Monday, September 16, 2013

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Release date: September 17, 2013
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: Received from publisher for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
If you could steal things from your 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.

Of The Raven Boys, Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Maggie Stiefvater's can't-put-it-down paranormal adventure will leave you clamoring for book two." Now the second book is here, with the same wild imagination, dark romance, and heart-stopping twists that only Maggie Stiefvater can conjure.
I'll admit I've been putting off this review. Before you start to get upset, it's for good reasons, not bad. Sometimes you read books that you love and can gush about for days on end. They hold a special place in your heart and you'll never forget reading them for the first time. The Dream Thieves is like that--sort of. While I do want everyone in the world to read these books because they're that good, I also want to hold these books close to my chest where no one else can touch them and never let them go. I want to sink into the pages and relive each moment over and over again. Reading this book was intensely personal and it was an experience I wasn't quite ready to share. It takes something special to unlock those kinds of feelings and I think it's absolutely Maggie's best book so far.

Even as Ronan's story is his own, it's inherently linked to the search for Glendower. Following the waking of the ley lines, the power is surging, causing problems for Cabeswater and for Blue and her Raven Boys. Even as they draw closer to Glendower, complications and those seeking power stand in their way.

Y'all don't know this about me, but I'm not generally one to mark passages in books. Many times there just aren't things that I feel the need to remember--or there's one. I counted, and I marked eighteen. As much as I love Maggie Stiefvater's other books and series, this series fits her writing to perfection. There's something otherworldly in her prose and everything about Cabeswater and the people in it feel not of this world. And even above the prose, the nuance with which she develops these characters is masterful. Every revelation about a character has been slowly worked into the story that it doesn't even feel like a revelation; rather, it feels like something you always knew, but you just weren't aware of it.

This book is at once magical and grounded, thrilling and meditative, romantic and dark. It shows the power of dreams--both good and bad--and the pain of longing for an impossibility. Just as I said The Raven Boys was my favorite book of the year thus far, it's sequel has unseated it from that distinction. I can't imagine reading a more powerful or spellbinding book.

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