My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this a lot for a book that had almost no real plot beyond 'holy heck, Cabeswater disappeared. What now?' And in many ways none of them are even addressing it. It would have helped if a) I haven't set this aside for so long and forgotten most of book 1 and b) if I had time to reread book 1. It took me a while to get going and really the plot doesn't actually gel until about the last 150 pages of a 400+ page novel. It's almost more of a character study, all the characters which is simultaneously a strength and weakness. Each character is very interesting but skipping around does lead to things getting dropped in my head.
So that's the problem facing the Raven Boys and Blue. Cabeswater, in spite of Adam's sacrifice last book, has disappeared more or less taking Gansey's chances of finding Glendower with it. In the beginning that it what the focus is but that fades out and really this is more Ronan's book than anyone's. I find Ronan abrasive so that's not always a good thing, but if nothing else, he is interesting in his broken way. Actually, it felt real. If you've ever dealt with an emotionally damaged person, like Ronan, it can be a challenge.
Ronan has a lot to deal with. His father's death, being barred from the family home and the general weirdness of his family just for starters. He has a lot to learn about taking things from his dreams (the title is a big hint there) and that develops more fully as the story goes. Not to mention there is a surprise dream-thief in the story AND a hit man out to get the 'greywarden' who looks like it might be Ronan. And of course there is his rivalry with the drug dealing/using, sports car racing Kavinsky who has a lot of vulgar speculation on the sex acts Ronan and Gansey are theoretically engaging in just to see if he can ruffle Ronan.
Noah is busy acting out his death again and again.
Adam is getting more and more unbalanced, especially when it looks like his relationship with Blue is as endangered as Cabeswater. His relationship to Gansey is even more problematic because of the gulf in their incomes/backgrounds. The violence his father beat into him is coming to a head.
Gansey is...well almost too perfect. Too charming, too rich, too everything. I like him in spite of it. He seemed somehow less focused on Glendower this time. In general he seemed less focused, except maybe where trying to save Ronan and Adam from themselves.
Blue was sort of disappointing. She's the only female of note in the book out side of her mother, Calla and Persephone (who all play nice sized roles in this, don't get me wrong). I love Blue but this time her psychic boosting power really didn't come into play. It was mostly about her not wanting to kiss Adam (or Gansey) because when she kisses her true love he'll die. I have to say on a personal level teenaged 'true love' is a trope that fails for me every time. Luckily that isn't the main thrust of this book, no pun intended. However, Blue's role this time distills down to this (but I'm thinking she'll be the main pov character next book since the title is Blue Lily, Lily Blue, just saying) and the building love triangle annoyed me a bit.
The Gray Man arc didn't really work. Anglo-Saxon Poet professor turns hit man for hire will surely dovetail even more with Glendower next time. However, I really don't want a damaged hit man that the psychic ladies can 'save.' I have to confess I was pretty disappointed in Maura and the other adults in Blue's life with their approach to The Gray Man who never felt as menacing as he should have.
I do, however, like that we have a YA book where the romance is a small subplot and isn't a dystopia. That's getting to be unheard of any more. So even though Blue's subplot is on tragic romance it's not that major of thing. Some sexual roles are defined however.
We learn what's wrong with the ley lines and Cabeswater just in time for the epilogue to lead us into the next book.
I did enjoy this a lot. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
View all my reviews