Audiobook Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Maggie Stiefvater did it to me again. As if I wasn’t already in love with Blue and her Raven Boys after reading the first book, the very last line demanded that I read the next right away (though I ended up having to wait for its release). The same thing has happened with The Dream Thieves, though now I have to wait until next year for an unnamed sequel.
Once again, I have to praise Stiefvater’s skill at painting her world. She manipulates descriptions such that they don’t simply invoke an image, but a feeling. This is most evident in my favourite character, Ronan Lynch, who takes a greater lead in the second book, after announcing his ability to take things from dreams. The Dream Thieves begins with the description of Ronan’s father, and subsequently his sons, where she depicts Ronan as “molten eyes and a smile made for war.”
Along with Ronan, is Adam, who’s sacrifice awakened the leylines and who’s circumstances have turned him into a dark and angry person. Noah, a sweet and self-conscious ghost, and Gansey, the leader of the group. The story continues their search for the Welsh king of Gansey’s obsession.
The psychic women of Blue’s household play a much greater role this time around. Their abilities are still required to help move things along, but they are more actively involved in events and in dealing with and even protecting the boys, who have become a regular fixture in their home. Their involvement takes some interesting and amusing turns when the enigmatic Gray Man is introduced. He is a deadly hitman hired to find the mysterious Gray Warren, but his involvement with the ladies reveals their ingenuity and just how closely knit the group is. Considering the Gray Man’s introduction, I was surprised when the word “endearing” popped into my head to describe the character and the subtleties of the eventual relationships that develop.
I will also use the word “endearing” to describe Noah and the relationship Blue and the boys have with him. It is firmly established now that he is dead and the circumstances of his death are horrible and brutal. He occasionally is forced, unwittingly, to replay these events, but beyond that, his friends simply accept him as one of their own who occasionally has to deal with the inconveniences of death and his connection to the leylines. There were some truly touching and some downright hilarious interactions between Noah and his friends that I really enjoyed.
But as I said, Ronan is my favourite and I treasured the opportunity to spend more time with him, as heartbreaking as it was. I have a fondness for broken people and Ronan most certainly is one. He is perpetually angry, but with damn good reason and we get to learn more and more about his secrets and who he truly is in this book. At first glance, words like nobility and loyalty wouldn’t easily be pinned on him, but there’s a lot of darkness that has to be scraped away in order to see what’s underneath.
The audiobooks for The Raven Cycle are narrated by Will Patton. While he does a good job with Blue and her household, I initially wondered why a male had been selected to narrate a book with a lead female character. Remembering that the first book is called The Raven Boys, I appreciate the choice, especially in the second book where the boys become the greater focus. That said, I was a little disappointed, in the way Blue’s role diminished. Now, not only is she a conduit for psychic powers, but she’s also the girl some of the boys are romantically linked to, particularly with the prophecy of true love’s kiss causing the death of her true love. This concern still hangs over the story, but Blue herself seemed less important overall.