I almost feel like I don't have to say anything else about this book after the title...but guys...guys...it's so so good. So good.
Okay, so preliminaries, my pre-release post is here. So there is all of my back story on acquiring the book and the shrieks and gasps and almost panic.
Now, The Dream Thieves. Seriously though...so good. I just...ah!
Almost nothing about this book or this series is predictable. I say almost because there are a few shifts that you see coming, but not in a bad way, because the The Raven Boys already told you about them. But I had to admit that I was curious about what else was going to happen that this was going to be four books. I was never worried because it's Maggie Stiefvater, just curious.
And never once in all of my mental wanderings did I think what happened in this book would happen. Mostly because we hadn't yet seen or met half the characters involved in this one. It's a bold move introducing so much in a second book, I think. But I think it's really awesome that we haven't seen Neve yet. It was almost easy to forget about her in this one because she doesn't appear and there's so much else going on. But Stiefvater reminds us with the scrying bowl, the appearance of masks once more and the beaked nightmares. Each of those things reminded me of Neve.
In The Raven Boys Maura, Persephone, and Calla make a point of telling Blue and the boys that this quest is bigger than them. It's so easy to sort of think these kids are going on this quest to kind an old artifact but there really is so much more to it than that. It's this giant web of characters we're only just meeting or only just getting introduced to. And Stiefvater throws in these brilliant lines like Persephone's "when I got back" that are almost easy to overlook in the moment but usually ultimately come to mean something so important.
The reaction to Adam's change is brilliantly done. He's so separate in this book. The big scenes that he has with the others end badly. A lot of this book is spent with the group that was so carefully created last time broken up. Throughout all of Dream Thieves there is this unease whenever Adam is mentioned, and even in the scenes that just he is in. Just this deeply rooted sense that something is wrong. It's really awesome that that feeling is carried so well throughout and dialed up when it needs to be.
So much of this book focuses on Ronan. I felt like that was fairly obvious from the get-go. The title, the cover...you know...everything. I loved getting the inside glimpse of Ronan. To see from him why he reacted to things and how badly he longs to go home. We know from Raven Boys that Ronan is badly damaged but the extent of it is isn't obvious, I don't think, until Dream Thieves. I never would have thought they're was another dream thief and even if I had I don't think I would have been prepared for Kavinsky. And even when I found out that Niall was also the Greywaren (how is it different?!) I didn't consider that Aurora was a dream. And how much does Declan know? It's amazing how well Stiefvater answers questions and then drops 16,000 more on you.
Gansy, Blue, and Noah took definite back seats in this one. But all of these scenes that they had were dynamic. They were setting things up or just stood out. I am also impressed that Stiefvater can write these beautiful complicated stories and only use half her characters without losing the others. I love Gansy and his oblivious but caring family and how he is slowly becoming more aware of the rest of the world. And Noah and frustration at his condition but how he's still a guy and I loved his scene with Blue and how much he understands because they're both outsiders in their own ways. And Blue's fierce sense of herself. She'll never be used by anyone because she's so aware and she's trying so hard to lie to herself about her feelings but lying doesn't come easily to her. And I want to see how the switchblade makes its reappearance.
Of course...Blue and Gansy...
The Grey Man is a brilliant addition. I am intensely curious to see how he is going to fit into the rest of the story, especially with Maura's disappearance. It was fun getting these glimpses of his life, I want more of him. I want to see what he is going to lend this quest that they're all so involved in.
The life, the destruction, the magic, it's all so fantastically and expertly rendered. I'm glowing and devastated that I have read it. Now I have to wait and that wait feels like it's going to crush me and the book isn't even out yet.
I don't think I need to say it but, I give The Dream Thieves a rating of: Beyond Epic.
Seriously guys. Read it!