Nightmare City

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 2 Feb 2020

Member Reviews

I absolutely adored Eden Maybrey.

Frankly, the world that P.S. Newman has dreamt up for us (see what I did there?) is wildly engaging, with likable characters we can relate to. The world is well-built, and the relationships between characters is well-defined, with snappy dialogue and humor throughout.

I picked this up and then couldn't put it down. I read a third of the book in one sitting. It 100% captured my imagination and demanded that I keep reading.
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A solid first book on the series.

Eden is a shade hunter. She lives in a world where your nightmares can become reality.

I really liked this book. Normally, for me it takes a while to immersed myself in a series. But I was hooked after the third chapter.

I really liked Eden and Cecelia. Both character are awesome. But all the characters are well written.

The only reason it's not a five star for me is because of Bella. She's supposed to be 17 but I pictured her at 12 with the reaction that she has trough out the book. She annoyed me.
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There were aspects of this book I really liked. The cover is great. The premise drew me in instantly. As soon as I read the blurb I knew I had to check this out.  It had one of the best opening lines ever. Absolutely loved it!  And the first few chapters were perfect. The author does a great job leaving a hook at the end of each chapter to keep you coming back for me.

The problems for me were that 1.) The teenage girl doesn't read like a teenager most of the time. I had to remind myself that she wasn't a pre-teen at best most of the time. 2.) As soon as the doppleganger got introduced, the story lost a lot of its unique feel. Those might not sound like huge deals, but they ended up being deal-breakers for me because I just couldn't force myself to push through what was beginning to feel like something I'd read a hundred times before and if I can't believe in the characters then I can't believe in the book.

I'm definitely willing to check out more from the author in the future, and I might give this a go later on, but for now it just isn't working for me.
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Impressive for a first book, great intriguing storyline, with solid world-building! I'll be eagerly waiting for more in this series!
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I went into this book hoping for something fairly light and fun, and it definitely delivered in a big way! While it doesn't quite fill Kate Daniels' shoes, it definitely gave me some similar vibes which I've been missing since the series ended.

Nightmare City packs a ton of original ideas into a genre that often feels a bit predictable. I love the idea of literal nightmares being the main supernatural baddie here. It lends itself well to an insane range of possibilities, and it kept things very fresh. I really loved Eden's character as well, she's complex and I appreciated that she didn't just make cookie-cutter urban fantasy/romance type decisions. She's her own person, despite her origins.

The central plot with the doppelganger did drag a little bit for me in the middle, as well as some of the elements with SHAID. The longer it went on, the less logical Eden's decisions seemed to me and it did fall a tiny bit into the predictable trappings of the genre. It definitely recovered itself towards the end, and the action of the novel helped to balance things out, but I wish it had been just a little bit tighter. I would have also liked to know more about the Surge - first books in a series sometimes tend to get bogged down by the world and history building, but with this one I found that it was the opposite and I wanted more background.

I'm definitely looking forward to reading the second book in this series once it's available. This was a great opening to an intriguing new world and I'm excited to see what post-Surge LA holds next for Eden!
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Nightmare City is a promising start to the series of the same name. Where your nightmares and dreams can become realty. Eden is a shade hunter who hunts these shades that can manifest from them. She hunts them with her talking sword. At first that seemed really odd, but strangely it works. Compelling characters and a super unique storyline that pulled me in more and more with each page. I am looking forward to more shade hunting!

*ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review.
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This takes place in Los Angeles after the Surge. No explanation is given for the Surge but it enabled people to literally make their dreams come true. Figures from dreams entered the real world as Shades.

The novel centers around Eden, a shade Hunter and her friends Cecilia, Bella, David and Shane. Oh yeah, Eden has a sword she can communicate with.

The book becomes a fast paced mystery ad Eden must hunt down an evil shade.

It is excellently written and tightly plotted. 
The concept is original and gives rise to the question of what constitutes a "real" bring.

I am eagerly waiting for the next book in the series.

I received an advance copy of this book. I'm leaving my honest review.
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Great world building and character development is very good and works well within the storyline they feel believable and have great dynamics with each other. I will definitely be looking for more books from this author this is an excellent first book in a new series and it is very well developed with a very distinct timeline of events that pull you into the story. The world is post-apocalyptic and very vividly described its difficult to be original in this genre and the author does a great job. You just get thrown right into the plot and storyline so that feels a bit abrupt but I quickly adjusted and enjoyed the book. I was fascinated by the aspect of nightmares coming to life and the only way to control the nightmares was to dream into existence an organization to monitor and police the shades (name for the nightmares). The horror aspect really keeps you on your toes the book ends with a cliffhanger leading into future books so it does have a variety of unanswered questions and possibilities for further character development. I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
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Great read. Great book. I would love to read other books by this author. The description was great and the characters seemed real.
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Twenty years ago, the Surge brought aspects of dreams to life. These aspects are called Shades and have the potential to run amok and destroy people, property, even cities. Eden Maybrey is a freelance shade hunter, and her latest case is a request that threatens to expose her deepest secret, as well as the lives of those she loves.

In this world, Shades are considered deadly, so harboring them is a federal crime and would lead to punishments for treason. Eden’s dark secret is revealed to the reader fairly early: she is a shade conjured from a comic book about dream hunters and had been given an identity as a human. This exposure would mean her death, as well as the imprisonment of the family she has: Bella Perez, the dreamer that had created her, as well as Bella’s older sister Cecilia Perez, who works with the LA police. They’re her cousins legally, but this is her family by choice as well. Unbeknownst to the outside world, Cecilia’s boyfriend David was a member of an organization that hoped to win rights for benevolent Shades and had helped Eden get a legal identity. His freedom would be at risk as well. Add to this tension is a hunter that hates Shades beyond all reason that Eden has to work with, Shades she dreamed up herself, and the organization that is tasked with eliminating all Shades that wants her to join.

The case was brought forth by Sean Baptiste, David’s brother. He has a doppelganger that shoots fire, and there is a lot of reluctance in revealing the truth of the dream that built the Shade. This adds more complications to tracking down the Shade, who proceeds to wreak havoc in LA and plans to harm David. Eden’s own Shades adds further complications because the Order agent working with Eden wants nothing more than to eliminate him and every other Shade he comes across. He won’t accept that some Shades could be helpful, or that they can serve a purpose for the dreamer. The reader is also aware that Bella is trying hard to control her ability as a dreamer creating Shades, and this adds a little more for Eden to deal with.

This urban fantasy novel has a tag line on its summary that it doesn’t have vampires or werewolves. What it has are random dreams coming to life, which aren’t necessarily benevolent at all. It’s an interesting take on urban fantasy as well as dystopia, given the gritty and grim atmosphere that is beneath the surface of the novel. It definitely makes you think about the phrase “be careful what you wish for,” and I can’t wait to see what happens next in the series.
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I received a copy of Nightmare City by P.S. Newman from #NetGalley for an honest review.

An event happens in Los Angeles that changes reality drastically. Everyone that dreams or has nightmares, has them come true.  Eden Maybrey is a hunter of the "shades" that people dream of. She has the ability to find and capture the creatures that become real from people's nightmares. This is Maybrey's story of how she started hunting shades and the inner turmoil  from hunting these creatures. Her actions and her past come to a head in Nightmare City.

This is a nice change in the regular sci-fi genre that I usually read. For one, the lead character already knows her past. Second, there are no specific creatures that are evil. The evil is from peoples dreams and nightmares. 

From the very start of the book, I was hooked. The writing is well paced, I cared for the characters, and I did read nonstop for hours. Newman has a vivid imagination and it shows with the details in Nightmare City.
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So much better than I expected.

That's how I will start. I did not go into Nightmare City with the expectation that it would be one of those books I legitimately could not put down. Urban fantasy is not really my genre, I've never read Newman's writing, and I thought it was Young Adult fiction (it's not). But I had multiple moments where I didn't even remember that I was going to write a review or that this book wasn't my type. I just got sucked into it and could not stop reading.

Why is it so good? A few reasons:

* There are almost no plotholes. Everything just made sense. I enjoyed reading a book where it felt like the more realistic things kept happening. When something felt ridiculous, you would find out that it was actually very well explained.
* The world-building. It's a fascinating world with the minute details of what that world would look like given a major event that happened in the history of her world. One of the most interesting worlds I've ever seen built.
* The villains. Her villains are Amazing. Believable villains too. And not even really "evil". They're just people that you're rooting against because she has written them so well.

I literally daydream about the world she has built. I think about living in that world and what it would be like. There have only been a few books/series that have done this for me.

This book is different because it's one of the few where I don't feel like the inexplicable continues to happen. It's a truly real world where ridiculous risks lead to consequences. It's a book where you're not caught up in the feasibility of anything. You're just following the story because it is so good.

I've already bought a copy of Nightmare City for my sister as her Christmas present. I read a lot and this will go down as one of the top three or so books I've read this year. I am so excited to read the sequel and see where the next part of this journey goes.
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In post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, people dream and sometimes their dreams become real.  When whatever becomes real is, it is called a shade.  Many shades are dangerous so an agency has been born to destroy these shades.  Eden is a shade who has been helped to get legal so she won’t be killed ( is human supposedly).   She hunts the dangerous shades as a private hunter.  She has been offered to work for the shade hunter agency but refuses for fear of discovery of what she is.  She gets hired by a former boyfriend to kill his shade that he dreamed. Will Eden be successful?  She has to work this time with a hunter from the agency whom she dislikes.  Will he discover her secret?  If so, what will Eden do?

An urban horror fantasy that kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next.  It’s action-paced with unexpected twists and turns.  The horror in this book are the monsters that Eden must kill.  It’s an excellent first volume of a series.  I can’t wait to read the next one!
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Nightmare City is the first book in a new series by P.S. Newman. Released 26th Nov 2019, it's 359 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.

This is an interesting urban fantasy series with a little post-apocalypse dystopian flavor world building. 20 years after a fundamental reality shift allowed some people to summon beings from their subconscious dreaming minds (wreaking havoc and destruction quite often), there are shade hunters equipped to hunt down and destroy the summoned shades.

The world building is the standout feature here. The different situations and types of shades which are summoned and how they're dealt with is creatively and very well written. The characters are distinct from one another; I had no trouble keeping them straight. They obey internal motivations and I didn't find myself yanked out of the story at all by badly written dialogue or characters acting completely out of character to advance the plot. The plotting is well controlled and the denouement was satisfyingly twisty, leaving the story open ended for 'what comes next'.

The ebook version includes an interactive table of contents Possibly worth noting for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book is included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free. It's always fun to find a new to me author and series to read. I would recommend this one to fans of urban fantasies. I'm looking forward to more from this author.

Four stars.
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It's rare to have urban fantasy with any original ideas. After all, the genre has been around for decades now. Vampires, shifters, fae...they've all taken their stroll through the pages of many an urban fantasy. Nightmares may be a more unique take. I can only think of one other, Night Terrors by Tim Waggoner. In Night Terrors, the nightmares are allowed to exist as long as they behave, though they are enforced by a paranormal agency made up of dream creatures and their dreamer creators. Nightmare City, however,  has a very different take. 

After an event called The Surge, suddenly dreamers were finding that their dreams and nightmares manifested in the real world. Chaos and destruction reigned until civilization learned to deal with the shades they created. They founded the Somni Order, an organization established to find ways to police and cope with the constant threat of their nightmares made real. The Somni Order works separately from the police to capture and exterminate these beings. There is no tolerance and those that create often are watched closely. Enter Bella. She's 17 and traumatized after the death of her mother at the hands of a monster shade. Bella is a prime, manifesting shades at least four nights a week. It turns out Bella also a huge fan of the graphic novel, Dreamscapes, so much so that two years ago, she dreamed Elysia and her sentient sword, Violet aka Vy, into being. Created to hunt shades and hiding under a secret identity,  Elysia — now Eden — hides in plain sight from those who would exterminate her if they were to find out her secret. Eden is then called into action after a friend imagines a doppelganger of himself with an evil agenda. To add to the turmoil, Eden herself dreams of her days as Elysia, dreaming into existence a pack of hellhounds with fiery tricks along with the only man she ever loved. 

I struggled a bit getting into this new world. You really just get thrown in the deep end and things are explained to you in bits and pieces along the way. I don't know that a direct introduction to Eden/Elysia would have really made the difference, but I just didn't feel like a had a good grasp on the things until about the 25-30% mark. The world created here is very interesting in a dystopian way. There are electrified fences around houses to keep the shades out, a 911 like system to report possible impending shades, and of course, the Somni Order. It's been long enough adjusting to this new world that SHAID (the Society for a Higher Acceptance and Integration of Dreams) has been established to promote awareness and acceptance of shades. 

I liked the characters a lot. None of them are perfect. As with most of urban fantasy's MCs Eden is inherently flawed. She struggles with who she is as well as where she came from. She wants to do the right thing but isn't against bending the rules to get there. Bella is kind of a brat. I know she has trauma from her past, but I would put her age a lot younger with some of the things she does. Hopefully, book 2 will see her growing up under the careful watch of her sister, Eden and Aunt Vy. I actually liked Taylor a lot. He's gruff and obviously very bigoted, but I want to know more about his back story and why he hates shades with such a passion. There were some cracks in his facade this time around and I think we'll see a lot more of this. As for Elysia's dream man, he seems like Mr. Perfect. I'm not thrilled so far with their interaction, but I'm not sure I'm shipping a Taylor/Eden connection even though it is the not-so-obvious choice that usually ends up happening in UF. One thing that is spoken by Vy frequently is that humans "grow and evolve" and I think in the next book, we'll see a lot more of that with these characters.  

Once I got into Nightmare City, I really enjoyed it and the last half of the book flew by! The action and fight scenes are plentiful and once the book started rolling, it didn't stop. The ending leaves us with a lot more questions and nowhere to go but up. I'm definitely looking forward to book 2 to see where it takes us.
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"In post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, dreams come true. So do nightmares.

Ever since a shift in reality twenty years ago, people's dreams and nightmares come alive, spreading chaos and destruction. Monsters ravage cities, bottomless chasms split roads, and gold rains from the sky - the possibilities are limitless, unpredictable and often deadly.

Eden Maybrey is a hunter of these "shades". When a friend tasks her with tracking down and eliminating an evil shade, the hunt threatens to expose Eden's deepest, darkest secret. To find her prey, she is forced to team up with Vaughn Taylor, a hunter who hates shades with a passion - and who won't hesitate to put a bullet in Eden's head should he figure out the truth.

Book 1 in a new urban fantasy series with a twist: no vamps or weres - instead, dreams and nightmares coming alive.

Would you really want your dreams to come true?"

Because just when you need a new urban fantasy hit a new one hits the shelves!
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The Novel:
Eden Maybbrey is a shade hunter whose secrets and very existence are threatened by an evil shade. She, her family and friends work to rid the world of this evil and deal with fallout of her deepest desires manifesting into the real world. 

The Characters:
Newman’s characterisation is very good overall. Eden is a strong, likeable character who is willing to protect her loved ones at great personal cost. There is a great cast of interesting secondary characters who are somewhat underdeveloped, and whom I would be interested in getting to know further- perhaps this will take place in future novels. The only secondary characters whose motivations are delved into are Bella and the main antagonist, however these are somewhat ineffectively written. 

Bella’s behaviours and motivations age her as far younger than her years- perhaps a self-centred pre-teen rather than the young adult 17 she is. While it is possible that Newman’s depiction of her as such is a result of childhood trauma and her sheltered upbringing, there are flashes in the novel of a fiery young adult straining against the restrictions placed upon her. It is the latter Bella of whom I would like to see more. 

The identity of the main antagonist becomes clear before it is revealed, however the revelation, and associated explanation of motivations are weakened by the choppy ending- I would have preferred the revelation to come earlier, therefore allowing a more thorough exploration of the consequences and fallout. 

Despite these negatives, I was and am genuinely invested in the characters’ fates. Newman is effective in creating flawed, imperfect characters who evoke genuine emotions. 

The Story:
The novel has a unique an interesting premise which is well developed. The story features gripping plot twists, and while some events are predictable, there was enough to keep me hooked till the end. There are some negatives, the greatest of which is the fact that the Surge is explained in insufficient detail- I still don’t know how this ‘nightmare city’ came about; this should have been part of the initial world-building in my opinion. It must however,  be acknowledged that the consequences of the Surge are depicted with excellent realism- hatred and fear of the ‘other,’ questions of right and wrong, and an exploration of grey areas are universal and topical and these are beautifully translated by Newman. 

The Writing: 
Newman’s writing style is wonderfully rich. While some characters are underdeveloped, they each have distinct and believable voices, and Newman manages to evoke empathy and affection from the reader. The world building has gaps, but is excellent overall. There are a very small number of typos, however I have no doubt these will be corrected for the final version. My only complaint is the pacing which varies in its effectiveness, with the final few chapters being particularly poor- there is just too much jammed into too short a space, and Newman’s skill at evoking emotions makes these chapters unpleasantly rollercoaster-like. Relief, joy, sadness, anger, hope and despair are all evoked within minutes of one another. These events would be better served spaced out across a few more chapters. 

4/5. Overall a wonderful read. I will look for more books by this author, and look forward to the next instalment in this series. 

Thank you to Netgalley and BooksGoSocial for providing this ARC free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
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I wish some of my dreams came true! 

But in the world of Eden Maybrey nightmares come true too. She is a shade hunter. Shades are dreams come true. The stuff of nightmares in most cases. 
We are in Los Angeles, twenty years after The Surge. Eden has a new case. She has to track down the doppelganger of a close friend. To find the evil shade she has to partner with an official shade hunter, Vaugh Taylor. They have a serious dislike for each other from the start but they work together to get the job done. Eden’s problems multiply when one night her dream also comes true. And to top that, she knows Taylor will kill her if he finds out her most carefully kept secret.

Nightmare City is a unique story. The world-building is detailed, the characters are likable and interesting. This whole world where dreams come true is just amazing. 
The story flows nicely, P.S. Newman sure knows how to spin an interesting and exciting tale, 
I hope The Surge will be explained on more detail in later books. Like what is is, how it happened. 

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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The sword in question laughed. "This one is exceptionally deceptive, isn’t it?" Admiration swung in her voice sounding through my head.

“After all, that’s what you manifested me for."


In post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, dreams come true. So do nightmares.

Ever since a shift in reality twenty years ago, people's dreams and nightmares come alive, spreading chaos and destruction. Monsters ravage cities, bottomless chasms split roads, and gold rains from the sky - the possibilities are limitless, unpredictable and often deadly.

Eden Maybrey is a hunter of these "shades". When a friend tasks her with tracking down and eliminating an evil shade, the hunt threatens to expose Eden's deepest, darkest secret. To find her prey, she is forced to team up with Vaughn Taylor, a hunter who hates shades with a passion - and who won't hesitate to put a bullet in Eden's head should he figure out the truth.

Book 1 in a new urban fantasy series with a twist: no vamps or weres - instead, dreams and nightmares coming alive.

Would you really want your dreams to come true?


Eden Maybrey is a complicated character to say the least. Created in the image of a bad ass comic character she’s brought to life to defend a teenager against the big bad monsters that are created out of nightmares.

That teenager is a royal pain in the butt! It’s easy to think that Bella is a innocent child traumatised by the death of her mother but she’s horrible. She thinks of nothing but herself. Taking away Eden’s free will without fearing the consequences.

P S Newman has created the intriguing world but the pace that the story unwinds to is slow and confusing at times. It’s not until you’re a couple of chapters in that the whole Nightmare situation is explained. This should have been earlier on so you can understand the characters better.

It’s a little all over the place, it has great potential BUT I don’t think I’ll continue with the serious. Due to the pace of the story plot ~ frustrating, slow and my complete distaste for Bella.

A few snippets of thoughts while reading... - A talking sword? Who’d have thought 💭 - Loving the descriptions of a tough lady cop at home - She’s dead? Didn’t see that coming!!

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I could not put this book down. 

What stands out about Nightmare City is the vivid and deeply thought-out world of 'Post-Surge L.A.' that has been created. Not only the physical and practical changes in the world, but also the exploration of the psychological impact on the characters and the population in general. It is gripping, and I found myself fascinated by even the smallest details. The gradual reveals thoughout the book feel deliberate and carefully considered, and the result is a seriously engrossing story.   

I also loved the rich writing style and snappy dialogue, with a number of genuine laugh out loud moments.

The way is paved for growth and deeper understanding of the characters, and also for the events of the Post-Surge world to continue to unfold, and I'm intrigued to see what comes next.

Five stars. Bring on the next book.
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