Cover of The Dream Thieves with a shadowy boy with a shaved head and ravens flying over him

About the Book

Title: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)
Published: 2013

Cover Story: Ronantastic
BFF Charm: Make It Rain
Talky Talk: Once Upon A Midnight Dreary
Bonus Factors: Dream Thieves, Empire Strikes Back
Relationship Status: Dream Lover

Cover Story: Ronantastic

Thank goodness Scholastic decided to continue in the artistic vein of The Raven Boys cover rather than some dumb repackaging bullshizz. (I shudder to think of the “new look” this book could have been given to appeal to the teen market. Cute prep school boy stock photo! Shadowy figures wreathed in mist with a goth emo font! Blue inexplicably floating while clutching tarot cards!) I really liked the artwork on the first novel’s cover, so I love the fact that it has been Ronan-ified for The Dream Thieves. Even with (or perhaps because of) the heavy shading and lack of definition, you can *feel* the intensity rolling off of Ronan’s shoulders, and his visage hints at the darkness that awaits. This is a gorgeously mysterious cover that truly honors its contents.

The Deal:

OMG YOU GUYS IT’S THE SEQUEL TO THE RAVEN BOYS! I’m pretty sure I’ve been waiting about 100 years for this novel to be released and IT’S FINALLY HERE.

So, if you haven’t read The Raven Boys, please for the love of all that is holy, stop reading this review and proceed directly to your local library and CHECK THAT SHIZZ OUT. It was my favorite book of 2012, and I would hate to spoil it for you with this review.

Now, if you HAVE read the first book in Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle, then by all means, continue. I promise to avoid spilling any major beans.

The Dream Thieves picks up almost right where The Raven Boy left off, with our heroes still reeling from their experience in Cabeswater. Except now Cabeswater is missing, and no one has a clue as to where it went. While Gansey investigates with his typical obsessive gusto, Ronan explores his newly discovered powers of transferring objects from his dreams into reality, and Adam continues to wrestle with his feelings of envy and otherness, which have only grown stronger since he woke the ley line. Our girl Blue is basically Head Raven Boy Wrangler, while Noah is, well, still a ghost. Elevating the stakes are two new players at the table–the Gray Man, an enigmatic assassin with murky motives, and Kavinsky, a fellow Aglionby student infamous for fast cars and dirty deeds.

Determined to reach Cabeswater, Blue and her Raven Boys uncover new clues and old secrets, but they soon find themselves unraveling at a much faster pace than the mystery itself.

BFF Charm: Make It Rain

BFF charm holding an umbrella

Cracking open this book for the first time felt just like meeting up with my college roomies and catching up over cocktails. I was like, “Oh Gansey, I’ve missed you! I’ve even missed your awful Topsiders! And Ronan! You’re still such a dick! That is SO GREAT! Noah, sweetheart, how ARE you feeling? And Blue, it’s wonderful to see you, but can we please talk about this Adam situation? HI ADAM, yeah, I know you can hear me, but listen, you need to GET OVER YOURSELF ALREADY.”

In other words, these characters already feel like cherished old friends, and it was heaven to be in their company once again. Blue knows what I’m talking about:

In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her raven boys.

Speaking of our stubborn fearless heroine, I do wish this novel had given me more of a chance to hang out with her. She doesn’t actually do much in the story, but this is Ronan’s book, and I totally get that. Moreover, I relished the opportunity to gain more insight into Ronan’s stormy psyche. He is truly a revelation, a tortured and broken anti-hero with a compassion that is both startling and heartbreaking. I need to give him approximately a thousand hugs. (Psyche! Like Ronan would ever let me get that close to him.)

In addition to the Scooby Gang, I’d like to extend charms to the wonderfully deranged Calla and the Gray Man, who is basically THE SHIZZ.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Just like in The Raven Boys, Stiefvater restrains from any heavy romancing, which makes the small moments of swoon that much more tantalizing. I’ll refrain from spoilers, but there’s one scene in particular that epitomizes the phrase, “Less is more.” BRB MY PANTIES ARE ABLAZE.

Talky Talk: Once Upon A Midnight Dreary

While this book isn’t written in verse (thank goodness), Maggie Stiefvater’s style is deliciously dark and Poe-like. Her descriptions creep up on you until suddenly, you’re submerged in a world that feels as real as our own, in spite of the fact that nothing in Henrietta is remotely normal. Stiefvater is truly a spellbinding storyteller, unfolding the plot with a shiver-inducing brush of words on one page and a walloping punch in the next. Like any good ride, The Dream Thieves is not for the faint of heart, due in part to the thrillingly unpredictable action as well as–oh yeah, did I mention Ronan’s nightmares? Because they’re terrifying, which means they will soon be YOUR nightmares. The nuanced intensity of Stiefvater’s writing slowly builds to an epic climax that will echo in your mind for days and even months to come.

Bonus Factor: Dream Thieves

Scene from Inception with buildings twisting in a spiral as human figures watch from a roof

With great power comes great responsibility, but let’s be honest. If you had the ability to bring objects from your dreams into reality, you would abuse the SHIZZ out of it. Ronan’s exploration of his gift is fascinating and even, at times, fun, and the concept itself adds a mind-blowing new layer to The Raven Cycle.

Bonus Factor: Not A Bridge Book

A stone bridge over water with a big red X marking it out

So often, the sequel to a big hit can be a major disappointment. But The Dream Thieves does justice to its predecessor and propels the story arc forward in exciting (and sometimes shocking) ways. In the vein of Empire of Strikes Back, this sequel lurks in the shadows, sewing seeds of uncertainty over the outcome of the battle between good and evil.

Relationship Status: Dream Lover

Book, I feel so lucky that I got to hold you in my arms and know the magic of your charms. You are everything I dreamed you would be, and I wish I could stay with you forever instead of waking back up to boring reality. But even when we’re apart, the memory of you continues to enchant my ordinary life with fantastical imaginings and burning questions. I can’t wait to reunite with you in the form of the third book, and until then, I’ll have to rely on writing fan fiction daydreaming in anticipation.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free review copy from Scholastic. I received neither cocktails nor money for this review (dammit!). 

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Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.