The Raven Boys was a good start, but Stiefvater really hit her stride in The Dream Thieves. I was unsure if I was going to like it at first. Dream scenes in novels are a huge pet peeve of mine and unsurprisingly, a book with the title The Dream Thieves has its fair share of them. Luckily, these dreams are mostly like entering a different world instead of wallowing in subconscious symbolism that nobody, least of all me, wants to read. They further the plot in an interesting and useful way.
This book picks up a bit after The Raven Boys ends. It’s summer and most of the prep school boys have gone home for the summer, but Adam, Gansey, Noah, and Ronan are still kicking around Henrietta. Ronan is still trying to deal with the death of his father, somewhat unsuccessfully (that’s a huge understatement). At night he tries to survive his dreams and the monsters they contain. He’s an extremely interesting character so I was pleased to find this book zooming in on his life more than the first one did. He’s such an internal character that it was hard to identify with him until the story takes you into his head.
The story also introduces a new character, the Gray Man, and he’s wonderful. Stiefvater makes you wary at first, but he’s well written and you can’t help but love him by the end. I really hope he has a part in the next book.
If I have a complaint, it’s that there isn’t enough of Blue or her family in this book. Blue is a point-of-view character, but she’s mostly relegated to young adult love triangle hell instead of being a big part of the main action. I guess that makes a little sense since she and Ronan aren’t the closest pair of the group, it just sucks that the only female main character gets pushed aside too much. Hopefully she’ll get more to do in Blue Lily, Lily Blue. (I suspect she does)
This one ended on a doozy of a cliffhanger and I’m not in line to get the library copy for at least a week or two. I may grow desperate and buy a copy, but then again, the fourth book doesn’t come out until the end of April, so maybe I should just wait and read them together. Anyway, I’m really enjoying this series and hope the next books can live up to the first two. Definitely recommend The Raven Cycle series to young adult and fantasy fans.