Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

I read the first book in the Raven Cycle series back in May. I can clearly remember that I was confused several times throughout the book, but it was not because there were plot holes, but because the writing was so intricate and peculiar. When I was reading the Dream Thieves, oddly enough, I understood everything I was reading. Perhaps I was vaguely familiar with the writing style or I just got smarter over time (probably not the latter); either way, by the end of the book, I was shocked with myself. As I once read in another review, the writing is for the intelligent people in our species. If you can't comprehend fast or make sense of metaphors, then this book is not for you.

Now. Is it weird that I wanted to kiss the Raven Boys? And Blue? And her family? And Ronan's brothers, Declan and Matthew? And the Grey Man? And Kavinsky? Is that weird? Does that make me weird? I honestly don't know nor do I care. Each and every one of these characters are well rounded individuals that make my heart flip every time they enter, even if it is for barely half a page. If I had to rate the Raven Boys from most favorite to least, I wouldn't be able to. They're all just so good! Ronan stood out like none other in this book because ultimately, it was meant to explain him. We get to see his struggle with his new power, his relationships with his friends and family and how much his past has affected him. Gosh, I don't know what to say about this guy other than this:
 Dick Gansey. What you do to me... If you really break Gansey down and look at him, he's just a rich high school kid who goes to rich private school. You'd expect him to be like a snob like people normally portray such kids as. Man, are they wrong. Gansey doesn't care about the money. Never is it specified, but I don't think he really cares about school either. Gansey lives, breathes, eats, sleeps, talks for only one thing. One purpose. And that's finding Glendower. That's it. His determination is admirable, his wit is impressive, his calm personality is endearing. When you think of Gansey, you usually visualize a nice, sweet guy. This book changes your perspective on him. We still get a fair share of calm, dominant Gansey, but we also see his dangerous side. His mess-with-me-one-more-time-I-dare-you-to side. And wow, it's amazing. Also, he loves Jane, I mean, Blue. You can see a relationship slowly developing between them, transforming from love-hate to something quite passionate but deadly.
Adam shredded my heart to pieces in this book. He's this independent guy who will fight his own battles and win. But he is so into being a one man army that all his previous efforts go down the drain when he attempts to prevail but ultimately loses the war. He's battling his inner demons, trying to come to terms about what happened with his family as well as what happened at the end of the first book where he made a serious sacrifice. No spoilers here, folks. He doesn't want anyone's sympathy. No turning him into a piece of charity work or giving him puppy eyes. Do that and he will blow a gasket and punch your teeth in. But his refusal for help makes him vulnerable. Easily irritable. And it's hurts him as well as the people around him. Especially a certain someone. Deep down, this guy was hurting and I think it was portrayed so well that I actually felt it.
Noah doesn't have much of a part in this book and neither does Blue. Unlike the previous book when her curse was a main source of fuel, it becomes secondary in this book. I don't really mind. A major secret about Noah was revealed in the previous book, and once again, no spoilers, but you read about the gruesome details of his devastating tragedy. You kind of relive it with him. Noah is a fun guy and downright innocent. He makes you smile, laugh, cry. He's influential like that. Blue plays a major role with Gansey, Adam and Ronan, but her screen time is not much. I guess you can watch from the shadows how much she influences them, like the devil whispering in your ear. Except she's not telling them jump off cliffs or anything. She likes Adam and Gansey, she's forming an odd relationship with Ronan and Noah and her are just besties. The sweetest scene in this book occurred between her and Noah. When they converse, no matter how suckish your day was, their conversations will make you smile.
And now the icing on the cake. Kavinsky. A crazy bastard of a man. He's the guy in school that you talk to but secretly hate. Smokes and is always high. Is handsome and rich but a complete dick. This guy is psychopath and a druggie and a drunkard and one of the greatest villains I have ever read about. When you read about a villain in a book, you don't want to read about one that has a soft spot to something or is in love with the main character. No. They need to be ruthless, angry, cunning and crazy. That's why practically every loves the Joker. That's why, if this book were to be made into a movie, Kavinsky would be the next Joker.
Sure there are a hundred more characters, but I'm not going to talk about them all. The final person I will talk about is the Grey Man. He is evil, he is badass, but he isn't the right villain. He's witty, yes, but he's too soft. Affected too easily, so the author did the book justice by not making him the main focus and giving the role to someone else. Nonetheless, his role in the book is crucial and it would be totally different if there was the lack of his character.
Last thing to address, the writing and plot. The title of this book, the Dream Thieves, suits it perfectly. At the beginning you don't get much of a feel of it, but midway through, you understand why it is named the way it is. The plot revolves around Ronan. As said in the summary, "Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life." The whole purpose of this book was to unravel why that is happening and showing what Ronan will do to help himself out of such hardships. The writing as mentioned earlier, is different. It leaves you with this crease between your brows, where you're asking yourself "what the heck?" Its vague and that's impressive because most authors can't do that. Some write in such a way that they leave no room for imagination. Readers like to be spoon fed their information too. But the author doesn't do that here. You want to understand? Work for it. I don't know about you, but I love a good puzzle. 
Ultimately, this book had me at the edge of my chair the whole time. It had some serious twists and for the first time in eternity, I loved the villain. Warning: this book has quite a lot of violence, some described mildly and other described graphically, or more graphically than I'm used to. It also has a lot of profane language. I loved it. This is what you call a flipping book, for all you wannabees out there. Learn from this.

4 well deserved stars.