The Nightmare Affair
Author: Mindee Arnett
Release: March 5th 2013
Genre: Supernatural, Mystery, Urban Fantasy, YA
#1 in the Arkwell Academy trilogy
Sequels: The Nightmare Dilemma (#2), The Nightmare Charade (#3)
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.
Surprisingly fun, if I do say so myself. Kind of reminded me a bit of Hex Hall, but it didn't quite reach that kind of magnificence, because yes, Hex Hall does indeed hold a very soft spot in my heart if you can believe it. In a similar manner, this book is more carefree and light than others, as well as also appropriate for a younger audience. Personally, I was really in the mood for something just like this, so it was exactly the right read for me at exactly the right time.
First off, the main character is witty and funny, relatable and cutesy, not too spaced out or "special" or anything, but enough so that you can definitely see that this is going to be one of those do or die novels, where the heroine, and only the heroine, is going to be the one saving the day at the end. I mean, of course she had help, but ultimately, it was her neat little trick that did the villain in, which — nothing wrong with that. But keep in mind that we do have special snowflake syndrome at work here, with "Dusty" (God, I hate that name) being one of three super rare "magickinds" and all that jazz, you know the drill. Blah blah blah. She didn't let it get to her head or anything though, which was hugely appreciated, and in turn, I didn't even mind.
The sidekicks were also pleasant and enjoyable enough, while also quite predictable and well known in terms of how their personalities are and how they're going to develop, yiddi yiddi yadda.
Generally, that's also true for the plot, actually. I predicted the villain about halfway through, because it was just too obviously foreshadowed, but honestly, it was alright this way. There was still at least one surprise that you don't see coming, so there's that. I'm satisfied with the plot, because it was exciting enough to keep me reading and that's really all I needed at the moment.
To conclude, that's really a good way to summarize what I felt about the novel. I'm satisfied, I enjoyed and liked it and I can definitely recommend it. However, if you haven't read Hex Hall first, you might wanna try that one first, 'cause it is, in the end, a notch above this one. Still, give The Nightmare Affair a try as well after you're done with that one.