March 5, 2013

Review: The Nightmare Affair

Hey guys!

I feel so honored to have already read this novel, on shelves today. I loved every page of this book. It was an original mystery that kept me guessing—and my heart pumping—until the final reveal.

In LOVE with this cover
Title: The Nightmare Affair
Author: Mindee Arnett
ISBN: 9780765333339
Pages: 367                          
Available: Available NOW from your bookstore or library
Source: Netgalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

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

My Thoughts:

One word to describe this book: incredible.

I loved the concept, I loved the execution, I loved it.

From the moment I stepped into the novel, I was thrown into a world I know nothing about. As readers we think we do—we’ve read all the legends. But we do not know the entire truth.

You will question all you’ve been taught in various legends and myths when you finish this novel. Okay, that’s not really true, but there were moments where I thought, “Wait a minute. I thought…” You may have the same reaction. Or you may not.

That’s what I loved so much about this novel. Arnett kept me guessing until the very end. Just when I thought I had a hold on the plot and what was unfolding, I was wrong. This is masterful construction. I mean, this novel is if Nancy Drew was a Nightmare and could manipulate dreams to uncover the truth of the crimes she’s solving.

Yep, I just equated a dream about a crime-solving Nightmare to Nancy Drew. Original, right?

Now on to my love for the two main characters: Dusty Everhart and Eli Booker

From the moment Dusty appeared on the page I knew I would love her. She was brave. And limber. And crawling through a boy’s window.

See, love it!

Dusty was a breath of fresh air for me because she was a Nightmare, something I suffer from, and I almost feel as if they are now necessary in my life so creatures like her can survive. That’s all it’s about anyway, surviving. Even if that means a Nightmare crawls through my window, crouches over me, and well, I’ll save that for the book. But I get it now. Thanks Nightmare(s), you’ve simply used me to help you survive. Excellent.

Back to Dusty. This poor girl. I mean, she is one of only a few Nightmares. Her mother gives Joan Crawford a run for her money (in a metaphorical way), and she is a new student who seems to have a hard time fitting in at Arkwell Academy.

Enter Eli Booker. Readers meet him right away. There is no holding back. No mystery. Nope, it is his window Dusty crawls through as the novel opens, and what transpires between them is heart-pumping. In all the right ways. See, he affects Dusty differently than the others she visits.

As a matter of fact, Eli dreams of a murder that turns out not to be a dream. He is Dusty’s other half, at least while sleeping. As a result, he gives up his mundane “human” life to become Dusty’s other half. It’s necessary to catch the killer, and to stop the destruction of the Will.

The Will in the novel reminds me of The Force. Yep, Star Wars style. It is there to keep all magickind honest. To use their powers for the right reasons, not the wrong. But as with any good mystery, someone wants to get his/her hands on it—and not for the right reasons.

I spent the novel figuring out who to trust, who to love, who to suspect. After all, many have quite a bit to gain with having power of the Will. Many.

Mix together two crime-solving-through-their-nightmare teenagers plus an evil so heinous that he/she murders for power, and you get ‘The Nightmare Affair.’

Dusty and Eli had great “on page” chemistry. They were funny. They were at ease. They were themselves more with one another than any other character. They were the dream team. They worked.

Of course, these aren’t the only two staring in the novel, there are plenty of other secondary characters who bring out the best in what makes Duty and Eli great characters. From suspicious teachers to a suspicious handyman, these characters will keep you on your toes and keep your alert levels high.

The killer could be anyone, anywhere, anytime.

A heart-pumping novel that I could not put down. I had to put it down to eat and sleep, but it wasn’t easy. I read this in two sittings and a run on the treadmill. Although, I should really watch the reading while running because it’s starting to make me always question whether or not someone is standing over my shoulder while I read these fantastically creepy novels.

And this one is creepy. But in a gentle way. Not in a, “I’m going to have nightmares for the rest of my life” way. After all, I’ve already told you it has a Nancy Drew feel. Which I loved.

And let me tell you, there is a scene that is a ‘Harry Potter’ combination of two novels. I remember reading it and making the analogy to my husband. I said, “It’s like Sorcerer Stone meets Order of the Phoenix while in the Ministry of Magic…but in a gentler way.” When you read it, you’ll have to let me know if you feel the same.

‘The Nightmare Affair’ needs to be added to your mound of reads. I recommend it for all readers, not just readers of a certain type of book. If I have to “type” it out I will say readers of Duncan, Gaiman, Schwab, Stine. There. I’ve given a reader type, but it’s not needed. This one has a broad appeal.

What’s the best novel you’ve read lately?

Happy Reading!

-          The Hodgenator

1 comment:

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