There's a lot to like about The Dream Thieves, but I'm not head-over-heals in love with this series. Although I'm a rather busy person at the moment, I do make time to read if a book catches my attention. I needed 2 weeks to get through this one - and it was definitely a struggle.
This isn't to say that The Dream Thieves is a bad book. It's quite possible that I just wasn't in the mood to read this type of story.
Let's begin with the positive
I love most of the characters in this series. I was on the fence about Gansey at the conclusion of The Raven Boys because we didn't get to know his character very well. In some respects, we still don't know the real Gansey. However, I love how Blue, Adam, and Ronan have varying perspectives of Gansey/Dick/Richard Gansey III. I remain intrigued by Gansey's quest to find Glendower and how his friendships will impact this dream.
I also adore Ronan, as I did in the first book. He's a dark character, but Stiefvater does a great job of making sure he remains sympathetic. Ronan's family and his mysterious dreams are further explored in this installment, and his storyline is both wonderful and twisted. His interactions with Blue, Noah, and Gansey were fun to read.
While I think many readers will disagree with me, my personal reading experience was enhanced by Adam and Blue's diminished roles in this book. My lukewarm reception to this series has a lot to do with the fact that I'm not a fan of Blue's storyline (a prophecy says that she will kill her "one true love" by kissing him, which is super lame and rather boring). Also, Adam is one of the most annoying characters ever written. Basically, I hate this kid and skimmed the chapters dealing with the aftermath his "sacrifice." I just don't care.
Then there are the "WTF?" Moments
Here's what you need to know about the new villain in this series:
1. His name is The Gray Man.
2. He's obsessed with The Kinks.
3. He becomes romantically involved with an important character in the story,
which I found to be really really creepy.
4. He's a hit-man, and apparently all the characters are okay with it. What???
Then there's Kavinsky. I don't have any words to express my confusion about why this character was necessary for Ronan's story arc. There were a lot of other paths Stiefvater could have chosen, and this one was disappointing. I'm still confused about Kavinsky's entire existence and why he made certain decisions. Kavinsky took attention away from other important characters, which I didn't like at all.
Now for the Super Negative
Stiefvater is an amazing storyteller and her characters are stellar. However, not enough attention was given to the quest for Glendower. The quest is the epicenter of the entire series. The mystery of the Glendower legend is the only reason I read this book, and absolutely no progress was made whatsoever. While I appreciate the in-depth exploration of Ronan's character, the Glendower storyline was completely neglected.
How can you ignore the heart of your story?
I understand this is a series and not every plot point will be covered, but this book felt more like a filler to me than anything else. It contains some substance, but I was hoping for a lot more than I was given.