Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Stiefvater, Maggie (The Dream Thieves)

A gratifying, but odd, second book to the series.

I think Stiefvater wanted to pump up the action a bit, since this book revolves around the one character from the previous novel that you ended up hating by the close of the book - Ronan. And what's clear in book 2 is that she's trying to take typical teenage boy activity, i.e., Ronan front and center, and suss it into something that works within her magical realism.

And it mostly works. In that Ronan is a fascinating character once wholly explained by allowing him to speak on the page. You get a better sense of why his home life is beyond bonkers and why what happened to his father matters so much in the worldview of the series. But the teenage boy activity - while also explained in those terms - was too over the top.

In addition, the creation of the Gray Man, and how his storyline comes to a close at the end of this book was utterly unsatisfying to me. Did we really need him? Did we need him just for Maura? If so, what was the ulterior motive to that? Is it only leading to something that's necessary in book 3? Because he was, well, gray, and therefore unknowable, Stiefvater can't paint him in any sort of detail. That's ultimately aggravating and nothing else.

But, yea, you can't drag me away from book 3. On the hold list right now.

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