Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Nightmare Dilemma by Mindee Arnett

Series: Arkwell Academy (bk. 2)

Genera(s): Paranormal Romance

Subjects: supernatural, boarding schools, dreams, humor, magic, magical creatures, mystery, mythology, nightmares, sirens

Setting: Somewhere in Ohio (Chickery) at Arkwell Academy

POV/Tense: 1st person, past tense: Dusty

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 380 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Macmillan: Tor

Summary/ product description: “The second in a thrilling new fantastical mystery series

Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn’t make her life even remotely easy. When one of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school’s jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime, Dusty’s as shocked as everybody else. Lance needs Dusty to prove his innocence by finding the real attacker, but that’s easier asked than done. Eli’s dreams are no help, more nightmares than prophecies.

To make matters worse, Dusty’s ex-boyfriend has just been acquitted of conspiracy and is now back at school, reminding Dusty of why she fell for him in the first place. The Magi Senate needs Dusty to get close to him, to discover his real motives. But this order infuriates Eli, who has started his own campaign for Dusty’s heart.

As Dusty takes on both cases, she begins to suspect they’re connected to something bigger. And there’s something very wrong with Eli’s dreams, signs that point to a darker plot than they could have ever imagined.”

My Review:  As far as sequel go, The Nightmare Dilemma was pretty good. Not as good as the first book, but good enough. I love the narration and the humor. Dusty is a great main character. She’s funny and always saying smart-remarks to people.

This series is riddled with clich├ęs of other YA PNR books about boarding schools. But the humor and twists in the story make it more unique. It’s not a vampire boarding school, it’s more like Hogwartz for all paranormal being. You have the nature-kind: fairies, mermaid, and dryads. Dark-kinds: demon, hags and sirens. Witch-kinds: wizards, witches and psychics. Dusty is a half-kind. Half nightmare (which is a dark-kind). She can go into people dreams. Her and Eli together can see the future in dreams.

Dusty and her friends make a great team. They actually call themselves the Dream Team when they investigate stuff. Eli is very attractive and seems like a great guy. He and Dusty are not really romatically involved, but the dream-seeing thing forces intimacy. Selene is a good friend. She and Dusty act like sisters. They are roomates and it reminds me a lot of the House of Night series with Zoey and Stevie Rae. And Selene is a siren, and she can fly.

The plot was not as interesting as the first book. There wasn’t some huge mystery, but I never expected who specifically was behind the attacks. It wasn’t just one person. The Nightmare Dilemma is still worth reading. This series is worth reading if you like House of Night, Vampire Academy, Harry Potter, Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep, Winterhaven trilogy by Kristie Cook, Legacies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edgehill or any other paranormal boarding schools. There’re new characters to love and a lot of magic!

Cover Art Review: The vector art on the cove is cute and fun. It fits the story.

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