Thursday, November 28, 2013

Noctali and Promises: A Review of Nightmare by Chelsea Cameron

Rating: 4 stars!

I enjoyed the first book in this series, Nocturnal, but it was lacking something that had me only liking the story. Don't ask me what it is, because I probably can't tell you. However, Nightmare was definitely better than the first book. Although the pace was slow, I loved the story. 

In Nocturnal, we learn that the supernatural creatures Ava is exposed to are Noctali. They are angels, vampires, werewolves, every kind of supernatural creature there is. Peter is a Noctalis: a vampire angel. And now that he's Claimed Ava, he can only drink her blood. Let's just say, it's a problem. 

Nightmare doesn't focus so much on the supernatural aspects. It focuses on Ava's and Peter's relationship, as well as all of the secondary characters (though I was missing more of Jamie and Tex in this book). We get more backstory on Peter, as well as some heartbreaking moments between Ava and her mother. After deciding to tell her mother about Peter being a Noctalis and about the Claiming, it adds another element now that more people know about the supernatural. Her mother is, by far, one of my favorite characters. She's exactly what I've been missing from other parents in young adult novels. Most of them are always in the background, never focused on, never a part of the story (especially in fantasy and dystopian novels). They are only there to make it known that the characters do have them. But her mother is present for everything in Ava's life. And now that she knows her secret, Ava feels better. Although, she still feels like she's burdening her mother who doesn't need any more pain in her life.
There is such a freedom in unburdening a secret, but it is our fear of what will happen after the secret is out that keeps our lips sealed.
However, she only partially tells her best friends the secrets. Jamie knows about her mother, and Tex knows about Peter. It is in that secrecy where those two characters drop off in this story, leaving much of Ava's interactions with only her mother and Peter. It's awesome character development, but I missed the closeness and tight friendship of Ava, Jamie, and Tex. 

I loved that the story focused a lot on Peter's and Ava's relationship. It was a slow development for them, from the cemetery to their tentative friendship. From their need for each other to their desire for companionship. The first book set it up nicely, and this one developed it even further. Ava is strong-willed, impatient, stubborn: she is, essentially, just a teenager whose mother is dying and whose boyfriend drinks her blood and has wings. A lot of how she dealt with both of these burdens made sense, even if I wanted smack her a few times for overreacting. Her love for Peter and her need to feel wanted drives her actions. But she also makes sure to keep a level and clear head when it comes to things she can't control. Especially how Peter will never be able to love her like she needs. And especially how she's now smelling people's blood, and it smells divine. Heavenly. She needs Peter's help, and he's her rock. I love Peter! I love the way he talks (he's old, so it's much more "sophisticated"), and I love the way he takes care of Ava. Although I liked his character development in this, I was so hoping for more background story. 

I would have liked more background on the Noctalis and how they came to be. Although, I'll bet the first book already cleared that up. I honestly can't remember much about Nocturnal in the way of its supernatural story-line, so I might just be forgetting all of the important aspects of the Noctali. But I would have liked it if this book had had more development on the supernatural elements. And especially about those promises! They are a Noctalis' only weakness, and it's those promises that give these two lovebirds trouble. Though the supernatural component was really only there for the last few chapters, I thought the ending was rather effective and it has me intrigued for what happens next!

The pace was slow, but I was never bored. There was always something interesting going on, even when the conversations slowed. Chelsea Cameron's books always have a signature feisty and sassy humor, and I love it! The plot mostly consisted of Ava and Peter, Ava and her mother, but there was a little bit more on the supernatural component. These Noctali are certainly intriguing! However, their story is far from over. I can't wait to read Neither!