This got pitched as Harry Potter meets Veronica Mars and though I don’t know about how it compares to the latter, it reminds me in the former in a lot of small, sweet ways. The Latin spells, the main character made infamous for something she can’t control, the bully wizard who reminds me a lot of Draco Malfoy,… There are still plenty of differences between the two, but that flavoring spiced up a book that’s good enough on its own.
The characters make the book with their humor and fire, and Dusty never makes you wish you could get out of her head. There are a few who deserve a little more dimension, like the insecure mean girl siren Katarina, but there aren’t any characters who are the bad kind of noteworthy because they’re offensive. Lance is a character I’d like to see more of purely for crackshipping purposes (he and Dusty reminds me of Dramione in way too many Harry Potter fics SHUT UP SHUT UP). Still, my favorite character has got to be Moira. It was difficult to figure out if she was the Big Bad, a Professor Snape character, or just a really bad mom.
I may have been having too much fun to pay attention to the mystery because for the most part, its resolution caught me by surprise. Suspicions about one character loomed because… Well, explaining why gives it away, so I’ll have to be quiet there. The most I can say is that YA trends taught me better. Why did he have to go evil? He’s so sweet! Not that he doesn’t have a good reason for it. The antagonists actually make a great point about how the current system treats one group of magickind, but like all villains, they’re mostly in the wrong and are going about it the wrong way
Some of its internal logic is a little lacking, though. Moira makes a good point when she asks Dusty what the governing body of their society is doing to protect her. Dusty’s a valuable dream-seer whose kind is rarely found, after all! People fear her and the killer might want her dead to keep her from dream-seeing his identity, but little to nothing is done to keep her safe. Then again, no one tries to attack her seriously. The villain probably didn’t read the Evil Overlord List.
Admittedly, I was only mildly interested in reading The Nightmare Affair when I first got it, and I see more disappoints from the books I barely want to read than books I really want to read. This is one of the rare books that bucks that trend to become a pleasant surprise and give me hope my book senses aren’t going bad after all. It’s going to be a long wait for the next two books in the series! Maybe there will be a little redemption for the character I like? *wink wink*
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mindee Arnett lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares.
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