I loved, loved, loved The Raven Cycle to pieces and had such high expectations for this book. There were parts in it that I really enjoyed, like the glimpses we got from Gansy’s and Blue’s lives and the parts were Ronan were with Adam, but sadly those parts were way too few. Instead, this book introduced many new characters, which I didn’t connect to at all. And for a majority of the book, they are siloed, and it’s unclear what role they have in the story and how they connect to the plot.
What I did love about this book though, was that we got to see more of the Lynch brothers. Matthew is completely adorable, and I appreciated to get to know more of Declan. In The Raven Cycle he was a bit diffuse and one-dimensional, but here he really comes to life. Ronan however didn’t shine as much as he did in The Raven Cycle. There was such a remarkable character development for him throughout the series, especially in the last book where he opens up and truly allows himself to love Adam. But here he felt a bit subdued somehow.
I think the main problem is that this book suffers from the ‘first book’-syndrome, which is such a shame as it really didn’t have to, considering that it’s a spin-off from The Raven Cycle. I love Ronan and his dreamworld, but I missed the rest of the old crew and their chemistry a lot.
Luckily, the story got better in the end though, and I will definitely continue reading this series even though this first book was not exactly what I had hoped for.
Find out more about the book and the author here: Maggie Stiefvater