Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #89: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #89: The Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterThe Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #2
Published by Scholastic on September 20, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.

And sometimes he's not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys - a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan's secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface - changing everything in its wake.

Recommended by: You all made me read The Raven Boys, so obviously I had to keep going.

Well, damn. People told me The Dream Thieves was way better than The Raven Boys and hot damn it’s true. It’s so completely consistent to The Raven Boys, but it’s also so much more of that same essence. I don’t know if that makes sense really, but that is how I feel about the whole thing. The Dream Thieves is eight million times more magical, about three times darker and approximately twice as complex with regards to relationships both between and within characters. All of these numbers are very scientific, I swear.

The Dream Thieves blows The Raven Boys completely when it comes to the villains. This, I think, makes for the biggest change. In The Raven Boys, Barrington McSeaCreature was evil and creepy, yeah, but he didn’t achieve near the same sense of pervading menace. Throughout The Dream Thieves, the Grey Man is there, waiting and searching, and you are fucking terrified. If the Grey Man can thoroughly trounce a Lynch brother, then he’s pretty damn terrifying. On top of the Grey Man, though not literally or, sadly, figuratively, the gang has to deal with Kavinsky, local badass bully.

Now a hit man might seem, on the surface, to be more of a villain than Kavinsky. Certainly he’s a trained killer, the obvious choice. Then again, the Gray Man’s just on the job. It’s not personal and his motive clear. Kavinsky, though, is just bored and fucking with people for fun, which is another kind of scary. Still, it’s not the substitution of a hit man and unbalanced teen for a high school teacher that makes the villainy in The Dream Thieves so much more top notch; it’s the fact that, unlike Barelyton, both the Grey Man and Kavinsky have depths to them. They’re not simply insane; they’re people I come to understand, if not to agree with.

Though I adored and honestly miss the magical realism feel to The Raven Boys, I can’t deny that the pacing kicked up quite a few notches with the bump to full on fantasy. There’s magic coming out of every rock and tree and creature in this book basically. Except for Blue. (Haha, sorry, Blue. You’re magic too. I only kid, because I care.) Mostly, as you have hopefully inferred from the title, the magic centers largely around dream thieving, aka how Ronan takes objects out of his dreams. Or how he takes adorable Ravens out of his dreams. Heyyyyyy, Chainsaw. Dream thieving is SO DAMN COOL. Basically, if Maggie published a book that was just a list of items stolen from dreams and what they did that was special, I would buy it and read every word.

The true beauty of this series, I am realizing, lies not so much in any one ship, but in the fact that I basically ship everyone with everyone. While I do have certain pairings I most especially think should kiss (or almost kiss in grand Bollywood style), I feel like there are almost innumerable pairings that would make me fan myself should they choose to hook up. There’s so much chemistry between these characters. What’s weird, though, is that it’s not even all that banter-fueled. There’s SOME banter, but it’s not the bantery dreamland of Croak or Unspoken, where oddly I do not ship everyone with everyone despite the way they can all banter together. I’m not sure how Stiefvater achieved this, but clearly she has some sort of Robin-Goodfellow-style shipping magic. For those who are curious, the ships I intensely ship are View Spoiler »

And now, because I’m sort of at a loss to comment on non-spoilery things, I’m going to check in with the main characters like I did in The Raven Boys review, because I have things to say to some of them. Also, I do realize that I’ve gone from talking ABOUT the characters to you guys to talking TO the characters, which really should say quite a bit.

Blue: Girl, you are harsh when you want to be. It should surprise no one that this makes me like you more. Sometimes harsh things need to be said, if not to make things better than because they’re burning you up inside. And you are, girl. You’re burning from all the secrets you’re keeping. It’s funny (in an ironic and sad way) that this book is all about the secrets Ronan is keeping and that you’ve got the doozy all hidden away. The dramatic irony intrigues and pains us all. I’m still waiting for you to find yourself and hit your stride and have your moment, but I think it will be beautiful when you do.

Maura: Your taste in men is seriously suspect, but also you’re just so you. There’s something so great about you and the way that people really don’t want to let you down. And something so amazing in the way that you treat people and never act the way that people expect you to. You’re an awesome mom.

Orla: I hope you get to do something more than wear a bikini and bell bottoms.

The Collective Ladies of 300 Fox Way: Can I please live with you guys?

Noah: Oh my sweet baby. I wish you had a bigger role. I’m sure you have a part to play and I cannot wait for you to fulfill it. Also, how fucking cute was the scene where View Spoiler »

Gansey: Partly, I think you’re learning, but I also think that Blue’s just learning you. There’s this remarkable Ganseyness about you that makes people fall into sway with you. It’s always made things come to you really easily and I think that’s something that’s changing a bit. Your friends are being pulled in various directions and you might not be able to keep everything in the precise order you intend. You might have to make some painful choices. There might not be enough money or determination or time for the ending that you crave. Also, seriously, what do you want from Glendower?

Adam: *smacks* Now I know why the word on the street about you was four letters long. I don’t hate you, Adam. I really don’t. In fact, my heart aches for you. I mean, I get trust issues and self-doubt. I DO. I get it so hard. At this moment, I feel it. On some level, I think that you need to fight with Gansey and you most definitely need to fight with yourself. All your life, you’ve been determined on surviving and doing it alone. Your parents taught you that you couldn’t count on anyone and you’ve done so well for yourself. Anyone would be impressed, except your asshole parents. What I hope you realize somewhere along the way is that you don’t need to do anything alone and that the reason that you’re so attracted to Blue and to Gansey is all the love that they have within them. Might I suggest that you View Spoiler »

Ronan: You surprise everyone constantly. With your violence, your love, your creativity, your passion, and your tenderness. Ronan lives life so incredibly vibrantly. He gives everything that he chooses to do all of himself. That doesn’t mean he excels at everything, because he doesn’t always care. Look at his grades. Barely making it through most classes, but pretty much acing Latin. Ronan will be your worst enemy or the best person you could possibly have at your back. View Spoiler »

Come for reverse harem fun and stay for oh so much more.

Favorite Quote:

Neither of them had kissed someone else in a while, but it didn’t matter. Kissing’s a lot like laughing. If the joke’s funny, it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you last heard one.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif almost kiss guild
“Forward slash, almost kiss” – SO MUCH UNREALIZED CHEMISTRY

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11 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #89: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater”

  1. Svetlana says:

    Thanks for the review. I’ve started reading “The Dream Thieves” a few days ago but got distracted by another book, but now I’m very eager to get back to it!
    Svetlana recently posted…Book HaulMy Profile

  2. Angie says:

    The Grey Man scared the hell out of me. I kept texting Nikki freaking out about whether my precious Ronan would be okay. Kavinsky annoyed me but he didn’t scare me. Mostly I just wanted to push him out a window.


    I want more Noah all the time. He never gets enough page space 🙁

    Unpopular opinion but I HATED Adam until about a 1/4 of the way into BLLB. Then he just kind of won me over.


    Angie recently posted…Bookish Questions – Part 2My Profile

  3. Meg says:

    I’m going to thoroughly comment later when I’m not happy crying in a Starbucks. I’M SO GLAD YOU LOVE IT LOVING IT SHIP THE THINGS YOU SHIP THOUGHTS GOOD GOOD EXCELLENT BEST THOUGHTS
    Meg recently posted…NaNoWriMo Has ArrivedMy Profile

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  5. Why is it that you can so perfectly and completely sum up all the things for this series? I can’t review them at all because it’s mostly keyboard smashing. I BOW DOWN TO YOU AND YOUR REVIEW SKILLS.

    Also: I choked on my coffee when I read the spoilery bits. Thanks for the laugh 😛 Though I totally agree on all points!
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…Weekly Update #51 (November 2) – The Halloween EditionMy Profile

  6. RONAN!!!!

    He’s my favorite.

    The end.

    Also, if ever you get the chance, these books are so good via audio.

    ALSO. ALSO. That spoiler about Noah <3 <3 <3
    April Books & Wine recently posted…Stacking The Shelves (74) | November 2014 Book HaulMy Profile

  7. I just finished this last night and LOVED it! Although, I actually liked The Raven Boys a smidgen more. I can’t say I’m very much shipping the ship you didn’t mention, but I am too. More because I am freaking in LOVE with Gansey, and I just want him to be happy.

    Adam totally frustrated me a bit, too. I mean, I understood why he was acting that way, but it still pissed me right the heck off. I don’t want anyone hurting my Gansey. See, I’m a little in love.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Review: Lucky in Love by Jill ShalvisMy Profile

  8. I need to read this — I’ve read a few Stiefvater short stories and loved them, and I was quite taken with Shiver. Love how passionate people are abt this one and The Raven Boys. That always bodes well!
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  9. Nori says:

    I liked it more than book 1 too! I love Ronan. I don’t seem to like Adam as much as everyone else does though. I felt bad for him, but I never really liked him. I do love all the other characters though. And yes to the ships! Yes to all of them.
    Nori recently posted…Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

  10. Elizabeth says:

    YOU WATCH THE GUILD?!? Of course you do. You’re like the soul sister of all the lesser-known shows I watch haha!

    God, I really can’t wait til my library FINALLY gets the third book! I’m DYING waiting for it. Especially since I get to read about you reading it so it all comes back to me how awesome it is!
    Elizabeth recently posted…A Day in the Life (25)My Profile

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