Friday, August 16, 2013

Read This: The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves
by Maggie Stiefvater

The Short Story
Blue and her boys are back on the hunt for Glendower. But there are a lot of magical things going down in Henrietta, and the raven boys are not the only ones who have noticed. Set backs, secrets, and strangers all make life complicated for the five teens. Also, car races, the dollar store, and kissing.
A darker, more sinister sequel to The Raven Boys.
 4/5

Come for the....
characters. Who didn't come off reading The Raven Boys absolutely in love with everyone? I couldn't wait to see what lay in store for my favorite five. Unlike the first book, which was more of an ensemble, The Dream Thieves focuses primarily on Ronan. And it's clear early on that he is the perfect narrator for a story where the characters are dealing with magic being a reality in their lives. So this story is less about finding Glendower, and more about what finding him might mean for everyone. No one gets off easy here, Adam especially, and this book is more anger, and arguing, and angst than the first. Ronan is a difficult character to see the world through, and your enjoyment of the book may depend on how sympathetic you find him, and how interested you can be in his back story. 

But it's not all doom and gloom and things that go bump in the night. Maggie Stiefvater continues to successfully mix the troubling and the hilarious. And the supporting psychics and friends do a great job of lightening the mood. There's not much for Gansey to do in this one, and less for Blue and Noah, but they manage to bring the funny and tender (and heartbreaking) to temper the street racing and explosions and smashing of things. The myth and magic grow as complicated as the characters, and I thought that everything was more than the first book - the good is even better, but the bad is much worse. The writing is incredibly vivid and witty, and I am continually impressed with Stiefvater's way with words. (though frustrated that so many are four-lettered)

Don't Think About This Too Hard

  • The way the book's focus was divided didn't always work for me. There are a lot of characters in this book; the 5 main ones, the psychic friends, Ronan's family, and two new characters who have major impacts on the plot. There wasn't enough time to develop everyone, and Gansey, Blue, and Noah jerk in their progress instead of gradually transitioning. There was also a lot of detail on other characters that left me scratching my head as to how it all fit in/why it mattered.
  • A word on content: bleh. This is a good book but I'm afraid the language and substance abuse will be a turn off for some readers. Ronan makes a friend in a new character, Kavinsky, and between the two of them they easily double the profanity and crudeness level of the first book. There is also regular underage drinking and drug use. I would not recommend this for younger teens.

The Big Three:
Language: strong profanity throughout, including about two dozen instances of the f-word, and all other 4 and 5-letter swears.
Sex and Stuff: some innuendo, some kissing
Violence: fist fighting, weapons, and injuries, but all described in a very detached, dispassionate way

Just So You Know:
I won an advanced copy of The Dream Thieves from the lovely Jennifer Malone. The Dream Thieves will be available September 17.

3 comments:

  1. Gah...any day now I'm going to read it! Love the characters!

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    Replies
    1. Yes! I'm very interested to hear what you think. :)

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  2. Maggie is a great writer. The story keeps you coming back for more. I can't wait for the third book.
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