The Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterThe Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #2
Published by Scholastic Press on September 17th 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, LGBTQ+
Pages: 437

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.

4 Stars

The Dream Thieves is the wickedly suspenseful, fast-paced sequel in The Raven Cycle, which will have you laugh and cry and hope. For me, the sequel is an improvement to the slow-going first instalment, and it made me swoon like a madwoman. This book described in one word? Ronan.

This review will be written in an interview format, as I sometimes try out new formats to keep you guys entertained while reading reviews (bear with me, folks).

Describe the book in one sentence.
Magical adventure with swoon-worthy otps.

Which character(s) did you like best in The Dream Thieves?
Definitely Ronan. First of all, the book was very Ronan-centered and was clearly intent on pulling back the layers of the boy who is at first sight – forgive the wording – a foul-mouthed jerk. I loved being in his mind – to face his night terrors (the ones with claws and beaks) with him and race cars with him and watch him discover more about his little secret. And also seeing the walls he’s built around himself like a fortress crumble.

Taken apart that way, it seemed to have Ronan written all over it. But one of the marvelous things about being Ronan Lynch was that no one ever expected him to do anything nice for anyone.

Gansey, although I like him, didn’t really spark my interest until he stood in that courtyard, threw a molotov cocktail and blew up a fucking car. Attaboy! I’m also adding Maura Sargent because she pickpockets, she’s a lovely mother and just a general weird kind of badass.

Her mother waved a card at her in farewell. “Bye. Will you be home for dinner? I’m making midlife crisis.”
“Oh,” Blue said. “I guess I’ll have a slice. If you’re making it already.”

Which character(s) did you like the least?
Hard to say. At first I thought it would be the Gray Man but he redeemed himself. Adam was being a pain in the ass for a majority of the book. The oh-Gansey-you’re-so-rich-and-I-feel-so-inferior attitude was getting old and the way he treated Blue was not ok, either. You can also add Kavinsky to the list because ass, drugs and rock’n’roll.

And the main character…?
I honestly have know idea what I thought about Blue. For the most part, I really enjoyed her. But I thought she was a lot more bleak than in the first installment and she also did/said something once or twice that was kind of out-of-character, in my opinion. She did have her moments, though.

“Good God,” Gansey said.
Blue cheerfully spit a moutful of brown water on his boat shoes. It pooled in the canvas over his toes.
“Good God,” he said.
“Now they’re really boat shoes,” she replied.

Aren’t you missing someone else, too? They’re four boys, after all.
*heavy sigh* I like Noah, I do. I just think he’s not fleshed out enough and it can’t just be because of his… condition, can it? He doesn’t seem to play any major role, he doesn’t add anything to the plot and half the time he’s not even present. I really wish Stiefvater would give him more stage time and make the effort of exploring Noah Czerny.

Compared to The Raven Boys, what was a good constant throughout the series so far?
The humour. I’m getting a sixpack from all the laughs, I swear.

“The ancient Greeks didn’t have a word for blue.”
Everyone at the table looked at him.
“What the hell, Ronan?” said Adam.
“It’s hard to imagine,” Gansey mused, “how this evidently successful classical education never seems to make it into your school papers.”
“They never ask the right questions,” Ronan replied.

And the writing, the writing is like Swiss chocolate melting on your tongue. She weaves words so delicately, it doesn’t even matter whether a phrase makes sense or not anymore.

Any romance worth mentioning?

Elaborate please.

“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.”

I think this quote is actually a hidden clue for both romantic subplots in this book. Now excuse me, while I go and squeal some more like a teenage girl.

Ok, let’s get serious again. We’re getting a listener’s question from a Raven Boys fangirl: Hello Nina, if you’re speaking so positively of this book, why didn’t you rate it 5 stars?
Well, I love the characters, the romance and the writing. But now, see, when I think of the ideal plot, I picture it as a linear curve or, even better, an exponential one. The Dream Thieves‘s plot was a sinus curve, for me. Up and down and up and down. There are scenes that clearly serve the plot’s purpose of finding Glendower and then there are others that felt kind of random, like the author just wanted you to have a good time with a character. I did have a good time, I just expected more from the plot than loose pieces glued together. I would’ve preferred a more compact plot. I’m also still a bit unsure about the magic system. It feels like Stiefvater is playing a game and I don’t get the rules.

Anything you’d like to add before we close?
Just another badass quote from Ronan.

“She can’t make me,” Gansey said.
“She doesn’t have to,” Ronan sniffed. “Mama’s boy.”
“Dream me a solution.”
“Don’t have to. Nature already gave you a spine.”

I look forward to reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue (tongue twister much??) and following Maura underground, ta-ta-ta-tammm. And, of course, I now have astronomical expectations in the romantic section.