The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy #1)
by Mindee Arnett
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.
Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.
Then Eli’s dream comes true.
Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.
Source: I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve been dying to read this book for ages. I loved the cover from the moment I saw it and couldn’t wait to read it! When I got approved from NetGalley, I may (or may not) have danced with joy. Fortunately, The Nightmare Affair was good. Maybe not as earth shattering as I was hoping, but it was a great read and quite enjoyable.
The world in The Nightmare Affair was rather unique and interesting. There were three kinds of magical beings: witchkind, naturekind, and darkkind. Dusty was a Nightmare, who fed on dreams, and was therefore a darkkind. The Will sort of controlled the way each kind of magical being operated, preventing them from causing harm to other beings. Dusty discovered she was also a dream-seer: a Nightmare who forms a bond with another person and can see the future in the dreams she fed off of.
Dusty’s powers as a Nightmare took awhile to form, so she was newer than the other students at Arkwell Academy. When she snuck into a stranger’s house at the beginning of the story to feed on their dreams, she recognized the boy as Eli, one of the popular boys from her previous high school. And when she returned to the Academy, she discovered Eli was her partner in the dream-seer bond. Together, they were tasked with getting information about a recent murder and Eli was moved to Arkwell Academy in order to be accessible to Dusty.
I loved Dusty’s character. She was amusing, quirky, and outspoken. She was outcasted due to her mother’s less than stellar reputation as a Nightmare (both figuratively and literally). Her best friend, a siren named Selene, was also a bit of an outcast because of her stance on the objectification of sirens. Together, they were quite awesome and weird and likeable. While I disliked Eli from the beginning, eventually I grew to understand him and realized he was a pretty nice guy. I really liked Paul, the other love interest, though most of the time I was hoping Eli and Dusty would win in the end.
Each of the teachers and adult figures of Arkwell Academy had distinct personalities and Dusty was always getting into shenanigans of some sort. I found the plot to be both suspenseful and entertaining, serious and humorous at the same time. It was similar to other novels with the same boarding school settings, with the students getting into trouble, but somehow getting away with it as part of their mission to figure out a mystery.
As the novel progressed, I felt like the mystery was becoming more and more obvious. While I still enjoyed the book, I suppose I was hoping for something more from it. Just as it was starting to get really intense, it was also wrapping up to the end. It was entertaining and interesting, but somewhat predictable and run of the mill, despite the unique aspects of it. Overall, I’d recommend The Nightmare Affair. It’s a fun read with really likeable characters and I’d definitely read more in the series in the future.
The Nightmare Affair will be released on March 5, 2013
Labels: Review, YA