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WesternSFA
The Nightmare Affair
by Mindee Arnett
Tor Teen Book/Tom Doherty, $9.99, 367pp
Publication Date: February 18, 2014
I was immediately mesmerized by this well-written mystery story and held prisoner till the end. 

The students at Arkwell Academy are gifted with all sorts of magical powers. There are fairies, sirens, demons, wizards, witches.  The only type who are not there are “ordinaries” (non-magical); but that’s about to change.  Add new student: Dusty Everhart.  She breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal.  No, she’s a Nightmare - literally.  She needs to feed on people’s dreams in order to live and, as she soon finds out, only one of three known nightmares left in the world.  (You’ll need to read the story to find out how the dream-feeding process works!)  Dusty feeds on an “ordinary” (Eli) and discovers that his dream was not simply a dream; it was a prediction! When the dream comes true, Eli suddenly finds himself as the first ordinary to be enrolled at Arkwell.  Dusty and Eli are forced to become a reluctant team to try to figure out who is behind murders at Arkwell Academy and what the murderer is after. 

There’s a lot of teen angst, some sideline teen romance, and a nicely-developed side plot about Dusty rebelling against her mom (with a lesson to be learned.)  Although the story winds up rather abruptly and the ending is a bit predictable but there are very some intriguing twists along the way.  

This is an interesting read – in a Nancy Drew meets Harry Potter way – and I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series. ~~ Marie Davis

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