As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.
Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux's "Asylum" is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.
Dan is attending New Hampshire College Prep this summer, and his dorm room is located in the old Brookline Asylum.
He befriends Jordan and Abby, and explores the abandoned area of the asylum, which is strictly forbidden for students to access. Soon after, he finds himself having disturbing dreams and visions, and receiving threatening notes. Researching the asylum brings to light the horrible experiments and practices that the cruel warden subjected his patients to.
As the dreams, visions, and notes escalate, the unspeakable occurs, and Dan finds himself in the very center of the terrifying situation. Will he, and his friends, survive the summer?
There were so many amazing things about this book, I'm not sure where to start!
I was captivated from the first chapter. Roux's writing flows smoothly and I instantly liked Dan. I like how I didn't know absolutely everything about Dan, Abby, and Jordan right away.
I need to mention that I was pleased that amongst all of the creepy paranormal and psychological stuff going on in this book, real issues were addressed through the lives of the characters. For example, Dan was adopted and had to spend some time in the foster care system. Abby's family was having problems and she was unsettled for a portion of the novel because of this. Jordan was attending the program secretly because his homophobic parents had attempted to send him to a gay conversion camp.
Another thing I loved about this book is the guessing game that was going on in my head the entire time. I couldn't decide if Dan was crazy, or if he was really experiencing the things he claimed to experience throughout the novel.
I wondered who could possibly be behind the disturbing notes and why Dan was having such strange dreams and visions. One moment, I was suspecting one of the characters. The next, I had changed my mind and was scrambling to put the pieces together myself, to figure out who was behind all of this madness.
The photographs throughout the book really added to the creepy-factor by giving me visuals of Dan's visions/dreams and of the settings and objects the three friends came across. It enhanced the story because I was able to better imagine what Dan, Abby, and Jordan were going through and discovering.
I recommend this book to fans of YA, mysteries and thrillers, and to anyone searching for a genuinely creepy read.
This review can also be found at http://fortheloveofbooksreviews.blogspot.ca/2015/03/asylum-by-madeleine-roux.html
A constant guessing game filled with suspense.
Miss Peregrine's was such an unique read because all of the photos that accompanied the story were original. Ransom Riggs wrote a story around the creepy photos he had found at flea markets and photograph collectors. It is quite obvious that the photographs in Asylum were staged to complement the story. All of the photos feel very fake and don't really add much to the overall feel of Asylum. There were times when I felt like creepier photos should have been in this book rather than the mundane photos that were included. I know my ARC didn't have all of the interior art and photographs so it's a bit unfair to deride this book based on the visual components.
The characters in this book are definitely developed, but I wasn't the biggest fan of them. Dan acted like a petty child at sometimes and it bothered me how infatuated he was with Abby. Dan would notice such trivial things about Abby's appearance and obsess over it. It was a bit strange in my opinion how he fawned over her hair and how wavy it was. Last time I checked this isn't normal behaviour for a teenage guy. Abby was kind of a strange character but I still kind of liked her. I didn't understand why Dan was so enamored with her but she was definitely an interesting character. I felt like Jordan got the short end of the stick in this book because even though he is a main character, at times he felt kind of arbitrary. There were pages and pages went by where the author didn't even mention Jordan and I really wanted to know what was going on with him. He wasn't under-developed but I would have liked to see his character furthered in this book.
Asylum is a well-done mystery-thriller-horror combination and the plot is executed extremely well. There was a perfect balance of thrill and macabre ingrained in the plot but there were still moments where I felt a need to roll my eyes. Asylum is a very original novel but it still has some of the horror movie cliches. Seriously why would you enter an abandoned mental asylum alone? Besides the cliches, the plot was pretty original and enjoyable up until the ending. The ending felt like a total cop out and just a lame way to expand this book into an entire series. I seriously feel like this book would have worked better as a stand-alone, does every YA book need to be apart of a series? Whatever happened to good ol' stand-alones?
Bottomline: I enjoyed Asylum for the most part and I will reluctantly read the sequel. Asylum is a fast-paced thriller with just enough spookiness to give readers chills. This book isn't the next Miss Peregrine's but it's definitely a must-read for horror fans.