Thursday, August 29, 2013

ARC Book Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Rating: 4/5

Cover Impressions: 
I love love LOVE the artwork for this series and I am so glad that the publishers decided to continue with this color scheme.  The Dream Thieves is not quite as drool-worthy as The Raven Boys but we still have the stunning brushwork that makes me just want to touch it.  I can't wait to see this one all decked out in the finished copy.

The Gist:
Adam's sacrifice at the end of The Raven Boys has had further reaching repercussions than any of the boys realized.  Adam is haunted by an inexplicable "otherness", Gansey is struggling to piece together the clues on his quest and Rowan is falling deeper and deeper into the dream world.  Dangerous elements have been awoken and the someone, or something, is hunting in the dark, putting everyone at risk.


The Dream Thieves is a solid addition to this surprisingly interesting series.  I am the first to admit, I LOATHED Shiver, and I thought after that debacle, I would never pick up another Stiefvater book again.  When Scholastic sent me The Raven Boys for review, I had thought, at the least, I would get a ranty, gif filled review out of it.  But, I am also the first to admit that I was whole-heartedly wrong.  I loved The Raven Boys and thoroughly enjoyed The Dream Thieves.  While TRB started out a little slow and then gained momentum towards the middle of the book, TDT has a much more steady pace.  It is a slow burn in which the story unravels leisurely and we get to see much more of the characters than in the previous novel.  I do wish there was more forward action on the over-all plot.  We see quite a bit of character development and many events are put into place for the action of the third book, but mostly the problems that are solved are new ones, not the lingering questions from The Raven Boys.

One of the strengths in this series lies with the character development.  Each of the boys (and Blue) have their own issues and their own, distinct, voice.  We get to follow inside each character's head for a while, which allows the reader to build deep and meaningful connections.  I do wish that there weren't quite as many peripheral characters as it became difficult to keep track.  We have 4 main characters, then each of their families, then friends and enemies, which adds up to a lot.  There also isn't a whole lot of detail provided to jog your memory.  I, for one, have read a LOT of YA novels in between TRB and this book and find it difficult to recall certain characters or aspects of the storyline.  For example, at one point a chapter opens with Helen operating a helicopter.  There is no preamble describing who Helen is and she has not been mentioned up to this point.  It took me AGES to remember that she was Gansey's sister and my confusion took my attention away from that particular section of the plot.

It is very interesting to read a series in which we knew the ending, from the very beginning.  Blue's vision shows us that Gansey is to die and the prophecy about her first kiss tells us a lot about where their relationship eventually leads.  Nonetheless, I continue to watch, breathlessly, for the plot to get there.  All the while, hoping for a loophole that will lead to a different eventuality.  Either way, I will certainly be hanging in there for the next two books!

Teaching/Parental Notes:

13 and up
Gender: Both
Sex: Kissing
Violence: Knifeplay, Gunplay, Kidnapping
Inappropriate Language: Dick, Fag, Bastard, Fucking, Shit, Jesus Christ,
Substance Use/Abuse: Cocaine use, Underage Drinking
Other Issues: Child abuse


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