awesome as always, though I wish she was in the book a little more than she was. The women at 300 Fox Way remained thoroughly entertaining and helpful. Mr. Gray was a work of swoony genius from the second of his introduction. I won’t say anything else about him so I don’t ruin anything, but I kinda love him a lot.
Plot-wise, I think this book felt slightly less goal-oriented than the first book. Adam, Gansey, Ronan, and the Gray Man each had their own separate storylines, which sometimes felt more parallel than interwoven. But I didn’t really mind, because the individual storylines were all gripping, and Stiefvater’s solid writing style and humor always managed to make things feel cohesive.
Overall, a solid second book that had me even more in love with the raven boys than before. I did think I’d get out of the book without a cliffhanger, but nope—Stiefvater throws one at you when you least expect it. So now I have to wait impatiently for who knows how long for the third book.
Rating: 4 / 5
“The Dream Thieves” comes out September 17th.