Book Review: The Nightmare Thief by Nicole Lesperance (eARC)
Title: The Nightmare Thief
Author: Nicole Lesperance
Released: January 12, 2021 (Kindle)
Series: The Nightmare Thief
Note: I have received a digital copy through Kindle from Sourcebooks Young Readers in exchange for a complete and honest review.
Description: In the tradition of Natalie Lloyd and Ingrid Law comes a whimsical debut about a girl, her family’s dream shop, and a nightmare thief determined to change the course of her life as she knows it.
Maren Partridge loves working in her family’s dream shop where she can hand-craft any dream imaginable. The shop has only one rule. Dreams cannot be given to a person without their consent. Maren has no problem with this – until her sister, Hallie, has an accident that leaves her in a coma. Maren’s certain she can cure Hallie with a few well-chosen dreams. And when no one is watching, she slips her a flying dream.
But a strange new customer from the shop has been following Maren and knows what she did. Now she’s laid the perfect trap to blackmail Maren into creating custom nightmares for a dark and terrible purpose. As Maren gets drawn further into the sinister scheme, she must make a choice: to protect her family or to protect the town from her family’s magic.
Please keep in mind that this review contains spoilers for the entire book. Read with caution. If you click the “Read More”, it is under the assumption you either don’t care about spoilers or you’ve already read the book.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for providing an eARC to me in exchange for an honest review.
This story was a cute and true delight! I honestly enjoyed the world that was built as I read but I’ll be honest – I was a bit surprised to see that this was taking place in both the modern world and our real world. It took me out for a bit simply because that gorgeous cover led me to believe it would not only take place in a true fantasy world but in the “past” as well. However, this being modern and in our real world does make sense as you get into the story more and in the end, it ended up working out especially since the author did take into consideration what laws theoretically could take place in it.
I really do like the concept of dream magic or the other different kind of magic that exists in this little town of Rock Bay – however, I wish I would actually see the different types of “bad” magic that these people would look down upon more to push more to the point of it. I want to understand Obscura’s point of how people with her sort of magic would be bullied other than her recounting her childhood and what happened to her. I think this would’ve illustrated the author’s point better of the extremes it was.
There are other mentions of bullying in the novel that the main character endured, and the bully does eventually apologize in the end.
I really liked Maren as the main character. Aside from the fact she’s relatable, I really liked that she does her best to help out at any capacity and that she’s flawed. I think the conversation with Amos could’ve been done a little better – especially for making him choose between her or the bully. Though, I will say it doesn’t change the fact that she was still a good, but flawed, main character and was a nice change of pace for me.
I was also pleasantly surprised that this gently talked about the gentrification of tourist towns but because this is a children’s book, it’s understandable why it was as gentle as it was. I understand that it’s a children’s book and the concepts may go over their heads, but I don’t think it’s too early to introduce the concept early, but there’s a reason why I’m giving this a pass.
There was a lot of focus on Maren’s feelings towards her guilt for what happened to her sister, Hallie, and how she felt she somehow caused the accident so that’s probably another reason why there wasn’t as much focus on the gentrification. I can excuse that – the point of view is Maren’s, so I’m willing to forgive that as well. The onus is that she wanted to help her sister wake up, and avoid going to a long-term facility, and so she’s more focused on helping her than what’s going on in the town until Obscura comes along.
And I really liked the fact that both Obscura and Maren mirrored each other – meaning, they were both bullied, they had older siblings, and they were also both dancers. However, and this is the biggest however, Maren was not bullied by her own sister to the point of abuse Obscura suffered through. Not only that, it seemed that Maren has a much healthier family life than Obscura and I’ll admit that I almost agreed with her reason for revenge; especially since Obscura’s career ended because of it and an injury. Although it did feel that she devolved into a cartoon villain by the end, there needed to be an out so I can forgive this as well.
Regardless, this is such a charming story and I look forward to reading the next book in the series and I will try to get the official copy when it comes out!
Posted on January 10, 2021, in ★★★★☆ – 4 Stars, Book Reviews, Book Series, The Nightmare Thief and tagged children's, eARC, fantasy, kindle, nicole lesperance, sourcebooks young readers, The Nightmare Thief. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.