Sept 2013, Scholastic, 448 pages, digital ARC.
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after . . .
Those of you that have read The Raven Boys will probably be able to guess from the title that The Dream Thieves (book two in the series) is more Ronan-centric. And those of you who know Ronan will probably realise that this makes for a somewhat grittier, darker story than The Raven Boys, which was very Gansey/Blue-oriented. And if you’d managed to think that far about it, you’d be correct 😀 (Most noticeably, there is a lot more ‘strong’ language in this book than the first.)
The Dream Thieves does everything a second novel in a series ought: the tension and stakes escalate nicely, the characters grow and develop, and the plot threads weave ever tighter. The Dream Thieves also does everything a Maggie-book ought: there are fast cars and explosions, helicopters, guns, mythology-mysteries and Relationships.
Oh how I love Maggie-book Relationships. If The Raven Boys was the honeymoon for the five-some that make up the main characters of the series, then The Dream Thieves contains that oh-so-real Thud! as the honeymoon period ends. The problem is, when you hang out with someone a lot, you get to know them really well – and when you get to know someone really well, you realise it isn’t all sunshine and roses. Blue particularly has some hard realisations about the boys, what they are and what they aren’t, and how she fits in with them all – and there is an utterly heart-squinchingly perfect Moment with her and Noah that just makes me want to put the book in my pocket and never let it go. Why yes, this is a Maggie-book, and I am a Fan.
If you’re a Maggie-fan, you will not be disappointed. If you’re a Raven Boys fan, you also will not be disappointed. If you’re just a reader who like character-driven YA where things explode, relationships are Real and Beautiful and Difficult, and a current of magic underpins it all, twisting and weaving and twining it all together, you will not be disappointed. Even if you have not read the first book in the series, The Raven Boys, you probably will not be disappointed – there are sufficient explanatory moments such that a Regular Reader would probably manage Just Fine.
If you have read The Raven Boys, let me assure you that The Dream Thieves is not a Dreaded Middle Book where things escalate but nothing is resolved: you WILL find out the answers to some pressing questions from The Raven Boys, most particularly those surrounding Ronan – who he is, what he does, and many, many things about his family. Including the family cows. Yes, Ronan had cows. Oops, that probably counts as a spoiler. Sorry 😀
Maybe it’s just safest if I admonish you to go, BUY THIS BOOK AND READ IT when it is released on Tuesday. Or, you still have time to pre-order and be in the running to win one of these. Or you could, y’know, read the prologue for free. Here. 😀 (Oooh, the review that goes with the prologue there has some LOVELY teasers. I CACKLE GLEEFULLY. BWA HA.)