For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it’s a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.
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.
I’m a little late with getting started on my October/Halloween reviews, but now is as good of a time as any. Since it is October/Halloween, I will be posting reviews of stories in the horror genre to get you all good and scared in the best time of the year. That being said, let’s talk about Asylum.
Author: Madeleine Roux
Rating: 4 stars
First off, usually, when reading a book from the point of view of a man that was written by a women there are some things that are off. This felt very realistically from a man’s POV and I was a little surprised when I looked on the cover to see a woman wrote it.
Second, the story itself is beautifully done. Many authors try to really put in the creep factor and fill ghost stories full of things being knocked over and gusts of wind. I thoroughly enjoyed this story because it had none of that. It played heavily off of the idea of messing with your own sanity. Are we crazy? Or is this stuff really happening? I felt myself losing it towards the end. That’s when you know you have a good horror ghost story.
Now let’s talk characters.
Daniel (crazy-pants) Crawford: Dan is the main character of the story and in all honesty, he’s a wacko. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed his character immensely, but he’s still crazy. I mean, he’s channeling the ghost of his supposed dead great-uncle. That’s a little looney.
Besides that, Dan is a loner, preferring to keep things to himself and when he is hanging out with his friends, he prefers to let them talk and him listen. It was refreshing to get a different type of main character. It seems like these days everyone just goes with a sarcastic slacker badass combo for their MC. Dan is a scholarly loner and he was still more badass than other character’s I’ve ever read.
And he handled going crazy and being haunted by a ghost better than anyone I know. He sat calmly and didn’t bother his friends with his problems. I know I would be running around screaming and punching anyone in the face if they so much as walked behind me.
Dan, I will say that you are the man.
Abby (my family drama is everyone’s business) Valdez: Okay, that sounds a little harsh, but it’s true. Abby is talking all throughout the book about her family drama on how her aunt went to the asylum and now she’s investigating it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very interesting, but I for one would be a bit more cautious before letting people know I’m related to someone who was locked up in a nut house.
That being said, Abby is still a very likable character. She’s artistic and optimistic, but not annoying with it. She’s the perfect amount of everything she needs to be. And she has good taste in men. You chose wisely in Dan, milady.
The two of them are so cute together.
Jordan (you have no last name): I’m not sure how I feel about Jordan. I liked that he was gay, but the author didn’t capitalize on that and make it his only personality trait. He was an obsessive math wiz who snuck away to the summer camp when his parents thought he was at some gay-reconditioning-brainwash thing.
My favorite scene is when Dan goes into his room to see if he’s okay after finding Joe’s body and finds his room covered in discarded papers trying to solve an unsolvable math problem. But when Dan goes in his room a few hours later, everything is gone.
That part of the story is never really explained very well, and I wonder if it was all part of Dan’s imagination of Jordan was just a little crazy.
All in all, I really enjoyed the book. And after reading it, I only have one real question. When the warden ran up the stairs and closed off the experimental part of the asylum when the cops came, the Sculptor was still tied to the gurney. So when Dan and Abby make their way down their years later, why don’t they find a skeleton on the gurney?
Or did someone remove it?
Many thoughts are a-brewing. And I can honestly say that I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good horror story with October/Halloween.