Six months after the events of NIGHTMARE ACADEMY, Charlie, Theodore and Violet are taking their final exam to move from Noobs to Addys. However the straightforward banishing turns sinister when they discover that someone in the Nether has been using children in the real world to weaken the Guardian who keeps monsters in the Nether. To save the Guardian, they join up with Pinch (a Double-Threat who had his abilities taken away) to get hydra's milk, only to find that the Named monsters will do anything to stop them and worse, there are those within the Nightmare Division itself who don't want them to succeed.
Lorey moves away from Harry Potter territory in this book, moving the story in a more original direction. The quest to recover the hydra's milk is fast-paced and action-packed and Lorey weaves in Director Drake's machinations against the Double-Threats in a way that keeps it interesting. Particularly good are the scenes with the Guardian - a small creature that yearns for human contact, even though human contact is what will kill it.
Charlie, Violet and Theodore remain somewhat two-dimensional characters. Violet's jealousy of Tabitha seems misplaced and forced while Theodore's jokes are annoying rather than funny and frequently undermine the tension of a scene. Charlie himself is colourless and somewhat dull. Fortunately Pinch is much more complex, his desperation to regain his powers driving him to awful measures.
There isn't a huge amount of emotional development in this book, but the climax is chilling and there's a good set up for the next in the series - particularly with regard to the relationship between Theodore and his father. If Lorey carries on at this rate, then the next book should be thrilling.