Note: There will be some spoilers for The Raven Boys in this post, but I will try to steer clear of spoiling The Dream Thieves.
After finishing The Raven Boys, I wanted to go out to the bookstore and buy The Dream Thieves in hardback. But since I almost never buy new hardbacks, and some people didn’t like The Dream Thieves as much, I instead put a sensible hold on the ebook copy at my library. The hold came in (blessedly promptly), and I read twenty pages of it, then the end, and then I went to Barnes & Noble and bought it in hardback. So, ten million stars.
Ronan, the mean one of the raven boys, confesses to his friends at the end of The Raven Boys that he took his pet raven, Chainsaw, out of his dreams. The Dream Thieves is about what else Ronan can learn to take from his dreams. A year and a half ago, Ronan found his father’s body; afterward he and his two brothers were given a few million dollars apiece and a command never to return to their home, where their mother has lived in perfect silence since their father’s death. Now a hit man has come to town to find whatever is making dreams survive, and the ley lines in Henrietta have been fluctuating madly since Adam’s sacrifice in Cabeswater.
[redacted: extremely long treatise on Niall Lynch and his bullshit]
Ronan ends The Dream Thieves with his emotions in slightly better order than he begins, but the opposite thing happens to poor old doomed Gansey. We are starting to see messier sides of him. There’s something tremendously unsympathetic about him picking a fight with Adam at the rich-people party they attend together and then doing this business:
Gansey glanced over his shoulder, furtive. His mouth made the shh shape, but not the sound.
“Oh, what?” Adam demanded. “You’re afraid someone will hear? They’ll know everything isn’t perfect in the land of Dick Gansey? A dose of reality could only help these people!”
That last bit is a very teenager thing for Adam to say, I will grant you. However, this is not a nice move on Gansey’s part! Enormous parties where people’s futures are being decided are not good places to initiate serious conversations about emotionally fraught issues! Especially if you are comparatively more at home at rich-people parties than your interlocutor. And also, once you have initiated the emotional conversation, you can’t then shush the other person. It is too late! If you didn’t want to have the conversation, don’t start the conversation. Good heavens.
[redacted: extremely long treatise on Gansey's character]
[redacted: even longer treatise on that thing in books and movies where one person is like "I don't want to have this conversation right now," and it's totally fair because the place where they are right now is not at all the venue for that conversation, but then the other person is like, "No, we're talking about it! We're talking about it now!", and then they have a big fight, and how that is, like, not at all a constructive way of managing tense issues in a relationship, but everyone thinks it's okay to do that in real life because they've seen it on TV so many times]
In case it’s not clear by this time, I’ll just state for the record that I loved this book as much as I loved the previous one. (Maybe more? Can’t decide.) It’s a huge cliche to say that the characters feel like real people to me, but they do — I keep wanting to gossip about them although they are not real. The redacted treatises were no joke. I had A LOT of things to say. Good to know it’s not just me though:
In closing, that sexy dream Ronan had about Adam undoubtedly launched 1000 slashfics, and that is one of the things about the internet that makes me feel enormously fond of it.