Catacomb picks up several months after Book Two of the series, Sanctum. Dan, Abby, and Jordan are on their way down to Louisiana over summer break. Jordan has decided to move in with his uncle who lives in New Orleans. Sort of a new start after all the crazy that happened in Asylum and Sanctum The trio thought their days of dangerous, near death battles were over. Oh, how wrong they were…
From the first page, I was super hooked on this story. There’s enough of backstory peppering to get the gist of what they barely escaped from in the last books, but not too much to distract from their new battle. Jordan is desperate to start over in New Orleans. Abby is determined to finish her photo project and uncovering more of an allusive prohibition gangster of old. Dan just wants to be with his friends while he can. Little did they know all of their pieces would come together. Dan’s parents have a sorted past, and if they keep digging, it will become his present.
I love, love, LOVE how Roux uses actual photographs within the story. It really amps up the creep factor. I don’t care of it’s a simple photo of an abandoned building or a stone carving. They way the pictures are used gives them life or a story of their own. They live within the pages. Some of them gave me chills. I think because they are real. The story may be fiction, but the added media of real photographs makes you think twice about that whole fiction/non-fiction line.
Dan is also an incredible character. His voice is clear and distinct. But not overdone in the boy department. He’s not too much of a smarty that seems to be the norm in YA books. He’s just a kid trying to make sense of his past, and figure out how that works into his present and future. Dan internalizes. A lot. Most times when he shouldn’t, and that’s the heart of his story. Watching him learn to trust in others and allow them to be a part of his search for truth is fantastic. Abby and Jordan are perfect compliments to Dan. Abby is the heart of their trio, Jordan is the brain, and Dan is the guts, the drive.
Catacomb is a fast-paced read that anyone can enjoy. The characters are wonderfully “teen” and have many relatable qualities. It actually bummed me out when I drew near to the end, but that didn’t stop me from devouring these pages. The story twists and turns, drops some major plot bombs that will give you whiplash of the best kind, and it will no doubt creep you out. The settings are superb, especially when we get to New Orleans. Roux brings out everything that is beautiful, nostalgic, and down right freaky about the city. It will certainly make you think twice about those quirky nick-knack shops and where they really get their wares.