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...

This book has been 439 pages of "How does she do it?". The character growth, how does she do it? The plot development, how does she do it? The beautiful writing style, how does she do it? An array of subplots all coming together in the end, how does she do it? Anything and everything about The Raven Cycle is making me question anything and everything I thought I knew about writing, reviewing and even the simple act of enjoying books as a reader. The film keeps rewinding, I keep struggling to remember when it was that I was as awed by a book as deeply as I am by The Raven Cycle ones, and... I can hardly come up with any. All that I have accomplished is I've managed to deconstruct the inner workings of how a book becomes a favorite. But I still can't help but wonder...

How does she do it?

The Dream Thieves continues where The Raven Boys left off. If you study the cover beforehand for long enough to determine that it's Ronan who is featured on the cover, this is by no means an accident. It's Ronan's dreams and secrets which will introduce the reader to this sequel, and it will be Ronan's dreams and secrets which will wave a parting goodbye in the end. Ronan took Chainsaw out of his dreams. The Dream Thieves. Coincidence. (Because it isn't, and because it had to be said.) But this series isn't known for a single character progression, or a single character development, so it is by no means a book about Ronan. The Dream Thieves does so much in terms of character development, especially where Adam and Ronan are concerned. Two sad, broken boys, lonely even when in company, and faced with demons they don't know how to battle. Two souls who consider themselves to be lost, when really they veered just slightly off the course. The Dream Thieves is the proverbial light in the dark, a compass to lead them back to the right path. Whether they choose to trust it or not is a different matter entirely.

Where the others' predicaments are concerned, progress is no less evident. Blue allows herself to test the boundaries of her friendship, not so much with one particular boy as with all of them (both combined and individually). While Noah doesn't get as much growth and development as the rest, it is precisely his easy, natural friendship with Blue that provides easily the most chuckle worthy scene so far. Gansey likewise tests the boundaries, both of his longterm friendships and of the more recent ones. Meanwhile the women of 300 Fox Way do a variety of useful things that further the plot: aerial yoga, association with criminals, meals with bacon, larceny, meals with butter, putting boys into 24 hour comas, scrying and an occasional tarot reading. Things at 300 Fox Way, in other words, are much the same as usual - if a complete absence of usual qualifies as the usual.

And so the search for Glendower continues in much the similar fashion as is has in the last book. If the absence of method qualifies as a kind of method, then the tandem have it down. From the newly-awakened ley line and its connection to the newly-acquired power surges, to the mystery that is Cabeswater and its connection to Adam who bound himself to it through sacrifice, the absence of leads does not present much of an issue for the raven boys and their psychic girl.

Also, if you think you know who the villain is, chances are you don't. (Just like if you thought you knew who the villain was in the first book, chances were you were wrong. At least regarding the extent of their depravity.)

How does she do it? I really couldn't tell you. Maggie Stiefvater is my newest author-crush. I have a crush on her storytelling. And her impossible way with words. And I have officially embarked on my own personal quest, to mirror that of the characters - finding the magical, mystical entity she's made a deal with that enables her to write as well as she does. Simple? I thought not. It's half the fun of the quest, anyway.



(Yes, I am, in fact, stalking Maggie Stiefvater's brain.)

- Lexie