Early 5!bat Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

September 12, 2013 Review 8 ★★★★★

Early 5!bat Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie StiefvaterThe Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #2
Genres: Romantic, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Excerpt: Excerpt
Published by Scholastic Press on September 17, 2013
Pages: 448
Format: Hardcover
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed by: Julia
5 Stars

Sexual content

Kissing, references to sex.

The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

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...

The Raven Cycle is a tip of the tongue puzzle, at once familiar and alien and ever fascinating. In THE RAVEN BOYS, Stiefvater gave us not just one heroine, not just one hero, but a world where it seemed every character carried their own seeds of greatness. In THE DREAM THIEVES, that world spirals ever deeper to explore the villains in the cast. Beneath the emptiness and destruction lie boys that want to be loved, that want to be powerful, that just want and want and want as they burn up the world. And through that crucible of need some peel away the impurities, emerging battered and smaller but unmistakably heroic. Some, but not all.

The magic of Maggie Stiefvater's writing is difficult to describe, but indelible to experience. She made me weep for the bad boys, the murderers and drag racers, and showed the darker side of her heroes. In short, I fell in love with just about everybody, including the characters I didn't want to like, the ones I didn't want to forgive. And all of that love was good, as THE DREAM THIEVES still refuses to buckle under and become a "typical romance". It's not so much that there's a love triangle as... everyone is loveable. And life is messy. Also, there's magic and some people are going to die. Or have died. See how hard this is to capture? Just know that on every page Stiefvater wrote a sentence that made me smile, made me go back and read it again. And as much as I wanted to pick a favorite, to focus in on one story or one character and judge everyone else by that yardstick, Stiefvater stubbornly made me adore them all.

I struggled at the start of THE RAVEN BOYS because it refused to settle in and follow my expectations.  I went into THE DREAM THIEVES knowing that this series would never be predictable, and I enjoyed the second book all the more for that open mind.  The Raven Cycle shares more DNA with Neil Gaiman and Charles de Lint than the usual paranormal YA. The world inside THE DREAM THIEVES feels bigger than what's around us. Stiefvater combines the details of real life with leavening magic to produce a mesmerizing, ever-expanding wealth of moments, each one I want to live inside and experience first hand. I put down this book and felt bereft that I didn't have the next one to reach for, exiled from Henrietta for another year.

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8 Responses to “Early 5!bat Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater”

  1. Kacy

    Simply cannot wait for this one! Stiefvater is a witch, that’s all there is to it.

    • Julia

      Hah, I didn’t want to point any fingers, but yes, clearly there’s some witchcraft involved here. She’s so damn good it hurts.

  2. Rachel @ Unforgettable Books

    Beautiful review Julia! Maggie’s writing is just superb, even when I was bored by the story, I still was gripped by the way she held words together. And I love the way you wrote the review. The mention of a “puzzle”, “exiled from Henrietta for another year” and “ever-expanding wealth of moments”

    • Julia

      Thanks, Rachel! I wrestled with myself a bit, trying to balance if those slow moments warrented coming down a bat. There is definitely something about the pacing of this series, but I think it’s tied to how much she doesn’t want to follow familiar templates. Of course, that’s what terrifies me about the love triangle… there’s no way that ends well.

  3. Denise Z

    I have been very curious about this series. I am glad you enjoyed it and thank you for sharing with us :)

    • Julia

      I just mailed The Raven Boys to a cousin and gave my copy to my little sister… so, clearly I’m a book pusher that needs to tone it down. And it’s good that I don’t have more people’s home addresses. Give it a try, Denise! This series takes a little extra time to get going, but the writing is flawless.

  4. jennifer M

    I am about 25% in to this book. Since book 1, I’ve felt that the characters were all unique and well-written. How could I choose a favorite? They refuse to boxed in. Maggie’s story telling is captivating best. I love your review.

    • Julia

      Ooooh, Jennifer, I know exactly how you feel. I’m usually pretty brazen about my favorites, but this series keeps flipping me on my head. The Dream Thieves moreso than anyother, Stiefvater really made me fall in love all over the place.