By Nicole Quinn
It’s A Nightmare by Nicole Quinn delves into one possible dystopia where we have completely lost ourselves as human beings. In Winkin city, women live as slaves, danger lurks around every corner. Fear rules over this place and oppression controls all.
The Night Mare, a demon of unspeakable horror, has become God of this world. Few know how it all fell apart. None dare to oppose the terror. Horrible creatures roam freely, keeping the masses in subjugation. Dreams have faded into obscurity, for who would subject a beautiful thing to such filth.
Enter Mina, Born of tree. Raised off of the grid by her loving and strange parents, Bubba and Dee Dee, she must question the ways of her terrible world; she must fight to survive registration, to be free. Freak, chimera, they call her. Those who serve the Night Mare, try to strip Mina of her will, dignity, and dreams. For only in dreams can anyone ever truly be free and the nightmare won’t allow that. She must stay strong. She must learn the truth before she too is broken.
This book pulled me in from the beginning with gripping, visceral action scenes and gut-wrenching turmoil. The in-depth description of this piece had me immersed throughout. I found myself neck-deep in the worst possible situations with this cast of tormented captives. This book is full of fantastic creatures, great and terrible; choking cityscapes reaching the clouds; and the kind of deep emotion rarely felt in today’s modern novel.
Mina herself is a well-developed character, with realistic emotional layers and an intriguing backstory. I especially liked the “Born of Tree” and “Chimera” angle this writer weaved into Mina’s makeup. I felt they added a little balance to the evil surrounding her, a sense of power and hope.
Although hard to follow at times, the plot flowed smoothly when it did progress forward. I felt It's a Nightmare moved too slowly at times, favoring gritty visuals over actually gaining ground. The book may have needed a little more distinct contrast to its sickening transgressions in order to feel more satisfying.
The characters within were organic and alive. I enjoyed Dee Dee and Bubba, Mina and Bob; and I especially loved the Night mare. The edition of Demons into this book made it feel so much bigger than any dystopia I’ve read, the darkness, so much more real, menacing. This sadistic villain even had character development throughout, which I was surprised with, as did the rest of the cast. I would’ve liked to have had more characters to fall in love with. Aside from the ones I just mentioned, I didn’t care about much of the other cast involved.
The writing itself in It's a Nightmare was phenomenal. I was never bored with Nicole's unique lingo and perfect word balance. The dialogue and narration made it feel like I was transported to another time and place – a place I never want to be. From colors representing social status to stones tied directly a woman’s personality and worth, It's a Nightmare is fleshed out with the best of them, and needs little development in the way of believable culture.
This wasn’t my favorite read, but I will never forget it. If you are looking for an original story with dark themes and mature subject matter, then look no further. Be warned that It’s A Nightmare is bordering on feminist. Although this likely isn't the purpose of the book, as a male reader, I felt ridiculed and somewhat belittled, in a world where men are reduced to misogynistic savages; however, its positive messages were made clear to me in the end: strength, iron will; perseverance, and a willingness to face your deepest fears. This book is something anyone looking to tread on the darker side should check out. Thank you, Nicole. Keep it up!