Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: 17th September 2013
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Paranormal
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…
OH MY GOD!!!
I don’t know how to write this review.
This seems really dramatic because I get the feeling that this feeling is going to be even worse with Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and I’m draining all my “ohhhhh my god” energy early, but still.
I HAVE SO MANY THINGS TO SAY, LET’S SEE IF I CAN KEEP IT COMPREHENSIBLE.
So much of this book is character-driven instead of plot, which sucks for people who love plot BUT GREAT FOR READERS LIKE ME who don’t even pretend to give a damn about plot and are 100% here for the characters. Honestly, if you asked me what progressed in terms of the Glendower plotline, I would find it very difficult to give you a straightforward answer. I don’t even know what went down with Cabeswater to be honest, except somehow it’s inside of Adam??? I think??? One thing I definitely did not like about this book though was that the boys (and Blue) spent a significant amount of time separated from one another. Noah is absent for a good chunk of the book due to his ghostliness, but Gansey and Adam spent a bit of time in Washington and we’re left with Ronan and his brothers (bless Matthew though) or even worse, Ronan and Kavinsky. I AM NOT HERE FOR THESE BOYS BEING SEPARATED. I mean don’t get me wrong it’s great to see them break off a little bit for some individual character growth, BUT I NEED THEM TOGETHER AT LEAST 90% OF THE TIME. So much of what I love about them is their dynamic between each other as a group and I don’t like being deprived of that. I do have a note about Kavinsky though, which is ??????? I don’t understand his role and why he was so much in this book and why we had more of him than Noah, an actual Raven boy. Okay, so he’s Ronan’s guide-person regarding his dream-thieving but couldn’t that have been done by like, a ghost of Niall Lynch or something. Like what is the point of Kavinsky (who has the same name as Peter Kavinsky, which is annoying because that Kavinsky is SO MUCH BETTER).
Okay, I think I’m going to do this Raven boy by Raven Boy. Let’s start with Noah.
Noah is absent for a good part of this book, which is probably-almost-definitely due to the whole “where did Cabeswater go” thing. Which I definitely wasn’t paying close enough attention to as I probably should have, but anyway. He’s a ghost and is not subject to the same corporeal rules as the rest of us. What I do want to talk about though is his amazing interactions with Blue in this book!!
“Placing an elbow on the other side of her head, Noah leaned close and kissed her once more. This time, it was more of a thought than a feeling, a soft heat that began at her mouth and unfurled through the rest of her. One of his cold hands slid behind her neck and he kissed her again, lips parted. It was not just a touch, an action. It was a simplification of both of them: They were no longer Noah Czerny and Blue Sargent. They were now just him and her. Not even that. They were only the time that they held between them.”
I wish I had friends I could practice making out with. They’re not even a couple to be shipped but I am 100000% here for their friendship alone. The rest of them could all leave but if I were left with Noah and Blue as friends for all eternity, I could be okay with it!! It’s a precious thing between the two of them because Noah is so much more present when Blue is around. She needs to be there in order for his other relationships to grow stronger. Which only makes their relationship grow stronger. I love it so much. Also, I missed Noah a lot in this book, but tragically
didn’t even notice until he reappeared later, because I’m the worst.
Ronan. I am still not as obsessed with Ronan as I feel I could be. I think if I were to read this book a second or third time, I would be. Based upon my experience rereading The Raven Boys, I definitely liked him more the second time around. Part of it is because of his particular plotline in this book I think. I didn’t like the parts about Kavinsky, I didn’t like him being separated from the boys. My heart continually broke throughout the whole story when it came to his mother and how he was banned from seeing her or stepping foot in his childhood home. I just felt for his whole life, and his whole family, you know? And, because I can’t stand the idea of not knowing something even though I desperately craves going into something spoiler-free, I read the epilogue and also his Wiki page, which I didn’t really want to do but I think helped me connect with him more and feel more sympathetic to his plight.
Adam was… Weird, again in this book. Maggie foreshadowed pretty well he was no longer the same person, after all, he just sacrificed a part of himself during the Raven Boys and honestly, it was great. It was a good weird, it was well done and very interesting seeing Adam coping and slowly changing as Cabeswater lived inside of him.
Now here’s the thing though— I really thought Adam was going to become a bad guy. Like I said, I could recognize his struggle and his change, his obvious moodiness and the constant fights with Gansey were at least deeper and complex (added to the ones I absolutely loathed where he’d reproach Gansey trying to be a good friend, even when it turned out it wasn’t even Gansey’s doing)… But I thought he was changing for the worst. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, I was enjoying it nonetheless, but I’ll have to charge myself guilty for actually thinking this was going to be the way Maggie pushed Adam out of the way to make way for King Gansey of all things good for Blue.
I was so pleasantly surprised she didn’t and that instead, it was simply a complex battle inside of Adam to figure out who he is like identity is a recurring theme in TCR books, and what Cabeswater and the Raven boys now meant to him, finally independent, finally his own person, finally away from his abusers. For someone who complains about being spoonfed my feelings so much in your average YA formula, I am sadly guilty of really thinking —and kind of looking forwards— Maggie was heading down this path. In the end, I’m just blessed she changed my mind.
One more time though, I had to find myself enjoying Adam more through the eyes of Ronan. Their interactions bless me.
Gansey and Blue can share a paragraph because I think a lot of what happens to both of them in this book is in regards to the other. In The Raven Boys when we weren’t entirely sure that Gansey was Blue’s true love, I was really voting for it to be Adam. Not that I wanted him to die, but I desperately wanted him and Blue to stay together, even if they could never kiss. In The Dream Thieves it’s not even a question but solely exists as fact that Gansey is The One. Which is not surprising, but a little disappointing. On the other hand, though, I thought it was precious when Gansey argued with himself about how he shouldn’t like Blue but was losing the battle. I think he also wanted Adam to be able to have her, but his connection to her was just too strong. I’m glad she finally came out with the truth because then Adam could begin to heal and move on to his next love interest
that I definitely don’t know the identity of. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t upset with her for still hurting him after doing so. One of the worst parts was when he called her his girlfriend, and I heard my heart shatter because I knew Blue hadn’t thought of him that way for a while – or like, ever maybe. She was stringing him along and he was innocently following! Because he is a puppy and JUST WANTS TO BE LOVED IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK.
But the sensible part of Blue, which was usually the only part of her, thought that had more to do with Richard Campbell Gansey III having a nice mouth than with any blossoming romance. Anyway, if fate thought it would tell her who to fall for, fate had another thing coming.
Gansey added, “I would’ve thought you had more muscles. Don’t feminists have big muscles?”
Decidedly not in love with him.
In fact, while the entire Adam and Blue dynamic developed in this book and the previous book, I was sort of waiting situations where Gansey and Blue found themselves interacting alone and to find a slow connection brewing between them. Because it’s there, and it exists, but it bothered me the fact I barely got any sort of interaction between them on that regard until After Blue broke up with Adam, supposedly because she, at last, acknowledged her feelings for Gansey but I had no reason to believe she suddenly had a crush on this man she’s barely interacted with.
I found the aforementioned quote to be adorable and endearing, and especially believable. While I know this paragraph doesn’t actually mean Blue dislikes Gansey, there is nothing that would make me think this girl has anything remotely close to a crush when in the next paragraphs go something like this:
Adam allowed Blue into their circle as well, his eyes meeting hers for a moment.
I’m picking this one, Fate, she thought ferociously. Not Richard Gansey III. You can’t tell me what to do.
I’m sorry, but to then be met with this halfway through the book:
As they baked in the sunlight, she let herself think it:
I have a crush on Richard Gansey.”
I liked the involvement of Blue’s family, though. I’m super-appreciative that Neeve has gone, although I have a suspicion she’ll be back sooner rather than later. I didn’t wholly understand the tarot cards thing and the Gray Man thing, but I’m hoping that won’t be too much of an issue. I picked up enough and I’m sure that will be fine. I like him and his perspective a whole lot more than Barrington Whelk, so I am grateful for that. I think his relationship with Maura is a little weird, though. I actually find myself looking forward to his role in the next book, so I expect to have my feelings for him evolve.
The writing in this book is stunning once again, and I am in awe of Maggie Stiefvater’s talent. Contemporary is not a favorite genre of mine, but fantasy is, so it’s a little bit of a mash-up that could have turned out to be something average, but it definitely isn’t and I commend her for that. There’s a lovely balance between the two and her selection of words and their placement together is like a melodic stabbing to my heart – but like, in a good way in which I thank her.
Her craftsmanship of these characters is phenomenal, and they’re all so hashed-out with the perfect amount of detail that makes you instantly feel a connection to them. Even though he’s not my favorite (although he is growing on me), I love the way Maggie has created Gansey, and all the different layers of the boy he is. I love that Blue can look at him and see the different personas just because his face twitched or he glanced at one of his friends. There are so many different layers to this boy and I am just itching to know all about them. He’s such a mom character and he wants everyone to be comfortable and happy, and he knows he can provide that if only they would all listen. He has this outpouring of love but they all seem reluctant to take it based upon their own personal battles, which makes him struggle with it all piling up inside of him.
cannot wait to read the next book. I do want to know more about the Glendower search, so hopefully, the next book has a bit more and I can convince myself to pay more attention I’m not sure that will happen, but I’ll try. This is such a wonderful series. I am so grateful to exist in a world where my path can cross with it.
My rating: 5/5 stars.