Book Review: Tommy Nightmare

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Title: Tommy Nightmare [The Paranormals 2]

Author: J.L. Bryan

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance, Horror

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

While Fallen Oak recovers from the Jenny pox, someone new is hunting Jenny.

Like Jenny, Ashleigh Goodling belonged to a pair of opposites with powers that mirror each other.
Now Jenny and Seth must face the opposite of love…

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I was underwhelmed by this book. Technically speaking, the writing itself was put together well: clean, easy-to-follow, and engaging. To be fair, having loved the first book, I went into Tommy Nightmare with high expectations. On some fronts, those expectations were met—but not all of them. This book was not standalone by any stretch of the imagination, and while that was fine for me (as I mentioned, I read the previous book) for anyone newly jumping into the series, that could be a bit of a drawback. I’m a firm believer that any book (including those in series) should be standalone at least to some extent—having taken more than a year before I jumped into the second book, it took me awhile to catch up and figure out what was going on. This may put off some readers who take these books out of order.

That aside, I did like the book. It was great to see all the old characters again (and even the new ones), but I’ll admit to being a little confused by the choice of title. All of the characters get equal face-time–this is by no means Tommy Nightmare’s book–and he isn’t even the only new character introduced. I still consider this series, and even this book very much Jenny’s story.

The biggest issue I ran across with this book – and why I rated it only 3-stars—is that the plot itself wasn’t as robust as I’d expected. There was lots of running around, introducing new characters, dream sequences, etc, but not much happened on a grand scale. There didn’t seem to be any huge climax point, and the only event even close to being climactic lacked any real tension. Some parts of the plot (such as the CDC worker, Heather’s storyline) never seemed to pan out or wrap up. I guess I just expected more. It was still an interesting book, and I enjoyed reading it—but it didn’t have as big of an impact as the first book in the series did.

Another, smaller issue for me was the romance between Jenny and Seth this time around. Unlike the first book, there was very little romance involved. The romantic moments were few and far between, and while I don’t think the romance is imperative to the series, because this book is listed as having romantic elements, it should be noted that that part of the book lacked.

Overall, though it wasn’t as great as I was expecting, it was still an entertaining read. I’d be willing to read it again, and I still love the series. I’d recommend Tommy Nightmare to anyone who’s read the first book, but if you’re new to the series, be sure to start with Jenny Pox—otherwise, you’ll be lost.

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