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

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) – Maggie StiefvaterTitle: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Publishing Info: September 17, 2013 by Scholastic Inc.
Source: BEA 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 10, 2013
Related Posts: Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1), The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1), Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3), The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1), The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4), All the Crooked Saints, Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer #1)

    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...

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This was the first BEA book I dipped into and yes, I finished it back in June. It was SO HARD to hold my review until now which is at least closer to the pub date than June… I’m so glad I picked this one up immediately after BEA because THE DREAM THIEVES did not disappoint. It was exciting, horrifying, mysterious, curious, and terribly interesting. I was totally hooked from start to finish.

THE DREAM THIEVES picks up where THE RAVEN BOYS left off…. So if you have read THE RAVEN BOYS (which I suggest you do), there WILL be spoilers for book one in this review… Just watch out! So Ronan. He left us with quite a little shocker at the end of book one and that is what book two is allllll about — dreams. Um. YES PLEASE. You know (actually you probably don’t know) that I usually get annoyed when characters have these weird symbolic dreams that represent what’s going on in their life or are predicting the future. I just think it’s overdone and I tend to roll my eyes at those silly dreams. This book? Nothing like that! The whole dream aspect is freaking amazing. I absolutely love the idea that Maggie Steifvater came up with for the concept of this second book.

Now… For those who have read THE RAVEN BOYS (which I’m you’re still reading by this point, I’m assuming it’s all of you), THE DREAM THIEVES is actually quite different plot-wise. Yes, we still have all the same major characters and the same basic plot points (ley lines, Cabeswater, Glendower, and Blue’s forbidden kiss) but TDT delves so much more into Ronan’s side of the story and we get more answers about Chainsaw, his dreams, and even his father’s mysterious death (which I was dying to know about in TRB). I actually hooked on to this book more than I did book one because it was that much more mystical/paranormal/AWESOME versus all the business with Gansey & Glendower because let’s face it… It was hard (for me) to get into the mythology/history of Glendower in book one. In TDT, Glendower is much more an underlying factor to several events that keep the plot moving versus and actual main plot point. I was incredibly invested in Ronan’s story line! ALSO. There’s this guy called The Grey Man………. You’ll find out more about him in the book but Heidi (Bunbury in the Stacks) and I had a nice conversation about him. Kind of love him as a character (not in a swoony way — Just the way his character was planned out… So perfect.)

Honestly the only reason I didn’t give this book a full five star knock out review was for two reasons: One being that Maggie Steifvater’s writing in The Raven Cycle series is beautiful and twisted, but sometimes I feel like the style is a bit over my head, if that makes sense. I get the feeling that if I was an English major or something that this would have totally made sense… Like there was something I was missing as far as class or knowledge of writing styles. I don’t know how else to say that, but I just felt like the writing was a little over my head at times and it got complicated for me to follow. I’m not saying I wanted Maggie to write everything so boring and straightforward, but me personally — I just got lost in the writing style just a bit. The second thing preventing me from giving it a flat out five star review was that I just had expectations for a little bit more from the ending. It was certainly good and very exciting, but I guess I just expected it to end similar to book one (though I don’t know why since this was so different) but it was just a little different than what I expected so I was slightly thrown. I actually thought part of it was a bit fantastical for the way the whole book went (which is a silly thing to say considering the whole book was awesomely fantastical), but I just felt like this one scene didn’t fit the mood of the rest of the book. And this didn’t affect my overall opinion too much, but I would have loved to see that magic of Cabeswater in detail again! I just loved that in TRB.

That aside, I think fans of THE RAVEN BOYS will absolutely be wowed by THE DREAM THIEVES! There were so many amazing elements to this story, new and exciting characters, answers from previous mysteries and new ones to look forward to. I absolutely loved reading it and I can’t wait for the next book in the series… Although I will have to!

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Ronan Lynch // Character Obsessions: Chainsaw, dreams, the mystery of his parents.
RONAN. Loved him in this book. Broody. Mysterious. And has a freaking awesome ability. I’m so glad we got to really see so much of his personal story since he was just building up to be a main character in book one. I’m so glad we got to see so many layers of Ronan as well as his family (totally forgot about his other brother Matthew…?) and so, so many interesting mysteries about his past.
(Richard) Gansey // Character Obsessions: Glendower, ley lines.
I still kind of love Gansey. He doesn’t play AS big of a role in this book as the first, but of course he’s still majorly connected to the central plot and we get to see a couple different sides of him here. His role kind of changes, I think, and I actually really like the direction his story line took.
Adam Parrish // Character Obsessions: Blue Sargent, ley lines.
For being such a big part of THE RAVEN BOYS, I feel like we were missing so much Adam in THE DREAM THIEVES. Considering how book one ended, I was hoping to get sooooo many more details in book two, but it seems that Adam is a bit of mystery. I’m really hoping for things to get explained in book three! Adam’s role has also majorly shifted in this book and he’s actually becoming quite a different Adam. It’s incredibly interesting to see these changes but I just wish we had gotten to see a little bit more of his story in detail here.
The Grey Man // Character Obsessions: The Greywaren, Maura Sargent, hit-manning, The Kinks, brothers.
I really hope you guys love The Grey Man like Heidi and I do. He’s an awesome villain-type character and even after the book is over, I really, really, really want to know more about him and his past!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Whatever supernatural phenomena are going on in this series. Look, I don’t know how all these kids have supernatural talents but I am digging it! Between Ronan, Noah, Blue, Adam… Gansey’s obsession with making this Glendower thing real. I am all in, here.
Left Me Wanting More: Adam!! He was SUCH a big part of book one and TRB ended in such an EPIC way that I felt like his details never really got wrapped up like I hoped in TDT.

Addiction Rating
BUY IT!

This is one you do not want to miss! I think if you loved THE RAVEN BOYS, this book will blow your mind just a bit. Definitely one I want to keep on my shelves!!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE DREAM THIEVES

     Paper Valentine      Pivot POint

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) – Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) – Maggie StiefvaterTitle: The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Publishing Info: September 18, 2012 by Scholastic Inc.
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 23, 2013
Related Posts: Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1), The Scorpio Races, The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3), The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1), The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4), All the Crooked Saints, Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer #1)

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

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THE RAVEN BOYS was totally different than I expected, but in a good way. I read SHIVER from Maggie Stiefvater about a year ago and wasn’t crazy about it at all and then got the audio of THE SCORPIO RACES and began to feel a lot better about how I would be able to dive into THE RAVEN BOYS. For some reason I was expecting that same “older” feel that THE SCORPIO RACES had, but really THE RAVEN BOYS is a modern-day story, although it has many ties to the characters’ past as well as historical legends and paranormal practices. For some reason, I kept getting the feel of the movie The Skulls. (Even though the plots really aren’t similar. Maybe it was just the boys at a private school. How easily I am reminded of things!)

I think I went into THE RAVEN BOYS thinking it was going to be more of a contemporary feel with  a hint of paranormal, but really the paranormal is a key player in the book. Blue, our  main female character, lives in a house with her mother as well as other relatives/women, all of which possess psychic abilities. Except for Blue, that is. Blue is merely an amplifier of psychic energy for others but doesn’t possess abilities of her own. Without rehashing the plot (see Goodreads summary above), Blue’s life starts to get complicated once she starts to tangle with “the raven boys” – The boys who attend Aglionby in their raven embroidered shirts.

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At first I was terribly interested yet slightly confused about what was going on in this book. It was clearly very deliberately written, all of the intersecting moments between Blue’s story line and Gansey/Adam’s story carefully and I must say very creatively chosen. It wasn’t until Blue started to get to know the Aglionby boys that I finally got a solid feeling for all of them because up until then, we get alternating chapters from different characters and they’re each describing each other with unfamiliarity. It caused a bit of confusion on my part, but rest assured it did come together and I actually did kind of like the POV weaving in and out and seeing different vantage points. It almost felt like a movie the way it jumped from character to character. We still see Gansey & Adam when it’s Blue’s POV, but in an incredibly different way than Blue sees her own life, etc etc.

The whole plot of the ley lines was interesting but the connection to Glendower and Gansey’s obsession with finding him was kind of fuzzy to me. I felt like I half understood his obsession and the other half was confused on why it really mattered so much. I didn’t get the answer to the obsession until later in the book — which does play out well with several plot twists and SUPER interesting reveals — but keeping that secret until the end of the book made me feel like I didn’t really grasp that story or obsession.

Maggie Stiefvater has some amazing plot twists, one of which I kind of saw coming but was even deeper than my original guess so that made it even more awesome! The paranormal aspects and involvement with spirits is not meant to be creepy, so that really made me happy since I don’t do well with “scary” ghost stories. On the contrary, it was a very good interaction with the spirit world as well as some really cool elements of an entirely different kind of paranormal that the plot dips into with the ley lines. Very, very cool stuff. It definitely gave me the shivers and kind of made me wish I could have experienced that too! I don’t want to go into details because it’s really best just to read it yourself, but VERY cool ideas from Stiefvater.
I also really liked how we’re given a few specific clues and “prophesies” so to speak and not all of them are answered in book one. I think that also brought a draw to see how this turns out in the second or third or whatever book of this series. It makes me feel like the series has a “bigger picture” to it and I like that not everything was neatly wrapped up in the first book. I think it’ll give a great tie between books in the series which happens to be something I struggle with from time-to-time.

I would say due to a little bit of a slow start in the beginning, the book didn’t completely knock my socks off, but it was definitely an interesting read and held my interest the entire book. We got one more twist at the end which sets up the next book in the series which I cannot WAIT to read now! I’d definitely recommend this book even if you haven’t liked Maggie Stiefvater’s previous works. I actually wasn’t a fan of SHIVER but I did really enjoy THE SCOPIO RACES, but really — THE RAVEN BOYS is totally different both character-wise and plot-wise. I would really recommend it to anyone to try! There’s a little bit of something in there for every reader.

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Blue: I’m just glad SOMEONE made fun of Blue’s name in the book because you know me and weird character names. If no one had mentioned how weird that was for a real name, I would have been slightly disappointed! Anyway. I really liked Blue’s character! She wasn’t always a feisty one but I think her devotion to and interest in the raven boys’ quest really brings it out in her. I feel like she finally had something to be passionate about and it was something that really held her interest for the first time. Not to mention she knows her fate is intertwined with Gansey’s whether she likes it or not.
Gansey: Gansey was kind of a conundrum to me. Since he had the President Cell Phone persona (as Blue called it) and the Glendower-obsessed side, he was kind of hard to figure out as a character in the very beginning. Not everything is cut and dry with Gansey and that’s what makes him so interesting. I can’t wait to see what happens with his character in the next book.
Adam: I think Adam was my favorite character. He was the one that felt the most like a real person to me, possibly because of his deeper seeded issues, but he’s also the one who really revealed the most emotion throughout the book. I think Adam’s story line in the book is actually the most interesting and he’s DEFINITELY the character who changes the most. The ending absolutely blew me away and I really have no idea how different his life will be in the next installment.

addiction_factor1Buy it!

Wow, this was really different from what I expected but in a good way. It did take me a little bit to get the feel for the writing but it was so beautiful and what a story. I can’t wait to continue on!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE RAVEN BOYS

     Paper Valentine      Born Wicked

The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races – Maggie StiefvaterTitle: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Publishing Info: October 18, 2011 by Scholastic Inc.
Genres: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 29, 2013
Related Posts: Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1), The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1), The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3), The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1), The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4), All the Crooked Saints, Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer #1)

    It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

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THE SCORPIO RACES was magical. I’m not entirely sure what I had expected when I started, but I really ended up enjoying it! I actually felt like it took me a little while to get into it — not because it wasn’t good, but because it took a while for me to “meet” the characters and get to know them. I felt like both Puck and Sean have a really tough exterior so even to the reader it takes a little bit to break that shell. I was never really going to quit it, but I can’t seem to think of different wording than I’m glad that I stuck with it. The writing is simply beautiful and whereas I did not really enjoy the only other Steifvater book I’ve read so far (SHIVER) I was totally captivated by the beauty of Maggie Steifvater’s writing and her character development.

Even though THE SCORPIO RACES ultimately boils down to a race, exciting action, and violent sea horses, I think was I was really sold on was the character development. We really get to know Puck and Sean separately until the races intertwine their two lives. They’re both in different yet similar predicaments — they must win the races and the monetary prize that goes with winning in order to maintain their currently lives and not lose a valuable piece of their family (or whatever they consider their family after everything they’ve already lost). Watching the interactions between Puck and her family and Sean & his horses was the most magical part of this book for me by far. As far as their romance goes, I loved that it wasn’t rushed and it wasn’t even the main focus. It fit in perfectly and easily, without being forced at all.

For some reason, I was totally caught up on the logistics of the water horses. How did they survive in the water AND on land? Did they have gills to breathe in the water? Were their lungs adapted to both land and water? It was never explained and somehow I was a little stuck in the fact that I didn’t know the details.

A big part of the magic of this book for me was Thisby itself. I have no idea in what time period this was supposed to take place but I very much pictured something in the 1930s or 1940s – a time before technology started coming through and the automobile was just becoming a part of every day life. I loved the atmosphere that this setting created. It was such a personality in itself and I loved the feeling of Thisby.

I was REALLY hesitating how to rate it. I was caught somewhere between liking it and loving it, but overall, I think I’m leaning more towards loving it. Thinking back on the general feel and the emotions I felt toward the end, I’ll lean towards the higher rating!

AUDIOBOOK IMPRESSIONS

Yes. Get this as an audiobook. Steve West reading for Sean Kendrick and Fiona Hardingham reading for Puck Connelly was superb. I absolutely loved the British accents and for some reason it just made the story flow. Is it weird that my favorite part of the narrating was George Holly’s American voice? I don’t what it was, but for some reason I found it weirdly sexy….. Anyone else? No? Just me? Okay, awkward….

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Puck: Even though both characters alternate narrating, I really felt like it was more Puck’s story than Sean’s. I just felt like she had more going on as far as a conflict goes and more of her personality came across to me. She was so spunky and determined and I loved her spirit. She was definitely a ton of fun to read about/listen to.
Sean: Sean was a lot more reserved and a little bit brooding… I loved his quiet strength and his passion for looking after the horses. My heart went out to him the whole book and I just felt like there were so many emotions bubbling under the surface for Sean. He brought so much passion to the story and really made me FEEL for the characters — even the horses!

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BUY IT

This book was so magical… and the audio was just fantastic. I’m highly recommending this one — a magical realism I can get on board with!

book_recommendations1

           

Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) – Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) – Maggie StiefvaterTitle: Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Publishing Info: August 4, 2011 by Scholastic Inc.
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 4, 2012
Related Posts: The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1), The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3), The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1), The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4), All the Crooked Saints, Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer #1)

Grace is fascinated by the wolves in the woods behind her house; one yellow-eyed wolf in particular. Every winter, she watches him, but every summer, he disappears. Sam leads two lives. In winter, he stays in the frozen woods, with the protection of the pack. In summer, he has a few precious months to be human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again. When Grace and Sam finally meet, they realize they can't bear to be apart. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human - or risk losing himself, and Grace, for ever.

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Well, I guess I should have stuck with my notions that told me I just don’t like werewolf stories. The story itself was by all means a teen paranormal romance, plain and simple. I felt like a lot of the writing was a little too YA for me and a lot of the love story seemed naive. This was one of the times I should NOT have been a 25-year-old reading a YA novel. I didn’t really feel like I felt a lot of depth from either Grace or Sam and to be honest, the whole time I was reading this book, I just thought Twilight, Twilight, Twilight. Since that was the first werewolf story I knew and it was also a teen romance, very hard for me not to go there. I was constantly comparing the two books and Twilight came up ahead. I think this would have been a great book, more suited for the teen genre, as it should be. It was more straight-forward than adding more layers into the romance and the characters’ past and future. All around, it was okay, but just really not for me.

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 It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good. Hm. ‘Nuff said.

 

If You Liked This, You Might Like…
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer — Okay, stupid recommendation, I know. Because if you haven’t read it by now, you probably won’t and I’m sure most people have already read it. But I have to put it as a recommendation simply because I could not get it out of my head the whole time! And if for some reason you haven’t read it and saw the movie instead, read the book! Light years better.
…OR…
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris — The first of the Sookie Stackhouse books. I chose this as a recommendation because it’s also got the paranormal element. These books are really enjoyable. I watch the True Blood TV show too – Totally different from each other and both are great.