The latest aspirant to Harry Potter's throne is 16-year-old Destiny Everhart, a sophomore at the Arkwell Academy boarding school for magical teens. Dusty is "halfkind," with an ordinary father and a mother who is a legendary Nightmare. Dusty's Nightmare powers manifested late and seemed feeble, until she fed off the dream "fictus" of hottie Eli Booker, and the murder in his nightmare turned out to be real. Now paired with Eli as a dream-seer, Dusty struggles to navigate the perils of high school while searching for clues—from both the waking and dreaming worlds—about the killer. Arnett's cast includes werewolves, sirens, and wizards, and she draws from numerous literary and mythological sources (including Arthurian legend), to a somewhat cluttered effect. The scrappy first-person narration and integration of frightening dreamscapes make Arnett's debut a fun paranormal mystery, with a focus on atmosphere over romance. But original it is not: for all the tweaks, Dusty, down to her frizzy red hair, is barely a step removed from Hermione Granger. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary + Media. Ages 13–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/25/2013 Release date: 03/01/2013 Genre: Children's
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