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....
©2013 Maggie Stiefvater (P)2013 Scholastic Inc.
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
The first novel introduced townie-witchy girl, Blue and her eccentric family and the Ravenwood privileged boys working together to locate an ancient king on the lay line. The book seemed to serve the main purpose of setting up for book 2 and 3 for yet another trilogy. While Steifvater's writing is stellar, I found the first book predictable and was apprehensive about spending a credit on book 2. Glad I did.
Steifvater opens up each character, delving into their motivations, desires, and actions; expounding beautifully, breathing life into Blue and the boys. While I enjoyed the writing and characters, wasn't engrossed in the dream manipulation and/or search for Hightower; all background accompaniment to me.
If you enjoy YA fiction, check out Maggie Steifvater's other selections. She's a talented young writer with a bright future who appreciates and responds to her fans.
To Audible Staff:
Will Patton is not a good fit for YA narration. If any Audible editor reads this review (wishful thinking) then for the love of all that is good and holy in the world work with him on book 3! It may be inconceivable to usurp Patton with a new narrator at this point, so coach him on the female voices. Aunt Persephone sounds like a stoned Minnie Mouse and Kazinsky sounded like a New Yorker Yogi the Bear. Help me, help you.
The Dream Thieves is the second book of The Raven Cycle series (following The Raven Boys).
In the last lines of book one Ronan says, "I guess now would be a good time to tell you. I took Chainsaw out of my dreams." It was a great teaser, and book two completely fulfills the WTF that statement left us with. You might think you don't want to read about Ronan, but he ends up being a surprisingly great character, alternately fire/danger and the boy who was crippled by the idea of this strange power and the events of his youth. I love that he's conflicted in all senses - and I love that his dreams and nightmares reveal more than he'd ever let on. There's a particular scene that gets so intense, you can almost feel him on that edge. And even though I thoroughly enjoyed it, if I'm honest, I'm in this for the story of Blue and Gansey. Fortunately, though the main plot focus is Ronan and the dreams, the story does include all of the other characters. Stiefvater's writing is beautiful and haunting and so incredibly interesting that sometimes I want to stop to write some of it down. The characters move forward seamlessly and develop subtly and then, quite suddenly, you realize that Blue and Gansey are in love (I don't really think that's a spoiler, right?) or that Adam is heading toward something great and terrible, or some such spoiler-type thing. This book didn't really "end" for me, but I'm so ready for the next in the series I don't think I mind.
Will Patton narrates.
Yes, because this story and narration was a perfect match to the first book The Raven Boys.
It is so unique. It is not like any YA novel I have read of late.
His southern accent complements the setting of the story. Most of all, I enjoyed how he portrayed the three psychics as they brought The Grey Man into the storyline.
I adore Maggie Steifvater’s books. Her stories are unique and her writing is witty yet poetic. The Raven Boys is no exception. I loved it and I think this is one Steifvater’s best books. It’s slow at the beginning but I wouldn’t necessarily change that. It lays some important ground work for the intense ending and the books to come. What I liked most about The Raven Boys was the originality of the story. I’ve never read/listened to anything like this before and that is one of the main reasons I highly recommend it.
I truly do not know how to summarize this story. Any attempt to describe this story does not do it justice. I will do my best with one sentence. There are some psychics, some ghosts, a murderer, a creepy mystical place, and teenagers on a supernatural quest. That’s all I can say. It's different, and for me different is always refreshing.
The characters in The Raven Boys are deep and complex. These are not your teenage angsty, love triangle entangled, young adult fiction characters. These guys are different. Blue Sargent is the daughter of a psychic and lives with 3 other psychic women. Blue is not psychic but she has the way of amplifying energy. Gansey is a wealthy teenage boy on a mission to find something supernatural. Joining him on his quest are his 3 friends, Ronan, Adam, and Noah. Ronan is a wealthy boy gone bad. He’s reckless, edgy, and unpredictable. Adam is the poor, nice boy who’s under a lot of pressure. He’s on a scholarship at Anglionby Academy and under extreme pressure from his parents.
Each character feels real and as the reader, you feel for them. Like I said earlier, I’ve never encountered characters like these. I can’t say I loved them or related to them but I was definitely intrigued by them and I want to learn more about them.
As I said earlier, the story takes a little while to really get going. However, it lays important groundwork for the plot and develops all of the characters. Hang in there, things get really interesting about half way through and you want to stop after that. What pulled me in was the mysterious quest the group embarks on. I had never heard of lay lines or a sleeping ancient king named Glwendower and I was eager to find out more. I also felt Steifvater wrote wonderful side stories involving each of the characters. They added layers to the main plot and overall, made the story so much more substantial.
I loved it. I wish I could say more about The Raven Boys but I fear I would give away too much. The writing is beautiful. he characters are strong and well developed. The story is unlike anything else out there. The only downside to the story is it’s left very open. Something is resolved in this book but many things are not. Obviously they we will learn more in the next book but I really wanted to know more in this book. You can probably guess I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.
“The Dream Thieves” deepens the mystery and magic surrounding Cabes Water and the dead king Glendower, while expanding on the characters introduced in “The Raven Boys” – allowing Rowan, more of a group member in “The Raven Boys”, to take center stage. A new villain comes to town, a complex and three dimensional man, who (unusually for a villain), is marked with a conscience, clarity of vision and a sense of humor and he moves the story right along as he wrestles with his own demons and issues. The characters live and grow in an environment rooted in mythology, superstition, friendships with ghosts, living tarot, crazy and often difficult family dynamics, sinister overtones and budding romances. Even the little bird Chainsaw resonates with the reader.
I read this book on Kindle and also listened to it on Audible. Will Patton's Audible performance was, as with his reading of "The Raven Boys" masterful and pitch perfect. I find myself seeking out his narrations now as often as I do the books themselves.
I am really looking forward to reading and listening to Book Three of this series.
Don't mistake this for the ordinary YA fare. The Dream Thieves is a fantastic follow up to the Raven Boys, delving into the mysteries of Ronan Lynch and his family. Speaking as an adult, I will tell you that I recommend these books to all of my friends without shame. The story line is dark, rich and complex and you will totally forget these characters are just in their teens.
My greatest regret is that the Raven Boys series is being billed as a trilogy, meaning this is the second to last book. I highly recommend reading this if you enjoyed the Night Circus or the Magicians.
To repeat myself: Another great example of a wrist-gnawing narration suddenly made pretty durned good sped up. In other words, I'd completely agree with the reviewer who pans Will Patton as being a bad fit for this book--if I'd listened to this at normal speed. However, at a truly listenable speed (yep, he needs 1.5x--1.0x is *that* bad), I'd say the opposite. 1.5x Will Patton keeps these books from being pigeonholed as YA paranormal romance--and they really are not, in spite of this author having written books of that flavor in the past. His narration fits the mostly-male cast of protagonists, and is even better than the first as he better gets the characters--and his delivery (on 1.5!) is really enjoyable. Despite other listener complaints of him being a bad fit, I can't imagine a female reader convincingly voicing Ronan, who takes the lead a lot more in The Dream Thieves than The Raven Boys.
As for the story, it gets richer and the characters more compelling. While the first book certainly had more of a YA flavor, this one felt broader and almost completely outside the genre. Sure, the protagonists are teenagers, but for the greater part of the book, they're handled with a depth that simply makes them human. Definitely wittier and more eloquent than is realistic, but all the more enjoyable. The ideas are fresh, and the writing is of far higher quality than the YA novels that get churned out left and right. The author does well to not just make this story so much of an Act 2 (as is typical) but rather, focuses on a fresh plot and brings a new antagonist. In other words, there's a real story arc.
However, I was pretty disappointed when the final section of the book started to unravel and push me out of it. I felt that The Raven Boys also started to fray in the last couple chapters, but this one started coming apart far earlier...it felt 10x more jarring and disjointed and rushed. There are WAY too many wth?! moments/scenes, beginning with an absolutely unconvincing and seemingly arbitrary scene when all the characters decide to go over and chat with said antagonist. Pretty much everything from that point devolves. It felt (and disappointingly so, considering how carefully written the rest of it felt) like a book deadline rapidly approaching...and the effect was such that I went from being utterly absorbed in the story and totally caring about these characters...to not being sure I cared that much and feeling mighty dubious about a fictional novel I was just listening to. In other words, the people in a believable world suddenly became contrived characters in a book, and I was just sitting there observing an author make up stuff about them. Big, sad difference. Not sure how that's supposed to compel me to wait for another year until the next book comes out to find out if I still care enough.
The story is just amazing
Calla, because she is a smart mouth like me :)
He does a good job with the accents and the change in voices is unique for each character but it does sometimes get confusing about who you are listening to.
Love this series and can not wait to find out more about the raven boys :)
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