The Nightmarys Review

Monday, April 25, 2011

Title: The Nightmarys
Author: Dan Poblocki
Publisher: Random House
Published: August 24, 2010
Genre: YA, Horror
Source: Random Buzzers

Timothy July has been having nightmares. About his brother, who is in a coma after being wounded in Iraq; about his best friend, Stuart, who is behaving like a jerk; about the old biology specimens in jars lining the walls of his classroom; and about Abigail, the new girl who seems to be a magnet for trouble. Or perhaps she is the cause.

Suddenly Timothy’s nightmares are coming true. His brother, his face decaying, approaches Timothy on the street. Stuart ends up in the hospital, terrified that monsters are stalking him. And the specimen jars are tormenting not only Timothy but his teacher as well.

What is the secret in Abigail’s past that is the key to these horrors? And can Timothy figure it out before his nightmares become a deadly reality?
Timothy July has a problem. Actually, he has more than just one problem. Ever since his brother, Ben, went to Iraq, he’s been having nightmares. He doesn’t know what’s happened to his brother because his parents won’t tell him, and it’s affecting their family, his friends and life in general. Enter Abigail Tremens. Abigail is no stranger to problems either. There’s a curse that’s been plaguing her family for a long time, stemming from her grandmother. But their problems and the curse are on a collision course when Timothy and Abigail are forced to work together for a school project. Can they figure out the curse in time to stop it, or will the dangerous web keep growing?

I like horror stories. I’ll just put that out there right now. I like creepy, psychological thrillers that make me terrified of the things that go bump in the night. So, when I found The Nightmarys, I was so excited. First, take that cover. It just screams Bloody Mary (which, because I’m a freak, I love), and the curse element of the book is eerie enough to make up for the younger YA characters. Dan Poblocki knows how to spin a web of intrigue and deceit through the book. Chock full of unsettling images, vaguely horrific descriptions and a whirlwind adventure on a path to destruction, The Nightmarys isn’t your average bedtime story.

Now, here’s where I have a problem though. Creepy and intense premise aside, I felt like The Nightmarys spent more time telling me that Timothy and Abigail had a problem than describing what the actual problem was. Furthermore, both Timothy and Abigail were facing different demons, so to speak, so I found it hard to put the two together because The Nightmarys took about three quarters of the book to describe what the connection between them actually was. Now, that’s not to say that the parts that were described weren’t eerie and dark. I really loved those moments when Timothy’s nightmares were brought to life on the page, but it didn’t happen enough for me. I also felt it was hard to connect with either Timothy or Abigail because they were a bit too young, and they acted every bit as young as they were.

The Nightmarys wasn’t a bad book, per se, but it wasn’t my favourite, and I felt it could have been a lot stronger. I give it a decent 3 out of 5, and I’d recommend it to those who enjoy YA fiction, especially those who enjoy a cross between horror, paranormal and fantasy.


  1. I have been wanting to buy this book but I was unsure so I put it back. But I am unsure of the connection with the characters.I like to get into the book. Thanks for the review!

  2. I am like you when it comes to loving a good creepy psychological thriller. Unfortunately this sounds like it fell a bit short. Great review!

  3. That cover is really freaky! I'm not sure if I could read it as although I like a bit of creepy, if I'm jumping out of bed every couple of minutes hearing bumps and stuff I'd be scared sh**less! LOL

  4. I like creepy books too, but I don't like it when there's no connection to anything. Thanks for the review!

  5. I love the cover of this one too. Creepy, psychological horror is so my thing, and the cover of this one just screams that! I've read a couple of iffy reviews of this one though, so think I'll be giving it a miss despite the great cover!

  6. Probably not for me, I get way to freaked out!

  7. Hm. I think I'll be passing on this one. Not only am I a wuss of epic proportions, but I have to be able to connect with the characters. If I can't, not much can save the book for me. Nice review as always though Melissa!

  8. Nothing about this book pulls me in, I guess it truly is not the book for me

  9. I am such a chicken...even the cover creeped me out. *shiver*

    Good review though!

  10. I'd like to read this one because, like you, I'm a sucker for horror. The cover reminds me of those two girls in the Shining-- very eerie. Great review. :)

  11. Definitely not a book for me - I love creepy novels, but not horror! Great review!

  12. Thanks for your honest review. I don't think this book is for me. I get too creeped out by stuff like this and not a big horror fan. But I'd be willing to give it a shot. Too bad it fell short on the description end. Fab review!

  13. Melissa-

    That is such a great cover! I so wish the book lived up to it's cover. But great review telling why it didn't.


  14. This looks sooo spooky! Thanks for the honest review, Melissa!

  15. I've never heard of The Nightmarys, but the cover is gorgeously creepy! Like you, creepy, psychological books are right up my alley. I love a book that makes me want to sleep with the lights on and crawl under the covers. The scarier, the better. It's too bad this one wasn't quite what you had expected, but I'll keep it in mind. I enjoy MG books and since this one is directed towards a younger YA audience, I think I might enjoy it. Thanks for the review, Melissa!

  16. i love this book it dream takeing it made me think about my nightmares


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