There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.
Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.
The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.
Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel. (goodreads.com)
I wasn’t holding my breath for this approval to come through NetGalley yet I still choked on it when it did. And then screamed a little. Luckily I was home alone although my animals are still weary of me. Consider this review spoiler free.
Book 3 in The Raven Cycle puts Gansey, Ronan, Adam, (Noah), Blue, Calla, Persephone and the rest back on the path to finding Glendower and, of course, there’s still a hefty pile of poop to wade through in order to get to this mythical man. Stiefvater takes us on this journey by pulling on our heart pieces and tap-dancing on ours souls in the process. And she does it subtly, with little nuance phrases that come in passing and are really such little things but the punch they pack continually took my breath away for how much they meant. One that still sticks in my mind is Gansey sticking his fingers between the car seats and Blue grabbing on to them. Maybe because that action holds special meaning for me, or not. But it hit my heart and has obviously left an impression.
The kids are certainly on a path less traveled and even with Gansey’s British buddy there helping them along they’re still stumbling over tree roots and rocks and falling into precipices. They’re battered and torn from the inside out and they all have pieces of themselves chipped away as the story plows on. No one is safe and everyone’s mind and body (and psyche) are at risk of being battered and torn asunder and you can’t help but gasp along the way.
The magic in this real world of ours is growing exponentially and it excited me to watch Ronan especially get more and more of a handle on what he can do. He still has his edge but he’s allowed rational thought to poke through, allowing him to get a more intelligent (less belligerent) grasp on what he’s capable of. His problem-solving skills are growing. Adam is King of the Ley Line (or at least project manager of its repairs) and he has to saddle both fixing its failures and dealing with his failure father and it’s proving a hard balance to strike for him. But he wouldn’t be Adam without having MORE to handle than just this unreality. This is his book, after all. We are required to see him struggling in his own spotlight. Gansey is Gansey, ever questing after Glendower, after Blue, and trying to keep his own fears in check in the process. Blue is Blue, trying to balance a real world she’s still trying to grasp on to with thin strands and drowning herself in the Glendower quest with “her boys.” This is partly her book too and she tries to reign her mom back in, her spotlight to save someone she loved while Adam pushes his family away. The dichotomy of these two characters meeting in the middle, sharing a common goal while struggling with opposite issues threads the book together. And Noah is a ghost. That hasn’t changed, except he may be more ghost-like in BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE.
Stiefvater throws in a curve ball that may or may not peg you in your face. She shakes these characters’ world like throttling a sapling and I think she may laugh a little while doing it. Any semblance of safety for these characters is gone. Any sense that they’re immune from bad things happening directly to them is shattered. This book is where the quest becomes really real and really dangerous and starts to transcend the Raven Boys and the women of 300 Fox Way. It is MORE and it doesn’t think the world of everyone. And it’ll leave you wanting at the end, feigning the final installment to The Raven Cycle that is so incredibly far away that I may as well start my own search for Glendower because I just might find him sooner.