Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves
by Maggies Stiefvater
Schlastic Press, 2013
Ages:  Young Adult
ISBN:  9780545424943
September 17, 2013

Gansey and his gang of misfits are still trying to find Glendower among the newly awoken ley lines, but Ronan is trying to solve the mystery of his increasing frantic dreams.  Ronan is now able to take more and more items from his dreams, some that help in the search for Glendower and some that don't. Aside from lost kings and dream treasure, a hit man is now in Henrietta and he has been tasked with finding and retrieving the Greywarren, a mythical item that can pull treasures from dreams, and he engages the help of the women at 300 Fox Way, most specifically, Maura, Blue's mother.  Also, it seems that there is more than one person stealing from dreams, and this is causing the ley line to lose energy and is causing the search for Glendower to slow.  Blue is still struggling between Adam and Gansey, Noah is still smudgy, the ladies of 300 Fox Way are still eccentric and Henrietta is still not giving up its secrets.  And that gripping last line is still there.  The Dream Thieves is everything that The Raven Boys was and more.

In this installment, the reader gets a much closer look at Ronan whereas before Gansey and Blue were the stars.  Ronan's childhood and family play a bigger role because, as he discovers, he gets his abilities from his father.  Why there is a Greywarren is not explained in this book, but that will likely be addressed in the next volume.

The Gray Man, or Mr. Gray, becomes quite an intriguing character, especially toward the end.  The reader will be kept guessing about his motives and his next moves.  He was a counterpoint to Ronan in a way, because he was also a dark, brooding ball of violent energy, but he was quite civilized and even likable, where Ronan is all violence, all danger, and all snake.

I wonder about Kavinsky.  I wonder how he came to be a dream thief, how he truly came to reside in Henrietta, and how he learned to control and manipulate his abilities.  Although he is a terribly annoying and disgusting character, I wanted to know a little more.

Now for the two big questions:  Sequel Slump and Expiration Date.  Personally, this sequel stands quite well on its own.  True, you knew that most of the characters were going to get out of this alive, but with Mr. Gray running around, you really couldn't be too sure.  It has the same fast-paced ending and cliff-hanging final sentence that will leave readers scratching their heads until the final book.

Like many young adult books, there is an expiration date.  Personally I would say college age.  If you are over 25, read with caution.  The whole scene of Blue getting her first kiss with Noah, (because you can't kill a dead guy) was sweet and awkward like a first kiss should be.  Also, despite his worldliness, Gansey is quite naive and sheltered.  Not understanding that poor people can love?  That's pretty sad, and most readers will not be able to forgive his small field of vision.  These are teens trying to save themselves with a mythical king.  If the ladies of 300 Fox Way were more involved, it would skew more adult, but this is firmly a young adult book, and personally, it's better that way.

I stood in line at ALA for an hour to get this book, and I am happy to say that it was worth it.  Now I have a year to puzzle out that last line.  I should have it all figured out by next August.

Happy Reading!

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