Title: The Nightmare Affair
Author: Mindee Arnett
Published: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
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.
I really enjoyed this book. Dusty (Destiny) is a nightmare, a magickind who feeds off of dreams. There’s a lot of different takes on magical/mythical creatures in this story, and we as readers are exposed to a few of them. The world is incredibly written and more importantly it makes sense. The imposition of the Will, which keeps magickind from harming each other and the Ordinary people, and the different social structure within the magic world itself. It does take place in a boarding school, so I can see where some people make the allusion to Harry Potter, but frankly the two aren’t all that similar.
I really like the characters in this story. They’ve got great voices, and while the romance is a bit run of the mill and predictable it’s natural and unforced. There’s not really a love triangle, just a bit of jealousy and things get resolved rather quickly toward the end of the book. There are a couple things that I disliked, the first being the pacing. I wanted more of the world building, more characters interacting. I liked that a couple characters weren’t who they seemed to be. On the other hand, and this brings me to my second dislike, is the fact that the bait-and-switch and major plot twist was kind of predictable. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book, but I had a strong feeling that certain characters were not as they seemed.