Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

09/12/2016 Reviews 8

Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater“While I’m gone,” Gansey said, pausing, “dream me the world. Something new for every night.”

Warning: Minor spoilers.

A while back I read the first book in Maggie Stiefvater’s popular Raven CycleThe Raven Boys, and was disappointed to find it didn’t quite live up to the hype for me. It’s such a well-loved series in the book blogging world, that I’d hoped to be blown away, but instead found it to simply be OK. However, I decided to give the series a proper go by reading the second book, to see if I liked it better, but unfortunately I felt exactly the same about The Dream Thieves (sorry Maggie Stiefvater fans!). 

The Dream Thieves largely focuses on Ronan Lynch, as he tries to get to grips with the gift he has inherited from his father – the ability to take things from his dreams. Meanwhile Adam struggles with the after effects of the sacrifice he made at Cabeswater, whilst Blue tries to come to terms with her growing feelings for Gansey, as their search for Glendower continues.

I think the problem I’ve had with both The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves is a mixture of the rather odd concept and being unable to grasp the plot at times. Not to mention in this book I wasn’t as enamoured with the characters and their development.

I continued to find the whole ‘searching for a long dead Welsh King in a small town in Virginia’ thing odd as a concept, and I just can’t seem to get my head around the way all the magic works in the book. Is Ronan’s dream stealing gift anything to do with this main plot line of searching for Glendower, or not really? And what’s up with Adam’s new powers? It doesn’t help that it’s been so long since I read the first book that I can’t remember half of what happened in it. Like I have no idea what this sacrifice was that Adam made, or why he made it! The plot seemed quite slow and meandering in places, and then when some action did take place, it often left me confused as to what was happening (the ending for example where Ronan, Blue and Gansey are in one place doing something weird with magic, whilst Adam is running around doing something else with magic…what the hell was going on there?).

Also, whilst I quite liked the characters in The Raven Boys (aside from Blue who I thought was a bit dull) I didn’t like them quite so much in this second instalment. I felt like they were all reduced to one or two single character traits (Blue is quirky, Ronan is dark and dangerous, Adam is good but angry, Gansey is posh and passionate about his search for Glendower, etc.), and thought they often came off as a bit flat. Possibly this was because this is the second book, so we’re meant to already be familiar with the characters, but I had hoped to get to know more about them in this book. The only real character revelations were about Ronan’s family, and Ronan’s possible feelings for Adam, which considering the fact they barely interact with each other at all throughout this book, it seemed a bit out of the blue.

There were some elements I liked (Blue’s family are awesome, and I liked the addition of the Grey Man, and Kavinsky was interesting, if nothing else), and I by no means hated this book, but it just didn’t quite live up to the hype for me. The writing is absolutely beautiful, and I can see why so much is said of how amazing Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is, I just wish I could have gelled more with the plot and characters.

I do wonder if I would have liked this book more had I approached it blind, not knowing how amazing so many people think it is. Possibly it was the hype itself and my unrealistic expectations that let this book down the most for me! I’m really undecided whether to try book 3 or not, and see if I like it any better (and I am kind of curious to see if they ever find Glendower, however mystified I am as to why they are searching for him!), so I’ll have to think on that one!

Rating: 3/5

8 Responses to “Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater”

  1. Greg

    It can be hard when books are super hyped and then they just seem average or okay. I’ve had that a few times too and I’m like what’s wrong with me lol? But it’s just individual taste I guess. anyway nice review. I’ve seen these so many times but never actually knew what they were about, so seeing that part of it is taking stuff fom dreams at least helps the title make more sense! Not sure if I’ll ever read these but I appreciate the review.

    • Laura

      Yeah, it’s so weird how that can happen isn’t it? So many people can love a book, and then when you find yourself not blown away by it, it’s like ‘what’s wrong with me?’ That’s one of the good things about reading though – everyone has their own opinion, so it’s interesting to see what other people think! 🙂
      I’d definitely be interested to know your thoughts if you ever read this series! It is kind of hard to describe what it’s about, but a large part of it is the dream thing! 🙂

  2. Aralyn

    I have basically the same feelings, even after reading the whole series. If you still plan to finish it, I think that’s a good idea 🙂 Some questions might be answered. Also, the 3rd was my favorite in the series. I think I even made a rant post after the last book with all my questions, haha. I’m glad you gave this a shot! This is a big reason I don’t let the hype get to me, too much, because I know I might not like it. It happens!

    • Laura

      Yeah, I’m curious to see how it all ends, seen as I really can’t see where it’s all heading right now, so I probably will finish it 🙂
      I’m especially intrigued now you’ve said that the 3rd book was your favourite! I should try and not let hype get to me either, seen as in this case I’ve just ended up disappointed.

  3. Laura @ bornandread

    That’s so funny, I was exactly the same about Adam’s sacrifice – I couldn’t remember a bloody thing about what happened at the end of the first book, so I spent a great part of the second book a little confused, but far too lazy to go and check what the hell they were talking about! I pretty much feel the same as you after reading the first two books, and I am very much undecided about whether to continue…..

    • Laura

      Well I’m glad it wasn’t just me who felt like this! I literally just thought everyone loved these and I was weird! 🙂
      I think I probably will finish this just to see how it all ends, as I can’t really see where it’s all heading right now, but I’m not really in a massive hurry to read the final two books!

  4. Prabhleen

    Oh. I loved the first book and am buddy-reading the second one with a friend soon so yeah…. It is perfectly fine! The hype is the worst sometimes. my worst experience was with Truthwitch. Everyone loved it but I absolutely hated it. Great review! 🙂

    • Laura

      I know what you mean, hype can be the worst thing because you go into the book expecting to love it, and that isn’t always the case. I haven’t read Truthwitch myself, but it sucks that you didn’t enjoy it as much as you had hoped!
      Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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