ARC Review: The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy, #1) by Mindee Arnett

12411635Book Synopsis:

Pages 367 | Expected Publication March 5th 2013 by 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.

Book Review: 3.5 stars

~ I am delighted to have be given the opportunity to read this book – thank you Mindee Arenett and Tor Teen ~

So we’ve had characters who are werewolves, vampires, fairies and mermaids for decades now…but not nightmares. I think it may be my obsession with Inception and always having to write down my weird dreams that has got me hooked on the unconscious mind. Either way, The Nightmare Affair is a great fantasy based mystery with of course a hint of romance.

Mindee Arnett built Dusty’s world rather fantastically. The reader had no trouble immersing themselves into a world overrun by The Will and all sorts of mystical creatures. I absolutely adored the lore and without giving away too much, the concept of a certain something being hidden within a dream. Just awesome. Arthur is sort of my kryptonite. And lets not forget to mention the concept of a dream-seer, thats pretty cool.

Although I adored the plot immensly I did have a few issues. Certain events just happened too easily so that the storyline could progress. Also I found that there was a lot of repetition in hearing about Dusty’s mother being rather flakey and Dusty’s own smartassiness. I am a firm believer in show rather than tell, so it sort of annoyed me when Dusty described herself as being a smartass but then the humour was lacking when she spoke.

“Smartassitis might not be a clinically defined disease, but it should be”
The Nightmare Affair | Mindee Arnett

The development of the relationship between Dusty and Eli felt rushed. One moment he hated her because she had made him question reality, and the next he was secretly pining for her. Despite this I found Selene to be a great addition, and an awesome Siren. The contrast between Selene and Katarina was interesting to read.

I did notice some similarities between The Nightmare Affair and the famous Harry Potter series. But then again isn’t any novel based around a mystical school going to be compared? <*Spoiler*> It was the ending however with everybody applauding Dusty that sort of made me raise an eyebrow at its similarities to HP. Although this could be because I never truly understood why Dusty and Eli thought it was their job to find the killer, and that others in the school didn’t seem as freaked by the murders – except maybe the teachers.

Arnett did a wonderful job in setting up what I’m sure will be a great series. She has some great characters who have lots of room to grow, and relationships that will hopefully develop. It is a refreshing new read, with a brilliant new concept. And although its execution in my mind could have been better, I still enjoyed it. I can’t wait to read the next one.



5 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy, #1) by Mindee Arnett

  1. I had the same problem about the similarities between this and Harry Potter. It was way too much like Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for me to just let it slip by. It definitely was a fun read, but that’s all it was unfortunately. Great review!

      • As I was reading it I was thinking “wait…this story sounds familiar and OMG Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” I don’t want to say the book is a rip off because it isn’t- not with the nightmare concept which is really awesome, but the second half of the book is eerily similar to HP. I hope the sequel will be better.

        Did you think the love triangle was unnecessary/obvious?

  2. I agree, the book isn’t a rip off in terms of overall plot. But I do think that some scenes were definitely eerily similar – this didn’t take away my enjoyment at all though…it was just something I noticed.

    To be honest I don’t think there really was a love triangle. It felt like Dusty was being used by Paul (which she sort of was) & that Dusty was using Paul to suppress whatever feelings she had for Eli. I enjoyed the book because of the plot more than the romance, because I didn’t think the romance was particularly romantic…hopefully this will change in the next book.

  3. Pingback: Top 5 Must-Read New Releases of March 2013 | MegaMad 4 books

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