The interactions between the Lynch brothers were one of my favorite parts of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series, so I was delighted to learn that she would be writing a new series focusing on Ronan Lynch (with, presumably, a lot of attention paid to his brothers Declan and Matthew). And, indeed, the three brothers begin the book on a road trip (!!!!) to Cambridge, so Ronan can see his boyfriend, Adam, at Harvard and, perhaps, begin making plans to move there.
The idea of moving to Massachusetts is complicated by the fact that Ronan is a Dreamer, meaning that he can bring objects back from his dreams. This ability comes with a price — a sickness that appears if Ronan spends too many nights away from his home in Henrietta, Virginia. But Ronan wants to try it. Declan, Ronan’s buttoned up older brother, is worried about the idea. And he’s worried that Matthew, their younger brother, will learn the truth about his own origins.
So that’s the situation with the brothers as the book begins. As they’re trying to organize their lives and futures, other forces are brewing to make things difficult. A Dreamer named Hennessy is making a living as an art forger while trying to cope with the fact that she keeps bringing back doubles of herself from her dreams, and those doubles’ lives depend on Hennessy because it’s known that if a Dreamer dies, any living being brought back from the dream world goes to sleep forever.
At the same time, a woman named Carmen Farooq-Lane has been given the task of looking after a quirky and difficult young Visionary who can see the end of world, all while she seeks out Dreamers at the behest of her bosses.
Early on, these three stories operate on separate tracks and, for me, the book came to a screeching halt whenever it left the Lynch brothers. They have such delightful chemistry, well-established in the Raven Cycle, that I fell right into their story. Hennessy and Farooq-Lane don’t have the benefit of being pre-established characters that I cared about, and their stories don’t have anything close to the zing of the Declan brothers. But, over time, I got more interested in them. I was especially delighted by Farooq-Lane’s relationship with her exasperating young charge, Parsival. And when Hennessy and her dream doubles start getting to know the Lynch brothers, my interest in their lives increased as well. By the end, I was deeply invested in what was going to happen to this poor young woman who was both entirely on her own and responsible for an entire family.
This book is intended to be part of a trilogy, so the ending is open-ended, a cliffhanger even. And I’m already excited for the next book to come out in November!