Review: The Dream Thieves (2) by Maggie Stiefvater

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Publisher:Scholastic
Publishing Date: September 2013
ISBN: 9780545424943
Genre: Fantasy/YA
Rating: 3.1/5.0

Publisher Description: 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….

Review: I would really recommend reading the first in this series prior to reading this as a stand alone. The author makes no attempt to catch any new readers up to speed. I have always appreciated that type of approach as it lessens the filler bullshjt and is less likely to cheapen the novel. Being on the receiving end of this approach kind of sucks, especially when there are words that the author has developed that relate directly to the story-line. Cabeswater, Greywarren and other things? Locations? Events?

The writing style is a love it or hate it type. The story-line progresses through fits of personal interactions and back to the main story-line. Once you think you’re progressing, the author drops everything and your re-living an event in the first novel, but the author provides no background for the reader. Again, a good reason to read the first novel. There is also a lot of personal history between the characters that leaves you scratching your head at why these people react a certain way to others in seemingly benign situations. There are constant story-line shifts that run the gamut of finding a certain something or someone, to deciphering material objects garnered from the dream-world, then back into intense teen angst.

There are thoughts and actions that you, the reader, are privy to but make no sense. We are usually in the heads of various characters emotions as they live them out, but in the end we are no closer to understanding them (or caring for them) as there is no emotive justification. The author does not generate enough interest in any of the characters because their development is more EMO and black. The process is more like scratching the surface to see what bleeds rather than looking for the heart.

I really liked the cover art. Ronan with multi- Chainsaw ravens. Real cool.

This novel generally got really good reviews, from people with an un-requited lust for imaginary Raven punks. I really liked the author’s writing style, but still stand firmly rooted to the ideal that if a novel in a series can’t stand alone, then it fails the reader. Now before all you Emo/Stiefvater sycophants go ape-shjt, I DID like this novel. It had a few problems with the jumbled story-line, one dimensional characters and failure as a stand-alone BUT the author has brilliant prose that is almost hypnotic. Theres your bone to gnaw on while I run away.

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