Don’t ask me about what I just read because I have NO IDEA.
Picking up where Call Down the Hawk left off, Hennessy, Bryde, and Ronan are on the run from the Moderators. As they desperately race to save dreamers, Carmen Farooq-Lane and Liliana realize what’s happening and what they’ve really signed on for. Declan and Jordan search for a way to keep dreams awake, and Matthew is a teenage boy having an existential crisis. As their stories drift apart and slam back together, the world is going to change - for better or for the end.
There was a lot more I disliked about this book than the last one. I could almost compare it to the most recent Star Wars trilogy in the way that the second movie irredeemably fucked up the characters we’d grown to love, but the book wasn’t quite at that level.
None of what happens between the covers bodes well for Adam and Ronan’s relationship, which is heartbreaking. In fact, Adam was sidelined for most of the story (which is understandable - this is the Lynch brothers’ stories after all) but as someone with such a big stake - he LOVES RONAN - he doesn’t show up a lot. I hope that changes in the third one, because Adam is such an integral part of Ronan’s story, it feels weird that he doesn’t seem to feature as more than a passing thought.
Much like what I didn’t care for in the other two Stiefvater series, the storyline with Mor and the Niall copy just kinda…evaporates. They’re not discussed, besides when a character remarks about how Declan recognizes Aurora as his mother rather than Mor, and I was hoping the storyline with the Boudicca would carry that plotpoint over, but it seems to have been waylaid by the sweetmetals.
Bryde and Ramsay are some bitch ass motherfuckers, but for separate reasons. I will not be elaborating, but my hate-fires could give the Visionary’s visions a run for their money.
Hennessy and Ronan are perfect for each other, because their self-destructive tendencies are twins. And I need it to stop, because it only ends up hurting the people they - and I - care about.
What I did like is the sapphic representation! Carmen and Liliana need to survive the trilogy so they can live happily ever after in their sweet little cabin and no one will ever bother them again. I liked that their relationship had the balance where it happened quickly, but under the circumstances, it also happened naturally. That was quite nice, as opposed to the speed-of-light romances that frequent books these days. They’re going slow, but the kisses are cute.
The same with Jordan and Declan. I might dislike Declan as a person, but I appreciate him as a character. He needs to fucking relax, though, and I hope Jordan is able to help him do that.
Jordan was really a bright spot in the craziness. Her sections were always so calm, and it was nice to read about her and Declan’s relationship. She might be the copy, but she’s grown more and has a much better personality than Hennessy.
Rhiannon - gone too soon, never forgotten. I loved your magic mirrors.
I want to talk about that ending real quick too. SPOILER WARNING! Of course. I will be going into specifics.
Nothing is real, the birds are dreams, and I honestly have no idea how the story is going to wrap up in the third book. There’s so much I’m anxious about, and Greywaren is about to go hard in October. I’m so, so scared for Adam and Ronan’s relationship, because I was there in the Raven Cycle. I know what it took to get where they are now. And I know not every relationship was built to last, but if Ronan dies it’s over for Adam. I need them to communicate, and figure this shit out before Ronan fucking burns the whole world down.
My theory was that Bryde the eco-terrorist was the one to dream the fire, and I guess I was partially correct, but I’m not happy about it. Ronan feels too much, and he could be doing something other than, I don’t know, starting the apocalypse? I honestly didn’t think it would be him, and it’s a little more than a let down. I wasn’t shocked, more…worried about where the story is heading. Because there’s two options: Ronan either fucking STOPS and starts listening to the people around him (and maybe pushes Bryde off a cliff) OR he dies. I like the first option way more than the second, but I’m so scared we’re gearing up for the second option and it’s gonna hurt like a motherfucker.
I don’t like the idea that Ronan dreamed up Bryde, and maybe the Moderators? It was sort of maybe implied that Ronan was the source of the Moderators, and that would suck. Also, can say for certain I didn’t see that one coming. An organization designed to bring about their own demise is kinda poetic, though. Apparently Lock knew, since he had a sweetmetal, but does that mean he just went about recruiting dreamed people to stop their oppressors? Is Carmen a dream? How is Jordan still awake?
I’m excited for the next one, but this book is going to make my anxiety spike like nobody’s business.
Trigger warnings: violence, gun violence, death, murder, car accident, death of a parent, child abuse, drug use, panic attacks/disorders, child death (implied), gore