The Nightmare Charade by Mindee Arnett
Series: The Arkwell Academy #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Tor Teen (8.4.2014)
Hardcover, 384 pages
Source: From Publisher
The final installment in a thrilling fantastical mystery series.
Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare. Literally. Dusty is a magical being who feeds on human dreams.
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, not to mention the crazy events of the past year. Dusty may have saved the day, but there are many days left in the year, and with an old foe back to seek revenge, she'll need all her strength to defeat him and save her friends.
Mindee Arnett thrills again in this stunning final installment in the Arkwell Academy series.
What a satisfying end to an adorable series! It’s been a long time since I read the second book, but I was thrilled to jump back into this magical world. I absolutely LOVE the magic in this book!
It seemed like Dusty and Eli’s relationship was always difficult. If it wasn’t one thing getting in between them, it was another. I loved that they still stayed strong despite it all, though! They didn’t give up on each other. View Spoiler »I was glad to see them finally get to be together. « Hide Spoiler
I adore the mystery aspect of this entire series. There’s always a mystery to be solved! I did figure out some of it before it happened, but it still took me a while. There were a few things that managed to catch me by surprise (I love that!).
The only complaint I have is that I wasn’t as emotionally invested as I’d hoped to be. There was a MAJOR thing that happened toward the end that probably should have upset me, but it didn’t. View Spoiler »Honestly, I think the only reason I felt nothing because I didn’t believe it for a minute. I knew Eli wasn’t going to die. « Hide Spoiler
If you haven’t read any of the Arkwell Academy books yet, I definitely recommend picking up these cute and magical books!
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5
The Arkwell Academy Trilogy
Overall series rating:
I had no idea that the first kiss would be the last.
The last free one that was, the only one Eli and I didn’t have to steal or keep hidden like some terrible secret.
No, I had no idea what was coming as I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and reapplied my cherry lip gloss for the fourth time.
“You know, Dusty,” Selene said from outside the door where she was hanging posters on the wall of our new dorm room, two floors up from our old one. “Despite what the packaging might claim, I don’t think it’s actually possible to increase the size of your lips by putting on layers.”
Suppressing a nervous laugh, I turned and stepped out into the living room portion of the suite. We were juniors this year, and that meant a larger dorm, complete with a private bathroom. Selene and I had plans to burn our old shower shoes in a celebratory ritual this weekend.
I fixed her with the most serious stare I could manage. “Are you sure? This is magic lip gloss, you know.”
Selene snorted. “I don’t believe you.” She held out her hand, and I set the lipstick canister on her palm. She turned it over in her fingers, and then raised it to eye level to read the label.
“This is in French.”
“That’s because I bought it in Paris.” The memory brought a fleeting grin to my face. Despite the emotional challenges I’d faced during my summer vacation spent touring Europe—being cut off from my friends; stuck with only my mother for company; and most especially, going weeks on end without a single word from the literal boy of my dreams, Eli Booker—the physical experience had been fun. The lip balm was an impromptu purchase at a little shop called the Incantorium Emporium. It was the kind of place that only served magickind. Probably a good thing, given its location inside a secret alcove in the Paris catacombs. Nothing said magical and charming like a bunch of skeletons.
“So I gathered,” Selene said with a hint of envy in her voice. Her summer hadn’t been quite as exotic, although I would’ve traded places with her in a hot second. She’d spent the last eleven weeks hanging out with her boyfriend—late-night strolls by the lake, trips to the movies, not to mention hours of kissing, or so I guessed. Even if Selene were the kind of girl to make out and tell, she wouldn’t have chosen me as her confidant. Partially because I wasn’t thrilled about her reconciliation with my sometimes tormenter and regular jackass Lance Rathbone, but mostly because she knew all too well how little kissing I’d been doing lately.
A situation that was about to change.
A flock of butterflies took flight inside my stomach. I fought to keep the tremor out of my voice, my words coming rapidly. “Yeah, the shop owner told me it has an amore charm on it. At least, that’s what I thought he said. His accent was pretty thick, and I don’t think he liked me at all. He was a Mors demon and you know how they feel about Nightmares. I mean, then again, pretty much everybody hates Night—”
“Dusty.” Selene grabbed my shoulders and gave me a shake. “You’re babbling.”
I gulped, trying to settle the butterflies, but they only increased their frenzy, becoming hummingbirds instead, wings on turbo speed. “Sorry. I can’t help it. I’m nervous.”
Selene smiled. The gesture was so radiant it made my head spin, and for a second the hummingbirds froze, stunned by an unexpected onslaught of bliss. That was the trouble with having a siren for a best friend—random moments of dazedness. Not that it was her fault. She couldn’t help being beautiful and mesmerizing. No more than I could help the way my eyes glow in the dark, an aspect of my Nightmare heritage. At the moment, however, I had a feeling Selene wasn’t aware of just how much more dazzling she was being than normal. I suspected it might have something to do with Lance.
“You’ve no reason to be nervous,” Selene said, her smile easing enough to make the radiance tolerable. “You look beautiful.”
I shook my head and stepped back. “It’s not that. It’s…” I broke off, searching for the right words. Looks weren’t the problem. I didn’t feel beautiful, exactly, but I knew I was looking nice, slightly above my average state. My makeup was even and natural, and I’d managed to convince my frizzy red hair to lie flat for once with some help from Magick Madam’s Hair Pomade, another purchase from the Incantorium Emporium. Outfit wise, I’d opted for a pair of low-rise designer jeans and a pale pink knit top, the kind that hangs loose around the shoulders, that my mom bought me from a boutique in Italy.
No, looks weren’t the problem.
About the author
YA Author of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, a contemporary fantasy coming March 5, 2013 from Tor Teen (Macmillan) and AVALON, a YA sci-fi thriller coming Winter 2014 from Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins). Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. Addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space.
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