City of Nightmares Readalong: Day 4!

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Hey fairies!

Welcome back to day 4 of our readalong of The City of Nightmares by Rebecca Schaeffer! Things are getting tense, and with two sections to go I have a feeling these chapters will be full of drama!

Today we’re reading from Chapter 21 to the end of Chapter 29.

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for The City of Nightmares by Rebecca Schaeffer, from chapters 21 to 29. Please only read on if you’ve finished this section!


Ness meets up with Priya, and they’re trying to connect the dots on who at the not-a-cult-cult would’ve sold out Ness’s location to an assassin. At the moment their gut is telling them it’s Cindy, or the Director. Interesting, very interesting.

They break into the Director’s office and find a bunch of personnel files. When Ness reads her own, it sounds like the not-a-cult-cult want her to be afraid of Nightmares…

When Ness turns to show Priya, the Director has caught them, and he’s pointing a gun at Priya’s head. Oh dear.

It’s a good thing Priya is there, cause without her I’m not sure Ness would’ve found her way out of this situation! Although, she does throw a cabinet on top of his scaly head, so maybe I’m underestimating her?

Well… it definitely wasn’t Cindy trying to assassinate Ness then! She’s an investigative journalist. I did not see that coming. 

Ness goes to one of the only people she has left, Cy. Despite being a new addition to her life, he seems to already be a form of stability in Ness’s life. She can stay with him as long as she needs.

Together, they come up with a plan. If Cy’s friend sold out his location to his father, they might be able to find out who knew about their meeting… and that could lead them to whoever it is that wants them dead. 

So, Cy and Ness are heading back onto the boat. Ness tells him he can go join the party if he wants, but he kind of opens up and hints that maybe the reason he does that, or did that on the first boat, was because he’s lonely and in that situation, no one knows who is he, no one knows he’s a Nightmare.

Ness asks him how long he’s been in Newham – two months – and if he’s made any friends – no. He has now though, he has Ness.

They laugh and joke together and before Ness knows it, she’s stopped shaking and she’s realising she feels safe with Cy.

When they meet Dev, it really doesn’t take them long to work out it was never him who ordered the hit on Cy, or who gave away his location. Dev’s girlfriend Beth is another story though… She’s here with guns blazing, literally, there’s a lot of them, and they’re pointed at Cy. 

Cy and Ness are being taken away. Wherever they end up, it becomes clear they’re catching Nightmares. When Ness argues that she isn’t one, someone tells her she isn’t yet. Are they turning people into Nightmares?

Without further ado, Ness and Cy are welcomed to the Newham division of Nightmare Defense by none other than famous Nightmare slayer, Charlie Chambers…

Well, I kind of saw it coming that Beth wanted Cy dead once he started explaining it… but I did not expect them to be taken to Nightmare Defense. This is bad!

Did you guess that Beth was responsible for ordering the hit on Cy?
How do you think they’ll get out of this?
What do you think that person meant when they said Ness isn’t a Nightmare yet?

I’m desperate to know what’s happening. See you tomorrow for our final day of reading!


18 thoughts on “City of Nightmares Readalong: Day 4!

  1. 1. To be honest I had completely forgotten about her until Dev mentioned her again… I kinda was fixed, like Cy and Ness, on the father being the one who made sure Dev lured Cy on the boat.
    2. Maybe Ness will turn in a nightmare and become very strong? Or Priya will find them or Dev will try and find them.
    3. She’s locked up with no way out and won’t have access to her pills and they’ll probably won’t get the water that prevents them from dreaming.

    I’m confused by the Newham division of Nightmare Defense being the ones behind it all. I’m trying to understand their motivation for doing this. Why would they be behind the boat assassination etc.?

    What do you think that person meant when they said Ness isn’t a Nightmare yet?

    1. They are going to force her probably with something about her sister

    2. I had also forgotten about her. Like I feel like this was such an excellent play on a semi common and super toxic reality with dating and jealousy and friendship and I love that the author took it to an absolute extreme (partially because in this world everything is so extreme!)

  2. I completely forgot about Beth. This whole town is just getting worse and worse. It’s one big conspiracy.
    I think their escape is is going to be aided by Priya, but I also think that Ness has ‘special’ when it comes to turning into a Nightmare – her lucid dreams and meeting the Phantom I think will end up being the reason why Ness survives this.
    Clearly they expect Ness to become a Nightmare soon because they’ll deprive her of medication and water that normally keeps it at bay.
    I feel like the Nightmare Defense set an off this up just so they can have something to fight, but I’m intrigued to why.

  3. my thoughts while reading:
    – interesting theory priya has about cindy🤔
    – it looks like ness is finally starting to see the crookedness of the friends
    – CINDYYYY i knew she was on our side
    – awwwww yay cy and ness are friends now!!
    my answers to your questions:
    – no, i didn’t guess beth was the culprit!
    – (i’m going to avoid the last two questions since i read ahead—couldn’t help myself, this book is too good!)

  4. So much happened in these chapters! I feel like I can normally see where plot twists are going but I was blindsided every other turn in these chapters! From the Director, Cindy, Beth then Nightmare DEFENSE! Man oh man no one is who they seem and nothing is safe.

    I am super glad that Dev was not involved with Cy’s hit at all. He needed to catch a break after all of the Beth drama and being turned into a vampire himself. At least he knows and has Ness as a friend now. However they are literally in cages. I am not sure how they are gonna get out of this mess unless Ness uses the Phantom to give her strong enough powers to get out of this mess. At what cost though?!?!

    Really though best point in this part was Ness and Cy teasing one another about romance films. True friendship there!

  5. I can’t answer questions two and three because I’ve now finished the book, but I can speak on one!

    I wasn’t surprised that it was Beth (she was hella toxic, and I knew there had to be a plot reason she was mentioned earlier in the book), but I thought she used an opportunity with Cy’s dad to get rid of him.

    Also wanted to say: I loved the twist with Cindy! I’m so curious about what her motivations for the investigation are and where it will lead. I hope we get to see more of her in the series.

    I also don’t know why the Nightmare Defense twist took me so much by surprise. I should have known by this point that EVERYONE was corrupt 😅

  6. That is so crazy that Beth went through all the trouble to blow up a boat JUST to kill Cy. There is no way that she’s working alone there HAS to be something else. And It seems as though Charlie wants to turn people into nightmares so that he can unleash them on the public, kill them, and then prove how much of a Martyr he is. My thing is why do we care so much about ness? Like she’s just a regular person who’s sister turned into a spider but what does it matter. Why did the director want to send her away? Probably because if she hates nightmares then she’d eventually turn into one and then be shipped off the the newham defense!! (I literally just came up with this idea as I’m typing this.) She is the first one who hasn’t reacted to the “treatment ” at the Friends so they really had to pull out everything to try and make her cave but then Cy got in the way. Cy is the one who is making her realize that Nightmares are not all evil! I can’t wait to read the last section!

  7. So I think they’re definitely going to manufacture Ness into a nightmare or try– given her history with lucid dreaming the other time we saw her dream, I’m not particularly worried that anything will happen to her. But if she does turn into a nightmare then it makes sense as a good way out of the current predicament 😅

    I had also forgotten about Beth but I loved her inclusion in the story in this way because it fits in so well with how Big and Horrible every single thing in this city is. Like, a place where the news reporters are just like “ah yes the Mayor is feeding her pet pterodactyl someone who asked too many questions on television, ho hum” the fact that something this typical blows up into an assassination attempt… I feel like it does so much work for the beautiful absurdities of the setting.

    I’m still utterly obsessed. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s chapters!

  8. Quite a few twists thrown around in so short a time. Cindy was undercover, the Director was kidnapping/selling people (not such a shock that he was a bad guy, but confirmed the extent), Dev wasn’t knowingly luring Cy to his death but still managed just that, it wasn’t Cyril Coates II that attempted the assassination but Dev’s girlfriend Beth, & the Nightmare Defense’s “golden boy” & Priya’s idol to aspire to is collecting Nightmares (even if that means forcing humans into transforming into them). I kept waiting for her to help Cy get relief from his handcuffs (maybe tearing off a piece of cloth to slip in between or something to lessen the direct contact to his skin).
    Daily Q&A:
    1.) Did you guess that Beth was responsible for ordering the hit on Cy?
    2.) How do you think they’ll get out of this?
    3.) What do you think that person meant when they said Ness isn’t a Nightmare yet?
    1.) Nope. It’s like Ness said, “It always seems so obvious in hindsight.”
    2.) I’m hoping Priya will be nearby for training to help them out. 🤞🏼 Also, with her latest description of dozing off while being transported to the Nightmare Defense training grounds, maybe she will lucid dream Nightmare Phantom boy again & figure out a way to survive?
    3.) Being locked in a cage, it would be a simple thing to not provide her with any of the medicated water or pills that stop people from dreaming/turning into Nightmares.

  9. I kind of forgot about Beth to be honest! But now I guess it makes sense that it’s her? But I wonder if it was all her idea…

    I hope Ness and Cy find a way to escape, but the situation is pretty dire!

    I wonder if Priya might be able to help them?

    Maybe they are doing experiments on people and Nightmares.. I’m not sure, but this can’t be good!

  10. I have been behind on the reading schedule and decided to finish the book with the intension of taking a break after chapter 29 but I accidently read to chapter 33 so I’m not going to speculate.

    This was full of suprises. I did not see any of it coming. Well the Beth part at the same Ness and Cy did. I hope we see Dev again and get to know what happened between him and Beth.

  11. I don’t have much to say for these chapters, as I’m really just excited to finish the book!

    I did vaguely think that Beth was the one to put the hit on Cy, so I’m glad it was confirmed! I hope we see more of Dev though!

    I did not see them getting kidnapped to the Nightmare, but I knew people we profiting off of the nightmares somehow!

    My guess is that Ness is going to turn into a Nightmare, but cure herself of it by overcoming the fear of it. Also, I think Cindy’s quickly dropping the fact that she was a spy was a little out of place…but I wasn’t expecting it, so I’ll give it a pass!

    Now to finish the book…

  12. hahaha I have no idea how I didn’t guess that Beth ordered the hit. I guess I have underestimated the power of jealousy and insecurity… all that in context of Newham morals. I did not guess they will be taken to the Nightmare Defense but I suspect this is the organization that the Friends of the Restful Soul has been in league with all this time. The “branches” they’re sending those people who get transferred are actually Nightmare Defense branches and they’re being conditioned to become Nightmares.
    The Nightmare Defense needs to keep creating monsters to defeat so they can appear as heroes.
    Since Priya was just recently recruited, I feel bad for her… but also think she’ll be able to help Ness and Cy get out!

  13. Ok so a lot happened in this portion and a lot of twists that I didn’t see coming. Cindy being a reporter? The nightmare defence being behind nightmares? So much to take in.

    1. I kind of forgot about Beth/didn’t think she was that much of a problem in the story to have her be relevant enough to want to kill Cy.

    2. I think Priya will end up going to the defence for training or something and find out that Ness and Cy were taken.

    3. I think they’re going to end up turning Ness into a nightmare, possibly like the spider her sister was.

  14. Did you guess that Beth was responsible for ordering the hit on Cy?
    Beth was a bit of a shocker! I expected it to be Cy’s dad or even Dex but not Beth.
    How do you think they’ll get out of this?
    Maybe Cy will go all vampire god and take everyone out.
    What do you think that person meant when they said Ness isn’t a Nightmare yet?
    Everyone has the ability to turn into a nightmare. She physically hasn’t turned into one so it’s not her reality yet but with seeing the guy in her dream it’s a hint that it’s coming.

  15. I did not guess that it was Beth but then I had actually completed forgotten about there being a girlfriend.

    So Nightmare defence are also assassins? Sure why not. This whole city is a corrupt mess.

    And Nightmare defence are also creating Nightmares so that they have an endless supply of monsters to kill to keep them employed and boost their hero status. Of course they are.

    I certainly hope Ness and Cy escape and I suspect that the Phantom Ness sees in her dreams will play a role.

  16. 1. Did you guess that Beth was responsible for ordering the hit on Cy?: I honestly forgot about her until she showed up again.

    2. How do you think they’ll get out of this?: hmm I’m not sure honestly.

    3. What do you think that person meant when they said Ness isn’t a Nightmare yet?: my guess is that they’ll try to get her turned into a nightmare.

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