Review: The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on February 27, 2013 | 0 Comments

Review: The Nightmare Affair by Mindee ArnettThe Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
Series: The Arkwell Academy #1
Published by Tor Teen (3.5.2013)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eBook, 367 pages
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

4 Stars

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

I had been seeing some meh reviews for this one, so I was a bit leery going in. But I was surprised by how much enjoyed it! The concept is so unique, and while the whole school murder mystery isn’t all that original, the world was. And there was humor! I giggled plenty of times at Dusty’s sarcasm. I do love a book that can make me laugh. The story had a strong start with Dusty’s break-in, and I was hooked from the first chapter!

Destiny – or Dusty for short – is a breed of paranormal called a Nightmare. How awesome is that?! She sneaks into people’s dreams and feeds of their dream energy, or fictus. Suhweeeeet. Dusty is a rebel at heart: She hates following rules, and her brain-to-mouth filter is broken. Naturally, I loved her! She was snarky and spunky, and was easy for me to relate to. She was kind of looked down on because she was a Nightmare and half ordinary (human), especially so because her mother was an infamous Nightmare who liked to break rules and cause trouble. So in a way, she was an outsider. I can definitely relate to that. And did I mention her best friend was a Siren who didn’t want to use her beauty to get her way? Selene was a fabulous BFF!

There was a bit of a love triangle in this book, but for once it wasn’t one that bothered me. The romance took a backseat due to the murder mystery going on. But I do have to say that I’m Team Eli all the way. I loved him! He was a bit of a buttface in the beginning, but he was still awesome. And it was obvious that he had a thing for Dusty.
I didn’t like Paul. At all. I didn’t like or trust him from the beginning, so what little romance there was between he and Dusty failed to impress me. He was one of those too-perfect-to-be-true guys. And you know me, I like a bit of conflict when it comes to romance. Hence why I liked Eli and his banter with Dusty.

The concept was brilliant! There are 3 magickinds: darkkind (demons, weres, Nightmares), witchkind (wizards, witches, psychics), and naturekind (fairies, dryads, mermaids). Their powers were derived from different sources depending on their kind. Then there were the halfkinds, who were either part ordinary or a mix of two different magickind. I just think it was amazing! And like nothing I’ve ever read before. I also found the Will – what prevents magickinds from hurting each other – fascinating. The originality of the supernatural world earned major brownie points with me.
Also, I feel the need to mention the animated objects. Due to being around magic, some inanimate objects became animate. It was great! The computers talked back and the chairs demanded that you sit in them.

I loved the mystery aspect, too! I’ll admit that it was rather predictable – I had figured out who was behind the killings shortly after halfway through the book. I was slightly off about one small thing, but still, I don’t usually figure out mysteries. So, sadly I was deprived of the shock that I should have felt, but it didn’t really dampen my enjoyment of getting to the conclusion.

I think this was a fantastic start to a series, and a book that fans of Hex Hall can get into. I’m definitely looking forward to the next one!

Smartassitis may not be a clinically defined disease, but it should be.


Overall Assessment

Plot: 4/5
Writing style: 4.5/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
World-building: 4/5
Pace: 5/5
Cover: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5

Jessi (Geo)

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