Tuesday 29 October 2013

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Steifvater

A secret is a strange thing.
There are three kinds of secrets.  One is the sort that everyone knows about, the sort you need at least two people for.  One to keep it, one to never know.  The second is a harder kind of secret: one you keep from yourself.  Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid.
Published by Scholastic Fiction in September 2013
464 pages
Book Summary
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... 
It’s always with some trepidation that I await a sequel for a book I’ve loved.  On the one hand it’s like Yay! Sequel is coming! And on the other, there’s anxiety; will it be as good?  What if I don’t like it and it taints the first book for me forever?!
Happily, I wasn’t disappointed with The Dream Thieves.  In fact I found it almost like getting on to the main story whilst The Raven Boys was like a prologue; introducing us to the characters and helping us to learn what makes them tick.  With The Dream Thieves, the story becomes darker as Ronan deals with his demons and discovers his ability to bring his dreams and nightmares into reality.  Gansey’s obsession with Glendower deepens whilst Blue develops her own obsession with Gansey; perhaps predictably despite being repressed for so long by the knowledge that any kiss to her true love will ensure his death.
As always, you can spot a Steifvater novel a mile away; the detail is astonishing, particularly with her characterisation.  An assassin could never be just an assassin in a Maggie book.  He has a back story and a soft spot for The Kinks – and a soft spot for Blue’s mother come to that.  Somehow it’s touching that a man that deals in death does so so eloquently, with the minimal fuss and destruction.  I think Mr Gray is definitely one of the highlights of The Dream Thieves. 
In contrast I think Adam suffered a bit in this book.   We see him continue to fight his own demons but, compared with The Raven Boys, he seems to be losing the battle.  The chip on his shoulder is more like a sack of potatoes, and he borders on unlikable.
In truth, The Dream Thieves is about Ronan and rival Kavinsky, who finally find something in common aside from street-racing in the form of their shared ability to bring dreams into reality.  But whilst Kavinsky is set on using his talent for chaos, Ronan begins to grow up, moving away from his tormented past and beginning to take responsibility for himself and others.  There’s one line in the novel that I think sums up Ronan and his outer exterior versus his interior; ‘one of the marvelous things about being Ronan Lynch was that no one ever expected him to do anything nice for anyone.’
For my liking there wasn’t enough Noah in this book, but the scene between Blue and him when Gansey and Adam are visiting Gansey’s home is just so adorable, it sort of makes up for it.  I hope he’ll have more of a role in future books as in The Dream Thieves all he really seems to be is a vessel for when the ley line wanes and surges.  Sort of like static on a TV. Boooo!  Don’t treat Noah that way Maggie!
All in all thought, it’s an utterly worthy sequel to the The Raven Boys and I’m all excited for the next book!

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