cover image The Nightmare Thief (The Nightmare Thief #1)

The Nightmare Thief (The Nightmare Thief #1)

Nicole Lesperance. Sourcebooks, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-7282-1534-1

Employing sensory details and potent imagery, Lesperance (The Wide Starlight) constructs a fanciful world in which dreams and nightmares are a commodity, created, bought, and sold. Desperate to help her older sister, Hallie, who’s in a coma following an accident, 12-year-old Maren Partridge breaks her dream-making family’s number one rule—no giving dreams without the receiver’s consent—by sneaking Hallie a pleasant one on her birthday. Maren is blackmailed for the act by sinister Ms. Malo, an insect-wielding enigma with a “hearty appetite” for nightmares: in exchange for an escalating supply of horrifying dreams and forbidden ingredients, she’ll keep Maren’s secret to herself. As the inhabitants of whimsically magic-infused Rockpool Bay begin suffering odd mishaps, Maren struggles to escape her tormentor’s demands. But when her grandmother is kidnapped, it’s up to Maren and her former best friend, Amos, to rescue Gran-Gran and thwart Malo’s scheme. Lesperance crafts a resourceful heroine whose loyalty forces her to confront a difficult situation and come out stronger. She also folds a satisfying sense of wonder into the quaint town, balanced with a chilling element of darkness. Ages 8–14. [em]Agent: Kathleen Rushall, Andrea Brown Literary. (Jan.) [/em]