So if you’ve seen my review on Raven Boys, you know it’s time for Dream Thieves. I liked and did not like the way the books were expanded into a quartet. Part of me felt like the whole Glendower issue could have been solved in Book #1, and another part appreciates the drama and new things unfolding in Book #2.
- Ronan. Just, Ronan. Ronan is probably one of my all time favorite characters—not to mention cute:P—and no, this is not just because he’s Irish. He has a highly intriguing character, namely his coldness, brokenness, anger—and the whole thing with his dad—so getting to read Dream Thieves through (mostly) Ronan’s perspective was quite enjoyable.
- More amazing characters. Namely the Gray Man. Seeing the characters get introduced and interact made for quite an interesting read.
- Remember the plotline strengths? In The Raven Boys, all we hear is a name. Now, we get to look at Ronan’s personal life and meet this unique character whose life is so entwined with his. I felt like Kavinsky in this case was a great image of perhaps what you think of when you think of a messed up teenager who lives for entertainment and his selfishness and horror met an appropriate end.
- Contrast between Ronan and a certain character. Both Ronan and Kavinsky had similar problems, but I loved how the line was drawn between how Ronan was still redeemable and how Kavinsky was desolately, rebelliously beyond repair. Not that he couldn’t be, but that he didn’t want to be, and how Ronan’s value for others—his honor—his deep down love for others made him a redeemable character, even though he struggled with some of the same things Kavinsky did. It helps us remember that even if we struggle with bad things, it doesn’t immediately make us past repair or irredeemable.
Overall, Stiefvater keeps up the masterful work on her descriptions, keeps the characters consistent as she introduces new ones, and gives us a great look at Ronan and his life and how it affects the overall plot of the story—the mission—to find Glendower. I’d like to add another wonderful thing that she keeps up: with each character comes a web of his own problems, flaws, strengths, and connecting characters—family, friends, enemies, ect—and all of those different characters affect the main characters and plot of the story. In this way, Stiefvater brings a realistic aspect to her books.
Authors, take notes.
Now, I’m not complaining (who doesn’t love Ronan?) but for a story focused so extensively on him and not the main plot of the story, I didn’t feel like it had to be so long. I already love Ronan. I don’t like Gansey that much, and because his story is so intertwined with Blue’s, I feel like more focus should be put on him and making me like him enough to not feel SO ANGRY THAT A CERTAIN SHIP ISN’T HAPPENING AUGHHHHH (yes, that was a REAL downer. Why did the stupid prediction have to get followed? BLUE AND ADAM FOREVER.)
Basically, I’m saying that the book didn’t have to be quite so long, and it should have focused on Gansey’s goodness a little more. To make up for how horrible the fact that Adam+Blue isn’t happening. Although—authors take notes—the way that she decided not to settle with Adam was, in a way, something else that made the book realistic—having characters make mistakes and change their minds about things is a great way to inject some realism into your book. Overall, Dream Thieves gets a solid 4 out of 5. The Raven Cycle is looking good!