This book. This series. So great.
My biggest complaint: why is it over already?!?! And this is not a short book. It’s big, and detailed. How I like them. But it is yet, not enough.
It is book 2, in the Dreamer Trilogy. But really, it is book 6.5, with these characters, this life. (4.5 books in the previous Raven cycle, which this builds upon. [the 0.5 is smaller companion book, novella. I’m counting it as a half.])
When I first began reading the books, I had the opportunity to come by it late. So I got to read all 4.5 books in the Raven Cycle, one after the other. And book one of the Dreamer Trilogy was shortly released – so it was almost consecutive also. When I git the end of that, it was devastating – I still wanted to stay in this world, with these characters, on this adventure. They’re all nice big books. And still never enough.
Anyway. When I see this is book 2 of 3… I get nervous, and sad. It again, implies the end of an arc. Period. I sincerely hope there is more, beyond Just One More in it all.
Because it has been a while since my marathon reading of 5.5 books… some of the details were no longer fresh in my mind. More than once I wished I had re-read at minimum the previous book. But I did not. In which case, it took me a bit longer at times, to pick up the threads of the story, and why some things were, and what the direction was, and why…
It obviously should not need to be said: but I loved this book, and all the ones preceding it. I keep noticing it’s labeled as ‘young adult’, which never fails to surprise me, as not once have I ever felt as though I am reading a Young Adult novel. The story and characters are complex, they face and deal with many grown up situations, and events. They speak in ways that don’t seem to be especially mean for ‘young ears’. Anyway. They don’t come across as YA. So as a non YA person, it speaks volumes to how enjoyable the reading of them has all been.
*** spoilers ahead ***
Random thoughts: Henessy & Jordan Henessy
More than once I felt sad/dismayed that all the little Henessy copies, minus one, were killed off in the last book. They were such an intriguing set of characters, with so much to unpack. Not a single simple thing about them, not to mention the complications and issues they brought. They were such a strong, interesting, powerful maelstrom of character and plot arcs.
Having said that, in Mister Impossible, we still have Henessy the original, and Jordan Henessy the dream copy. Both of whom we see much more of, and are thrown much deeper into both characters arcs, wants, needs, minds. And they are very interesting, and complicated, each in their own vastly different way. But obviously tangled together. Being the original Hennessy, dreamt Jordan, and therefor, up to this point, we are taught that if the dreamer dies, the dreamt being … goes to sleep. Effectively, ceases to exist in all ways that matter. Life ended. Poof!
And lets make it more complicated that dreamer Hennessey is on adventure with dreamer Ronan (and dreamer Byrde). While dream Jordan, is kicking most of the book with Ronan’s brothers. Declan, and Matthew, who is also a dream. And while the two story plots follow their own arcs – they are obviously deeply tied together.
Ronan crash course:
Ronan is a ‘dreamer’. Someone who when asleep, Dreams with a capitol D, and whether willingly or unwillingly, in a certain kind of dream the Dreamers have – brings dreamt objects from dreamspace to Earth-space. As wild, crazy, impossible, and unnatural as they may be. (or normal, that happens too) – though what fun would bringing normal items through be? Hardly adds any crisis or problem if that occurs. Typically a Dreamer is bringing things back accidentally, and the result is often a catastrophe.
Through this book, we learn much more about what causes the Dreaming (earth energy) and being connected to the energetic Ley lines of the planet. And also, that the Dreamers can learn to control the dreams – and what they bring back. It’s like a magical wish shopping trip. Need a gadget that can be deployed to wipe the minds of nearby mere mortal humans? No problem. Or a car that is in visible, needs no fuel, can travel thru space-time, etc? Done. Your imagination is not the limit. Accidents happen. Nightmares, and all kinds of disaster things are brought through. Flying dragons, dreamt animals, rooms now filled with water. Copies of yourself. Falling asleep can be a terror of it’s own.
Hence: Hennessy, who in the previous book we were introduced to. Henessy has approximately 2 dreams, best as I can recall. Nightmares of which you do not want to be bringing things back from. And the other, when she continually brings a clone of herself back. I forget how many Hennessy there were in book 1, but a dozen-ish!. And more popping in, in complicating intervals ongoing.
Ronin has brought back a host of problems. Maybe of which were adventures dealt with in the raven Cycle books. Highly creative, and entertaining. As time passes, Ronan grows. And learns. He’s painstakingly learning to control what happens in these Dreams – and when he has the Dreams. Sometimes he can bring back things he wants. Or at least – that is the goal – to manifest said thing to do X thing.
Oh, but that’s not all. The third part of the Dreamer trilogy plot line: a group of people, the Moderators; who are attempting to kill all the Dreamers, who they refer to as Zeds, because they believe the Zeds will cause the end of life, the apocalypse. They have their own ‘Dreamers’, a different sort – Visionaries, who see glimpses of the futures caused by the Zeds – and have seen the end. So the Moderators spend all their waking efforts to cleanse the planet of all the dreamers – in attempt to save the world. Of course, it is much more rife with complications, than that.
Hence a complicated plot, with so many different threads of arc for each story line, and so many characters. Maggie Stiefvater does a brilliant and thorough job bringing each and every character to life, with so much depth and layers. And keeps them active in their own story line, and impacting the others with a zillion little threads woven into a cohesive whole. Truly splendid story telling – and over so many books. Each as interesting and captivating as the last.
In this book, I feel like we truly get to know the characters of Declan, and Matthew in a way we never have up to this point. Sure, they’re in all the books, being immediate family, and they have rich, intricate details. But in this book – they are main characters, and a generous portion of the plot involves them. Their actions. Their life. They are in danger from the moderators, by way of being family. At the beginning of Mister Impossible – they are on the run, with Jordan, escaping attempts on their lives, from the previous book. They are in the middle of it. How they navigate this situation that impacts them greatly – but is cause by being Dreamer Adjacent – is the core of their plots.
Matthew has recently learned he is a Dream. And that is more than a little existential crisis for him, through out the book. It is very thoughtfully handled, and in itself such a captivating character arc .
While at the same time he is often I the company of Jordan. Who is also a Dream. And lives life totally differently. Of course, I believe she has always known her status as a dream – so complete polarizing situations. But Matthew has the opportunity to learn from her, and how to ‘live’, with the knowing of the sticky situation it is. Matthew hasn’t overcome this by the end of this book – but he has certainly grown and changed as a result.
Jordan in herself is a highly intriguing character. A forger, with exceptional artistic talent. (because she is a forgery herself?) With the strong desire to be an artist in her own right. But also afraid. We do see her grow, and try and learn, as she presses her own boundaries, to create new art, not forgeries – with a woven goal of attempting to create an ‘impossible’ artwork – a thing called a ‘sweetmetal’. That has magical properties, taps into the Ley line energy, that ‘awakes’ Dreams. … such as herself. Or Matthew. Once their Dreamers have died. So obviously – it’s not just art – but a high stakes pressure to become the master of her own destiny, and life. To have the ability to live, independently of the Dreamer. No pressure…. She could acquire a Sweetmetal. But what fun would that be? So many more twists when you’re trying to create your own.
And to conclude:
In the end – we have a satisfying wrap up of many of the plots without the book. There are some threads left undone – which obviously will lead into, in book #3. But it ends in a satisfying way, where you’re content to close the back cover. Mostly. I mean, it’s still OVER; but it’s not a ‘… and then…. Oh wait. Turn in to the next book to find out’ type ending. Which is good, because we all know how irate that makes me.