Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

The protagonist of The Nightmare Affair is literally a nightmare. Dusty sneaks into bedrooms at night and straddles the occupants in order to feed off their dreams. It's all business as usual until she is assigned to feed off of Eli, the hottest boy from her old high school. Eli is dreaming of a crime scene, complete with a dead girl missing a hand. Then, a girl is found: dead, missing a hand, just like the dream.

Eli and Dusty together are dream prophets, an extremely rare phenomena. It's so rare that ordinary Eli is transferred to Arkwell Academy, along with all the fairies, sirens, and wizards. Dusty spends her nights straddling Eli, but not in the fun way. They have to keep dream walking in order to find out who the murderer is. Adding further complication, Dusty suspects that the murderer may be her own mother, the Nightmare who abandoned her as a child, who is also notorious for her multiple crimes while at Arkwell.

The Nightmare Affair drew me in with the plot description. I love boarding school stories, and this sounds almost like Harry Potter, with all the magical kids. Unfortunately, it doesn't reach the phenomenal heights of Harry Potter. It was still a good read, and the mystery was compelling. I really liked Dusty, although she could be exasperating. I liked her for being feisty and stubborn, but she pushed the limits. Poor Eli would try to get along with her and she would run away from him or go out of her way to be offended by his innocent gestures. I would have liked to see a few chapters narrated by Eli. It could have been interesting to get his perspective on Arkwell and the dream walking. Overall, a fun, quick, and painless read.

I received my copy of The Nightmare Affair from Edelweiss, courtesy of Tor Teen. It's available now for purchase.

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