I received The Dream Thieves in exchange for a fair and honest review. Definitely 4 1/2 Stars... but not quite 5....This book needs to come with a disclaimer. Nothing major, just a simple warning explaining that if it’s been a year since you’ve read The Raven Boys, you need to pick it up again before you read The Dream Thieves. Honestly, you can thank me later. Maggie Stiefvater packs a lot into these 448 pages and not a one is wasted on back story. Well, maybe a little, but not enough to keep me up to speed. *sigh*As for the story as a whole, it was pure Maggie Stiefvater magic. Even though the main focus in this book was Ronan, the other characters were still a major part of the story. Gansey, Blue and Adam were ever present, but The Dream Thieves kept Ronan front and center as far as the flow of the story went. And for the record, getting inside Ronan’s head was more than a little scary. Readers just thought they knew Ronan in the first book. Even Ronan didn’t totally understand who he was at the beginning of the story and even though some things were resolved, there is still a lot more to learn and uncover about all the characters.Along with all the seriousness and darkness that was written into The Dream Thieves there was also a fair amount of humor and the characters were as witty and smart as I remember them being in The Raven Boys. That’s a good thing because both the characters and the readers needed a break from all the darkness. Among some of the funniest moments were at Blue’s house. I love that eccentric group. They are full of surprises.There are plenty of glimpses into the established characters and there are some new characters introduced. There were a few mysteries solved and a couple more thrown in… basically, it’s no wonder there wasn’t much back story provided. There wasn’t time! This book was packed full of just about everything, including a pretty intense cliff hanger. Yikes!I can’t really explain why, but I think I liked The Raven Boys more than The Dream Thieves. They’re both very good books and I’m really enjoying the series. I think it all goes back to the time span between the books. Again, it’s not a complaint, just a very helpful warning. If you are going to pick up The Dream Thieves, which I absolutely recommend that you do, take the time to at least skim over The Raven Boys first.