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Nightmare Academy

by Frank E. Peretti
Series: Veritas Project #2
320 pages, Suspense
Reviewed by Luthien

A well-written, suspenseful read with violent content and a somewhat dark plot.

Plot

A 15-year-old runaway boy turns up, out of his mind. He keeps on saying something about a place called "Nightmare Academy" where time runs backwards and gravity is turned upside-down. It is now up to the Veritas Project Team to discover who did it, why, and the truth behind it.

Morality

The good characters are good, and the bad ones are bad. At one time one of the characters betrays another, but repents of it afterward. There are some discussions about good and evil that the springfield kids had with teachers.

Spiritual Content

The good characters are Christians. They repeatedly fight for Truth against the Lie. One girl cries out to God in her despair, and all of the main good people pray throughout the book. There is an important debate between the children and their teachers concerning good and evil, with the children supporting their existence.

Violence

A beast devours a man in an essay someone writes. A boy is murdered and there are fights during raids; two big fights ensue and get different responses from the administrative staff; and a mob causes a riot. Also, someone falls into the corner of a filing cabinet and another boy falls through a closed glass window. A couple of guns are fired without hitting anyone. Buildings explode and there are some self defense techniques used.

Drug and Alcohol Content

None.

Sexual Content

Nothing overt.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

It mentions some people cursing and/or swearing, but it does not tell us what they said.

Conclusion

This was a very interesting, suspenseful, and well-written story. It even includes, at one point, a short lesson in English grammar. The tale has some really great quotes in it, such as, "Take away truth and people will lie, scoff at virtue and betrayal becomes a matter of course." That quote is really the theme of the whole book.

However, there is a great deal of violence throughout the tale and the overall theme is fairly dark. The story is certainly not for younger children.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 3.5
Written for Age: 13+

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