Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The Nightmare Affair
The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
Tor Teen, 2013
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I started this book ahead of schedule because the other book I was supposed to be reading was just not grabbing me. I was hoping this book would spur me into a reading frenzy and happily we really clicked and I found this book very enjoyable.
Dusty is a Nightmare, one of the many magical creatures hidden from our normal world. One night she sneaks into a house, ready to feed on the dreams of an ordinary boy as required by the magical Will only to a. see a horrible murder in his dream and b. accidentally awaken him. When that murder comes to pass, it turns out that she and the ordinary boy are meant to be partners, hopefully working to prevent any more murders or something even worse (like being expelled ;) from happening.
The element I really liked about this book was the humor. Nightmares are pretty uncommon and Dusty's mother is fairly reviled so she is not a popular girl but she has a sharp sense of humor (there are some great quotes to be read) and a supportive best friend. As you might expect there is romance with the ordinary boy Eli, complicated by a romantic interest from another boy, pushing us into love triangle or rather rectangle as there's another girl involved too. I found the romance very predictable but it doesn't play too big of a role.
Instead the focus is on the murder and the many mysteries of the magical world around it. Can Dusty trust anyone? I was pretty pleased with myself for calling a couple of plot points as I ordinarily am caught completely off-guard but I still missed out on who the big culprit was, a total surprise!
This is the start to what could be an intriguing series and this first book had a big job to do, laying out the characters and the basics of the fantastical world here. I think it did a good job and I would definitely be willing to return. For the next book, I want Dusty to be in even more danger and I would like more conflict with her parents, the subplot I found most compelling.
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