Monday, October 27, 2014
Merrick of Literature Typeface Review!
Now let me say that my roommate is a YA fantasy fanatic. This girl cannot pick up a book in Barnes & Noble without it inadvertently being a YA fantasy series. Nicole Quinn’s It’s a Nightmare (The Gold Stone Girl 1)is far better than any of those books I have seen my roommate pick up and I have heard far less about it. How crazy is that? So in my effort to let people know how frakking fantastic this one was, I’m going to start this out by saying: you have to read this book. It is the epitome of a page turner. From the first scene (which literally had my heart pounding), I couldn’t stop reading. I finished the book in a single day and I don’t regret a moment of it.
It’s a Nightmare follows young Mina through a world where women are categorized as “breeders,” inhuman creatures, cattle. Although they are women as we know them, they are the victims of a tyrannical society where rape culture has become a monstrosity I can’t even begin to explain. Women, and the multi-species society in general are taught lessons that I cannot even begin to understand, but sadly enough is not far from modern rape culture (think aliens, tentacle monsters, bird people, and the Night Mare herself, who is actually a demon and just so happens to be the tyrant in charge). Women are considered breeding stock, men are their masters, and ironically enough a demon woman runs the whole show, suppressing individuals ability to dream, think, even look people in the eye. It is actually a nightmare, a completely twisted, dystopian, frightening version of all the worst scenarios you can imagine humanity spinning into.
However, as bleak as this sounds, Mina is hope. She is hope personified, born not of this strange and horrific world. Mina is Born of Tree, found born within a willow tree by Dee-Dee, who raises her as her own and tries to shelter her from the horrifying truths of city life not far outside their doorstep. Dee-Dee and Bubba raise Mina “Off-grid,” outside the city of Winkin where individuals are compartmentalized and categorized and indoctrinated into the Night Mare’s twisted version of society.
Mina is a mystery — she thinks for herself, and has the uncanny ability to teleport through space in times of stress, to “dream” herself elsewhere, to invade other dreams, and she doesn’t know why. She knows she was born of a tree, found wrapped in a mossy cocoon and rescued from her cocoon by Dee-Dee and Bubba, but she doesn’t understand why she is different.
This novel follows Mina through Girl School, where girls are indoctrinated and taught to submit, and when she is evicted from Girl School after a supernaturally charged incident (with butterflies — nothing says magical wood nymph like butterflies), she is taken headlong into a fate-driven journey. She is chosen, later on, to serve the Night Mare herself, to mate with the Night Mare’s only son, and then empowered in the realization that she is the Night Mare’s only equal, her enemy, fated to change the world they live in.
This is fantasy, destiny, and a headlong trip into a world that’s strangely different but not at all different from our own. This is quite honestly a breathtaking novel, an amazing start to a series that’s sure to turn heads and produce films and become a powerhouse of its own.
It is an absolute must read for all YA fantasy enthusiasts. If I could I’d hand out copies of it to all those I see browsing the YA sections of Barnes & Noble. It’s honestly just that good — and this is coming from a guy who really doesn’t ever read YA.
Nicole Quinn, I’m rooting for this novel so, so hard!