The Nightmare Affair by Mindee ArnettThe Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

The Nightmare Affair

byMindee Arnett

Hardcover | March 5, 2013

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The Nightmare Affair is the first in a gripping new urban fantasy trilogy by Mindee Arnett.
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.

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 and the macabre. Her short stories have appeared in various magazines. Arnett has a Master of Arts in English literature with an emphasis in Creative...
Title:The Nightmare AffairFormat:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 8.47 × 5.92 × 1.35 inPublished:March 5, 2013Publisher:Tom Doherty AssociatesLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0765333333

ISBN - 13:9780765333339


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from Giselle at Book Nerd Canada This was a pretty great read! I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed it because I haven't heard much about it. I remember being drawn to the cover because I liked it so much. I had no idea it was going to be a paranormal mystery set in a boarding school. Knowing my love for boarding school reads, I think I would have read this sooner. Sad that I had the e-ARC and only read it just now. So glad I bought a finished copy because I enjoyed it immensely. Dusty is one hilariously witty main character. Of course she's the stereo-typical redhead with the fiery passion and wit to match, but she's obviously imperfect. Especially when she deals with her bully. I felt sorry for Katarina, even if she bullied Dusty. Because Dusty would bully her right back and I think fighting fire with fire is a no-no. But other than there was so much more to her and her story. A big chunk of Dusty's thoughts are centered around Eli and I didn't mind it one bit. There was true dislike at first. I love that it started off like that. Romances always work best when they're enemies first. Selene is a great best friend as well. I love that there were all sorts of paranormal creatures all under one school. Nightmares, hell hounds, fairies, witches and werewolves. I found the Dream-seer part to be a bit intimate. It made me laugh whenever Dusty had to crawl on top. Talk about awkward! The first scene just cemented in my love for the characters. Not only are the characters great, but there's also a fast moving plot with definite hints through out the book. Great pacing and overall it's a great book to read as a stand-a-lone. No cliffhangers here waiting for the next one!
Date published: 2016-09-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Review from Aphonic Sarah This amazing cover popped out at me. Amazing purple with black silhouettes, and I had to have it. ( Once again, the cover grabbed me in. ) and when it came, I curled in bed, and got ready to dive right in! This book was very slow in the beginning, which bothered me greatly. It didn't grab me in a way other books have this year, and I almost considered not finishing the book. ( That has not happened in a long time. ) BUT I told myself that things could build up, and get better further in and I was right. By the end of the book, I was happy with what I had read. Dusty (Destiney) Everhart is a young Nightmare who attends a school for Magickind - boarding school Arkwell Academy. A nightmare is the being that gives you nightmares. In order to keep her magic going, she needs to feed from a person while they dream, taking in the fictus that comes from their dreams, and in return causing them to have nightmares. One night, She breaks into a house to feed, and comes across one of the most popular guys from her old school - Eli Booker. Things go wrong that night, and she sees something in his dreams that causes her life to be flipped upside down. Eli, a completely non-magic using boy, starts going to her school, and now because of what she saw, she is trying to help solve a mystery around a murder that took place on school property. Not to mention the relationship she has with her mother as well, who starts teaching at her school. When the adventure took off in this book, it took off. I wouldn't put it in my top 10 books for 2014, but as I said earlier I really ended up enjoying it. I will be doing a read/review on the second book, The Nightmare Dilemma. I also want to check out another series from Mindee Arnett by the name of Avalon. It sounds pretty interesting - I only hope it grabs onto me and holds my attention quicker than this one did.
Date published: 2016-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review From Nazish Reads I read and reviewed this book on my book blog on February 23. (eARC from Netgalley and for blog tour) Gore: No Magic: Yes Romance: Yes Action: Some Pacing: 4 stars Plot: 4 stars Cover: 5 stars Sixteen year old Dusty (Destiny) Everhart is literally a nightmare, as in species. She breaks into houses late at night because nightmares feed on people's dreams, that's how they get more powerful and live, it's basically like food even though they still eat regular food, it's called dream feeding. Dusty soon learns that there's more to it, especially for her. Dusty is the only Nightmare at the boarding school, Arkwell Academy, which is for magickind. People are afraid of her and make fun of her because of her infamous mother and because she's a half breed (her dad is non-magical). Her mom causes trouble and used to do it a lot when she was in high school, Dusty doesn't want to be compared to her because of her bad reputation, but unfortunately for her, many people assume that kids are like their parents instead of even giving the son/daughter a chance to be the person he/she wants to be. Before I say anything about the inside of this book, I'm going to talk a little bit about the outsides, the cover. When I first saw it months ago, I immediately loved it. It's simple yet looks good and different from other YA novels. It looks similar to the cover of Unspoken. It doesn't look dull with very few colours used, in fact it cause the opposite effect, that it looks so good. I can't wait to buy a print copy when it's released and put in on my bookshelf. One word that came to mind even before I started reading this book, a few months ago when I first heard of this book, read the synopsis, and saw the cover was, unique. And yes, it is unique. I've never heard of a supernatural being called a nightmare. I enjoyed learning about them. At first I didn't understand why they are called nightmares because all they did was eat dreams, but later on we learn about their history and their name makes sense. I also enjoyed learning about the many different supernatural beings in Arkwell Academy, some are the usual: werewolves, faeries, wizards, etc, but there are some things different about them, for ex: wizards don't have good hand-eye coordination. The other species aren't seen in many books, like sirens. And then there are the species that are different and never heard of, like different types of demons. It was interesting seeing these creatures as the supporting characters and different than what we're used to from other books. I like this better than the too common 'girl falls in love with a dangerous supernatural creature' thing that has been going on in way too many books these days. Why can't both the guy and the girl be a different supernatural creature? Or the boy be human and the girl who is the narrater be a supernatural creature? You don't see many of those these days. The second one is part of what's going on in this book. I don't know if anyone else said this on their review, the boarding school thing kind of reminds me of Harry Potter: they go to a boarding school where there are no ordinary people, there is a mystery object in TNA as well (like the philosopher's stone from the first HP book), they're both half-breeds, etc. I think I just realized this stuff only two days ago. I like Dusty, she's stubborn, she's not stupid, and she's funny too. Although I wish that she was a little rebellious like her mom is, it would have been more fun, I usually love the crazy characters. Even though she's always getting bullied and is hard for her to make many friends at the school because of who and what she is, she still deals with it pretty well. She has very loyal friends, who support her for her whenever anyone's bullying her, they are so awesome. Although, some of the things she did really annoyed me, but then I thought, "some teenagers do actually behave like that and it's not that bad or annoying, so it's actually fine". Dusty and Eli's relationship was a bit odd for a while, I couldn't understand what was going on with him. In the beginning of course Dusty and him hate each other, but that didn't mean that he had to bully Dusty as well. But later on he stops being part of the bullying and actually wants to know if she's ok, I guess she finally grew on him. I like that their relationship wasn't the main focus of the story like in many other YA paranormal novels, it was basically a side story. ... Overall, this book was fun to read. The Nightmare Affair is fun, entertaining, has some funny moments and funny dialogue (see some of the quotes I posted above), and unique. Plus, I love the cover. My full review was over the maximum character limit, so I had to cut some of it... again. To read the full review: Read more reviews on my blog:
Date published: 2013-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very fun read:) 4/5 Stars **** Dusty Everhart is a sixteen-year-old Nightmare, an actual Nightmare, who feeds off people’s dreams. That’s why she’s breaking into Eli Booker’s house in the middle of the night. But Eli’s dreaming of the murder of a person who Dusty knows from her school, Arkwell Academy, a school for Magickind. Now Dusty’s stuck linking to Eli’s dreams to try to find clues for the killer’s next target. Overall, I really enjoyed this read. I absolutely loved that Dusty is a Nightmare since it’s one type of paranormal creature that doesn’t seem to get a lot of focus in books. And she’s a character that felt very real to me. She wasn’t perfect or popular but she wasn’t a doormat either. She had awkward and clumsy moments but they weren’t overdone. Plus she was funny and easily likeable and reading about the relationships she had with other characters was really enjoyable. Her roommate Selene, a Siren protesting the sexualization of Sirens by dressing in a Tomboy fashion was awesome and I really hope the next book has a lot more of her story. Dusty’s mom Moira, also a Nightmare and one known for getting around The Will, which is the “top powers that be” who make sure all magickind follow the laws, and she makes Dusty’s life miserable just by her reputation. Eli, I wanted to dislike him at first but I definitely felt for him, being uprooted from his life and having his dreams invaded because that would definitely be difficult for anyone to deal with. He was kind of a jerk but I could understand why. He grew on me a lot more as he softened toward Dusty and became more involved with the mystery solving. There is a love triangle with the third side being this boy named Paul who works in the library. I really enjoyed the universe the book was set in, with The Will controlling all magickind and all magickind being sorted into three categories: Naturekind, Witchkind, Darkkind and the reason why Dusty’s mom is able to get around the laws of The Will. It felt like the author put a lot of thought into creating the world. I do wish there was more imagery in the book, as it was difficult at time to get a clear picture of the places and I was able to predict a fair bit of the ending, though I am the type of reader who actively tries to seek out clues for plot twists so it’s definitely more than possible people will be surprised. Overall, it’s a book I can recommend and I will be looking forward to the next book. *I was provided a copy of this book by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Date published: 2013-03-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Has a Harry Potter vibe with a sassy heroine I can honestly say, without a doubt, that I’ve never read a book about a Nightmare. Which is what initially drew me to The Nightmare Affair. When you read as many books as I do, anything that immediately jumps out as new and unique, is guaranteed to find itself on my to read list. The Nightmare Affiar takes us into the life of one particular, adolescent Nightmare – Dusty. I loved Dusty’s voice. She was sassy and independent and always said what she was thinking. I like that she never compromised herself or who she was, even if that occasionally got her into trouble. It’s easy to get attached to a character like this. There’s nothing I find more boring that a perfect character, who’s gorgeous and instantly knows how to use all her special powers. I know if I found out I was magical, I would be a lot more like Dusty. Just trying to figure stuff out as I go. Other than Dusty I was immediately pulled into The Nightmare Affair, because it has a distinct Harry Potter feel to it. It’s in a magical boarding school, people keep dying of mysterious and magical circumstances and Dusty and her two friends start breaking all of the school’s rules to try and get to the bottom of everything. It has the same vibe as Harry Potter but it also puts a unique enough spin on it so that you don’t just feel like you’re reading the same story. It’s that nice mix of the familiar and the strange. However, the unique start to The Nightmare Affair quickly turned into a really predictable plot. I saw most of the big twists coming from a mile away. This isn’t completely a negative as it also means the story is easy to follow and not at all convoluted. Recently I feel like I’ve picked up far too many books that have WAY too much going on. The Nightmare Affair’s plot is plain and simple. You can pick it up and read it for exactly what it is and sometimes it’s nice not to worry about so many extra subplots and deeper meanings. I think I came to The Nightmare Affair at the right time. I needed something simple and the predictability worked in its favour. My one major criticism of this novel is that I thought “The Will” was a little too convenient. Basically it’s this thing that keeps you from using magic to harm others (How does it know? How does this work with crimes of passion or times when the intention wasn’t there but you could still hurt someone?). It also dictates when you use certain bits of magic. Like Eli, Dusty’s dream partner, is forced to fall asleep at a certain time so that she can feed on his dreams. But there’s no real explanation of how it works. “Will workers” are briefly mentioned but what exactly to they do? Are they like the Fates, sitting around a cauldron watching potential magic spells fly by? I want to know more!! I just think such a major piece of the plot deserves to be more fleshed out. Recommendation: The Nightmare Affair is a lot of fun and it’s quite light. If you’ve recently read a really heavy or emotional book this might be a good follow up to ease you out of the book hang over. I’m intrigued about where the series will go next and will definitely be picking up book two when it comes out. This and other reviews at More Than Just Magic (
Date published: 2013-03-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Could have been so much more than it was I wanted this book to be so much more than it was. Every aspect in The Nightmare Affair seemed to be lacking the juice and spunk it needed to be something spectacular. The world building was non-existent and contrived, the characters were thrown at you with little to no back-story, and I turned the last page feeling pretty...hollow. There were many frames put up in this book, but there was no solid foundation, or walls, to support the ideas. Dusty Everhart is a nightmare, she survives by feeding off of the "fictus" (substance) in people's dreams. When I first read the synopsis, I thought "WHOA, that is so freaking cool, and original!". Inside, I began to brew up feelings of mystery and magic and a whole other slew of things I didn't get ONE ounce of, once I actually started reading. Dusty was your typical, hormone-enraged, slightly awkward in her own skin, teenaged girl. Take away the fact that she goes to a school for "magickind," and you're left with a premise that has infested almost every single fantasy/paranormal YA fiction novel about a teenager with magical powers. I was SO prepared for something different with The Nightmare Affair, and I believe that it fully intended to offer that to me, but unfortunately, it fell short, in so many ways. The characters in this are, for the most part, gifted with all sorts of magical powers. There are fairies, sirens, demons, wizards..the works. That fact alone left me a bit overwhelmed-there were just TOO many types of characters trying to exist at one time. It felt like the author was trying to throw as many in as possible, which caused character development to suffer as a result. While each character's ability definitely warranted awe, it all seemed a bit over exaggerated in the end. I also thought it was a little strange that every character, no matter their kind, attended classes to learn how to do the exact same magic. This is me nit-picking, I know, but combined, all of the little discrepancies added up to a huge snag in my mind. Dusty's character was a mile away from me, and while I enjoyed the entertainment aspect that she and Eli provided as they worked to solve a murder case, I felt no connection with her as a person. We were given a slight glimpse into the stilted relationship she had with her mother, but even that, was all it was: a slight glimpse. Her mother might as well have been an ex-best friend, or a roommate-that's how inconsequential their relationship felt. I don't think that dynamic was intentional, I think we were, as readers, supposed to feel the underlying love Dusty's mother had for her, but unfortunately, I felt nothing. The Nightmare Affair was not a complete bust, the storyline aimed outside the box, but sadly, hit the walls and fell inside of it. Okay, I'm talking about walls way too much. Bottomline here: I was entertained, but I wasn't jumping out of my seat. Recommended for: Fans of fantasy, contemporary, hormone-enraged romance, and been-there, done-that, magic.
Date published: 2013-03-20

Editorial Reviews

"The Nightmare Affair is brimming with wit and charm, along with plenty of mysteries that kept me guessing to the very end. Mindee Arnett has created a brand new school of magic to delight and enthrall us, and I'm sure I won't be the only reader impatiently awaiting the next adventure at Arkwell Academy." -Marissa Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of Cinder"Mindee Arnett has a knack for magic. The world of Nightmares, Sirens, Wizards and Demons at Arkwell Academy is wondrous and strange, yet so human and well-drawn that you get the feeling you might stumble into it by accident if you go out wandering too late. THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR is whimsical and wild. I read it too fast. What's next, Arnett?" -Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood