Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: The Nightmare Dilemma (Arkwell Academy #2) by Mindee Arnett

Release date: March 4, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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.
In The Nightmare Affair, I was enchanted by the engaging and hilarious voice of Dusty, the narrator, and pulled into her world, a magical place filled with all the creatures of legend and where fairy tales are true but even more gruesome. The Nightmare Dilemma brings all of that fun back while adding to the mix a whole new mystery, a bit more romantic angst, and new details to the world.

It's been months since Dusty broke The Will and defeated Marrow (for the moment). That doesn't mean life goes on without problems. Another student at Arkwell has been attacked, and Dusty is called upon to see if she can find out who it is based on the girl's dreams. Not only does Dusty see something she doesn't want to see, but it sets her on a mission to discover the true attacker. Soon, the trail gets wider and more complicated, and both Dusty and Eli are having problems with their abilities. What seemed like a simple attack turns out to be a larger plot to destroy everything.

This series continues to be such fun to read. Mindee Arnett manages to show how dire the consequences of what could happen while also letting you be charmed and entertained by Dusty and her hijinks. Dusty speaks (and acts, many times) before she thinks, only realizing her mistake when faced with the consequences. Even so, she is highly intelligent and works so hard to help other magickind. She's also affected by Eli and his careful attitude--maybe she's not perfect, but she tries.

Here's the thing: There's a lot I will overlook and not even care about because I'm enjoying myself. This is the exact case with The Nightmare Dilemma. I can see people being affected by the change in Dusty and Eli's relationship, which takes on a we-like-each-other-but-we-can't-be-together-for-X-reason element. This is actually something that intrigued me and I want to see how it plays out later--but I can see others not liking it. The same goes for parts of the ending.

The Nightmare Dilemma is a sequel that continues in the same vein of its predecessor. It's a mystery-filled and fun paranormal read that will keep you entertained and will leave you quite ready for the third book.

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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