Sara’s Review of The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
I’d like to offer my thanks to Shane at Itching for Books, Mindee Arnett, and Tor Teens for letting me participate in the tour! For a full list of all the blogs involved, and for a chance to enter the giveaway associated with this event, please visit HERE. =^.^=
This was an enjoyable, if slightly predictable read. As a debut novel, The Nightmare Affair is a fun start to what promises to be a wonderful new series, murr!
The first thing that I instantly liked about this book was how easy it was to love the main character. I loved Dusty’s humor, her mischievous attitude, and though at times she doubts herself, at least as far as her skills in magic are concerned, her determination to try and succeed in all that she does is admirable. I’m looking forward to watching her grow as the series continues. Eli, on the other paw, was hit or miss for me. When he first showed up in the book, I wasn’t entirely sure that I would like him because he struck me as having an attitude and a major chip on his shoulder. Yes, I get that as a result of his connection to Dusty he gets flung into a world he never knew existed, and that such a change can make a person a bit bitter, but it’s not like Dusty could have done anything to prevent it from happening. I really didn’t see the point in him initially blaming her and making her task as a Nightmare/Dream-Seer difficult as a result. However, as the story progressed and more of Eli’s true personality began to show, I found myself liking him more. He actually has a sweet personality and is truly invested in helping solve the mystery behind what is happening at Arkwell. I love it when my initial reaction towards a character proves unwarranted.
There’s also some really wonderful secondary characters in the book. Selene, Dusty’s roommate and best friend, is definitely a favorite of mine and I can’t wait to see more of her in the sequel. I love that she’s a tomboy who believes that she should be liked for who she is and not her beauty (I should note here that she’s a Siren, beautiful, and could easily be part of the popular crowd if she wanted). I also greatly enjoyed Dusty’s mother, Moira…now she’s a fun character! It’s very easy to see where Dusty gets some of her personality from. And even though he’s a serious jerk, I rather liked Lance at times. Mostly I enjoyed the back and forth pranking that went on between him and Dusty. Now I would like to stress that Lance is pretty much a jerk throughout the book, and I generally do not condone teasing/bullying of any kind, but there was something about the relationship between Lance and Dusty that just made me laugh. Call me strange, but I liked it. ~shrugs~
Another thing I loved was the blending of all the mythological creatures in the story. It was fun to read about the characteristics of Nightmares, Sirens, Fairies, Witches, Werewolves, etc and how they all fit into the magical world, both inside Arkwell and out. The blending of them all into this book was refreshing and unique. Plus I loved how Arnett brought the non-magickal world into the story, not just through Eli, but through modern technology as well. I found it rather humorous that mundane items such as computers eventually became affected by magic the longer they are exposed. The scene where Dusty is in the headmaster’s office and the computer is making noises similar to that of the Three Stooges had me giggling the entire time and long after the scene was over. I found myself wanting to be a part of Arnett’s world the longer I kept reading.
As far as the mystery within the plot is concerned, this is sadly where the book lost some of its power over me. Less than halfway through the story I had already figured out a few of big players and had a pretty good idea where the story was heading. True, the book did take a few twists and turns that had me seconding guessing myself at times, but for the most part I had most of story figured out long before I reached the end. Despite this though I still enjoyed reading the book and watching the plot unfold with each chapter. I also loved that the book itself was a fast read. When I first started reading I didn’t want to put it down, and I easily could have read it in one sitting, but chose not too simply because even this feline needs to sleep at times (and despite what most people think, we cats don’t spend most of our day sleeping).
Overall, I have to give serious purrs to Arnett for a job well done. If you are a fan of Paranormal YA, this book is worth a read through. =^.^=
About the Author:
Mindee Arnett lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares.
*Review copy provided by NetGalley