Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: The Nightmare Affair

The Nightmare Affair
The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To begin with, a lot of elements in this book reminded me of Harry Potter. But a lot of factors in this book had a whole new potential of a world on it's own. I will admit that I loved the concept: a school for fantasy creatures and magickind, all hidden within the world of or "Ordinaries". I like these types of stories because there is potential for so much to happen and so many books to be written within this one world alone.

I liked the characters and the conflicts between characters. Dusty is fun and sarcastic, Selene is down-to-earth and an awesome best friend; Eli gets to be the typical good guy friend and potential love interest (on that note, I kind of like that our romance took a slight back seat in this book since Dusty's emotions were all over the place anyway). The story had great potential.

And this is where we end our awesome-ness-es. The word "potential" went through my head multiple times while reading this book. I like where the world creation is going, I like where the character creations were going, and I like the idea and the mystery basis of the story. But somehow, a lot of things fell short, for one, the writing and progression of the story itself.

Dusty had a very documentary-like, monotonous tone for her narrative voice. She did a LOT of telling. It's not that I didn't enjoy the things she was narrating, because the ideas were there and I liked them. But the entire time I was reading this story, I felt extremely detached... like Dusty was reading someone else's quickly written first person account of the events going on. It felt choppy.

Next, the characters had potential, but in a way, they felt kind of underdeveloped. I had this nagging feeling that there was something missing from each of these characters... like maybe the heart that should have been there. Not that the characters didn't have hearts, but that the creation behind the characters seemed a little bland. On paper they sound excellent; as story characters, they seem flat.

The murder mystery was predictable as well. It didn't take me long to pinpoint who the mysterious "F" was, and to hand-pick the villains from the rest. A lot of the surprise twists were a given.

So this is my take-away for The Nightmare Affair. It was an excellent book on many levels, but it had potential to be even better and yet kept falling short. Potential is the word of the day here. Nonetheless, I AM looking forward to the next book based on the ideas, the characters and the possible potential of this world's direction.

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