City of Nightmares Readalong: Day 5!

Stunning photo by @darkfaerietales_

Hey fairy friends!

It’s the final section, are you ready to find out how City of Nightmares ends? I am expecting a lot of emotions, a lot of drama, some fighting!

Today we’re reading from Chapter 30 to the end of the book.

Grab a snack, get comfy and let’s read!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for City of Nightmares by Rebecca Schaeffer, from chapter 30 to the end of the book. Please only read on if you’ve finished City of Nightmares!


Charlie Chambers is here to… well, I don’t really know. Interrogate them maybe? What for, I don’t know. Ness sees her chance to bring his arrogance down a notch though and pretends she doesn’t know who the notorious Nightmare catcher is.

Newham just seems to be getting more and more corrupt. It’s giving Gotham a run for its money at this point. 

Ohhhhh, things are becoming clearer. Ness was never a target!! CINDY was supposed to be on the boat! How did I not put that together? Cindy was the target. Ness put a target on her own back after she went snooping! Eek.

Hold on… one of the assassins wasn’t sent by Nightmare Defense, so there’s STILL someone else after Ness? Place your bets, my money is on the Director. 

Before Ness can even make sense of that though, Charlie wants to make a start… in turning Ness into a Nightmare.

They make Nightmares, for training and for profit… and the not-a-cult-cult is one of their biggest buyers…

The nightmare doesn’t exactly go to plan, Ness can lucid dream after all. What the nightmare does give Ness is clarity. Ruby did it on purpose. Her scholarship was fake, her father was trying to sell her. Ruby killed the two people that knew, her father, and the postman Nick.

Ness speaks to the Nightmare Phantom once more and they come up with a solution (kind of). When Ness wakes up and the Nightmare Phantom is beside her and breaks the glass with a mere flick of his finger… Ness starts to wonder if this was a mistake.

Mistake or not, Ness and Cy are free. Cy is hungry, Ness is tired. If Cy goes to Estelle to feed, Ness has to go with him and she really doesn’t want to. She has another plan though. She lets Cy feed off of her. This is such a sweet moment considering he’s about to drink her blood.

Once it’s over with, Ness is out on another mission. This time, she’s setting her sights on Mr Columb. Can we take a moment to talk about Ness’s character growth? Holy wow, she’s like a different person! I think a lot of it is that she’s been forced to be brave, but I also think Cy has helped her see that not every Nightmare is bad, and I think her revelation about Ruby during her lucid dream has helped her heal a lot.  

Anyway, Ness has done some digging. Mr Columb was fired from his last job. He helped a LOT of students get scholarships… and they all disappeared. Not only has she completely outed him, she’s frozen his bank accounts. Ness casually tells him if he didn’t hire the assassin to kill her, this shouldn’t be a problem. If he did though, well, those assassins will be at his door asking for money, pretty mad, soon enough. Damn girl!

Ness fills Priya in on what happened, she seems as shocked as I was at how far Ness has come! She’s not done growing yet either, she’s applying for a job where Estelle works. I am so proud of her! We leave Ness and Priya as Cy enters the restaurant and Ness smiles, knowing she gets to introduce her two best friends.


We have a Nightmare Phantom epilogue. ? He’s relishing his freedom… and now he’s going to have some fun…

That ENDING. I am shook. So shook!

Did you guess Mr Columb hired the assassin? I fully thought it was the Director!
What do you think about what happened to Ruby?
What do you think is next for Ness, Cy and Priya?

Let me know what you thought about the book in the comments, would love to hear your thoughts on this one!

As always, thank you so much for joining us and I’ll see you very soon for our next FairyLoot readalong!


17 thoughts on “City of Nightmares Readalong: Day 5!

  1. This book was such a delightful surprise! Thank you so much, Fairyloot team, for selecting it as the February book.

    I did NOT guess that Mr Columb was behind it all. I thought he might be involved with stuff (why else would he be at the cult randomly?) but didn’t expect him to be one of the masterminds!

    Ruby’s story was so sad. It made a lot of sense, especially in that world, but it’s heartbreaking that she thought turning into a Nightmare was her only way out instead of trying to run away with Ness.

    I have no idea where Ness, Cy, and Priya will go next. I’m mildly concerned that these events didn’t turn Priya away from Nightmare Defense but also not surprised considering anything else they join is probably just as corrupt HAHAAA. Although, I am intrigued by the mentions of the Chaos League (who, despite their name, are trying to clean up the city and make it less corrupt?). I wonder if they’ll get more page time in the next book…

    I do hope we get a sequel. I have so many questions about the Nightmare Phantom, Cindy, and the cult.

  2. 1. No! I really thought it was the Director as well! Mr. Columb was mentioned so little at the beginning I had completely forgotten about him…
    2. It’s sad what happened to her. The whole circumstance surrounding her decision is sad and the fact that she felt so trapped and stuck that she saw that as her only way out. In the end she became a byproduct of the way and place she grew up.
    3. I don’t really know what is next for them, but I do think it will have to do with the phantom that Ness set free trying to escape.

    After finishing this book, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would’ve expected unfortunately. I do think the book and story has a lot of potential and I really liked Ness’ character, but overall the strong feeling and strong beginning slowly ebbed away the further along I got in the story.

  3. Now that I’ve finished this book I don’t know what I’m going to do without the sequel (there better be one lol). It’s sad that Ruby had to turn herself into a spider just to save herself and her sister but if she didn’t who knows what would have happened to Ness. Now that she’s released the demon does that mean that everyone can now fall asleep and not worry about turning into a nightmare unless her touches them? And why has he been trapped for 100 years? Like I said in a previous comment, I still don’t think that Ness and Cy’s relationship is romantic , it’s just that they get each other and can fully trust the other person with their true selves. That being said I think it’s funny that Ness ended up with basically no hair aside from her bangs and probably looked like Angelica’s doll from the rugrats! I am glad that i gave this book a chance he’d se it was so different than anything I have read in a long time and it kept my interest early in with the author’s witty humor.

  4. Well, I’m definitely going to be getting the next book because there’s so much left that I need to know how it turns out.
    Daily Q&A:
    1.) Did you guess Mr Columb hired the assassin? I fully thought it was the Director!
    2.) What do you think about what happened to Ruby?
    3.) What do you think is next for Ness, Cy and Priya?
    1.) Nope. That was a surprise because I was so busy learning about the truth of what happened to Ruby that I didn’t get to who recommended her for the scholarship or why he was in a place like the Friends of the Restful Soul which we now know traffics people.
    2.) It was sad – all the more so due to this new insight & how much more far-reaching the situation turned out to be.
    3.) Hopefully, kicking ass & taking names. Lol. I’d really like to see the Director & the whole Friends of the Restful Soul get their comeuppance somehow. There’s also the mystery around Cindy that they could unravel. I’m sure they’ll run into Nightmare Phantom boy again at some point. As for those 3, personally, I’m hoping Priya & Cy become fast friends, Cy & Ness end up together, & maybe they bring Dev into their inner circle (assuming he’s managed to shake off/survive Beth)?

  5. Wooooowwwwww definitely did NOT see her father being involved in an awful scheme to sell Ruby off with this whole fake scholarship thing. How…horribly sick…this went way darker than expected. I’m glad Ness set Mr Columb up! The rat deserved it! Also how unnerving that the Nightmares retain their minds.
    I dont blame Ruby for not taking her pills and turning into a Nightmare to get back at those that were going to hurt her and eventually Ness. Still a sad way to go.

    I hope in the next book we will see Ness, Cy and Priya all team up to take down the cult! Eventually the Phantom as well I guess. I’m excited to see what kind of chaos he brings to Newham in the next book.

  6. This book was so awesome! I loved it. The pacing was fast and most of the revelations I did not see coming. I loved the charcters and Ness’s growth was awesome. The crazy chaotic setting was so cool.

    I did read the blurb to book two when I went to mark this one as read but if this book was anything to go by, anything could happen in the next one. I’m not sure if the nightmare boy is going to be the villain or an ally. Maybe the ultimate villain is who ever put him in the dream world. I also find it possible that there isn’t one and only Ness’s struggles are on the focus and then crazy life goes on.

    I can’t wait to read the next and I’m glad the wait isn’t going to be too long. Hopefully Fairyloot does a pretty matching edition. ?

  7. my thoughts while reading:
    – the ruby reveal left my mind REELING!!!
    – ness is the most terrified of nightmares and also the only one immune lolll
    – should’ve guessed mr. columb was up to something. love how ness handled it?
    my answers to your questions:
    – i really didn’t think mr. columb hired the assassin!!
    – what happened with ruby was so sad omg. it’s terrible she couldn’t trust the adults in her life and chose to turn into a monster to free herself.
    – i think now that the phantom is free our heroes will have to put a stop to him…i don’t trust him to not cause absolute chaos

  8. I enjoyed this book more than I expected. I did not expect the end at all. It absolutely broke my heart for Ness. When Ness first ran into Mr Columb earlier in the book, I figured there was much more to Ruby’s story, however, I didn’t expect it to be so sad. I also really love the way Ness’s character grew throughout the book, and I love the way things left off between her and Cy. For my first fairyloot box I am extremely pleased. Can’t wait to do another read a long. This one got me out of a reading slump.

  9. Oh my gosh, I loved this book. It was laugh-out-loud funny at so many points. I was surprised by the ending, I kinda wanted to see Ness become the thing that can fight all nightmares or the nightmare demon herself. But the wit through out made this easily one fo my favourite books so far this year.

    I am beyond excited about book two and so glad it is coming out this year! The wait will be easy… easy-ish… but if I had a pterodactyl I could just eat my way to an ARC.

  10. Who knew Mr Columb would be the criminal mastermind… not me! I really liked that we got such an unexpected plot twist.

    Poor, brave Ruby. I feel sad for her, yet find it impressive that a 13 y/o child has the courage to make that decision! But I can’t stop thinking about that massive spider that Ness saw in the basement of the Nightmare Defense, and how it reminded her of her sister. Could there be a plot twist in the next book, revealing that Ruby is still alive and was trapped in that basement, being used to train new guards, all this time? I don’t know, maybe it is just my mind going wild haha.

    I think the next book will be about the scheme the Director is running and where the patients are being transferred to. Maybe it is somehow linked to the “scholarahip” locations? I don’t know. With the way Rebecca Schaeffer writes, I’m preparing for all kinds of plot twists!
    What do you think is next for Ness, Cy and Priya?

  11. I unexpectedly really enjoyed this book. With a title like “City of Nightmares” it gives off horror vibes, but that’s definitely not what the book is all about.
    Mr. Columb seems like an odd choice to be honest, because he played such a small role in the book. I am slightly disappointed we didn’t hear what was happening to the people that were being trafficked by the Director and the Friends though.
    I think Ruby made the best of a bad situation. It was clear that she did it out of love for Ness and that she had no choice but to fight her father for what was a bit of a poor move on his part. I think the reader may have had more to root for her if we had found out exactly where the people were being trafficked to and for what purpose though – I know it’s not a great thing to have done to you either way though.
    I hope that Ness and Cy develop more of a relationship than what currently exists. I’m honestly surprised that Priya still wants to join the Nightmare Defense after seeing the mess the organisation is.

  12. So I finally finished this one and I have to say that I didn’t really enjoy it. Urban fantasy is not one of my favourite genres but in this case, the world wasn’t where I had issues, it was the characters and the writing. The characters felt kinda flat and the people at the end who ended up being important to the plot were only in the book for a few short pages which didn’t make a lot of sense. The writing was also cringy at times and often had me wanting to put this one down. I’m glad I finished it for another book to go towards my goodreads goal, but I will not be picking up the sequel for this one. My rating is 2.5 ⭐️

  13. Did you guess Mr Columb hired the assassin? I fully thought it was the Director!
    Yah I didnt expect it to be Mr Columb however, the reasoning makes perfect sense.
    What do you think about what happened to Ruby?
    It hurts. That really hurts.
    What do you think is next for Ness, Cy and Priya?
    I think they are going to have their hands full with the phantom nightmare.

  14. Did you guess Mr Columb hired the assassin? I fully thought it was the Director!
    Yah I didnt expect it to be Mr Columb however, the reasoning makes perfect sense.
    What do you think about what happened to Ruby?
    It hurts. That really hurts. I understand why she did it but it hurts that she was failed by those who should not have failed her and that her only chance at getting away was to become a monster and protect Nessa from a similar future.
    What do you think is next for Ness, Cy and Priya?
    I think they are going to have their hands full with the phantom nightmare.

  15. I did think it very odd that the teacher from back home would turn up at the “not a cult” say some cryptic things. I knew he must have been in the story for a reason but I did not guess why or that he had ordered the hit on Ness.

    I did not guess why Ruby chose to change but I had wondered about their Dad and why Ness barely mentioned him outside of thinking about when spider Ruby ate him. Ness didn’t seem to be grieving her father, only Ruby and I wasn’t sure if it was that he was poorly written or a deliberate choice by the author. Turns out it was the later.

    I was surprised at Priya still choosing to join Nightmare defence but I think she is the perfect person to take down a corrupt organization from the inside.

    Both Ness and Cy have been lonely, disconnect people but now they have each other + a few more… Priya, her sister and partner. Maybe Estelle, Cindy and Dev.

    I am very interested to know more about the Nightmare Phantom. It sounds like he has visited others in their dreams so he’s not a creation from Ness’s mind. But what is he? Who locked him away a 100 years ago. Did he cause the Nightmares to start or is he the antidote? What is he going to do now he is out?

  16. I adored this book and all the twists! Five out of five stars for me

    1. Did you guess Mr Columb hired the assassin? I fully thought it was the Director!: I didn’t, but I did know there was something off about him
    2. What do you think about what happened to Ruby?: honestly? Good for her
    3. What do you think is next for Ness, Cy and Priya?: I’m guessing they need to stop the nightmare phantom guy.

  17. I am a few months behind on my books but I do have some thoughts!

    I fully thought, upon reading about Ness and Cy in the jail, that the spider in the room next to her was her sister Ruby. Ness “says” that they destroyed her sister but if it was truly Nightmare Defense that took her down, maybe they just stole her and made it look like they had killed her so they could use her for some other sinister purpose.
    I think that Nightmare Defence put her in the cell because, like the Nightmare Prince said, she still has her own mind and doesn’t want to be used for evil so they are hoping to reform her.

    I don’t know, I could just be projecting, but oh well. I can’t wait to read the next book!

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