Sanctum Review

Dan, Abby, and Jordan remain traumatized by the summer they shared in the Brookline asylum. Much as they’d love to move on, someone is determined to keep the terror alive, sending the teens photos of an old-timey carnival, with no note and no name. Forsaking their plan never to go back, the teens return to New Hampshire College under the guise of a weekend for prospective students, and there they realize that the carnival from the photos is not only real, it’s here on campus, apparently for the first time in many years.

Sneaking away from sample classes and college parties, Dan and his friends lead a tour of their own—one through the abandoned houses and hidden places of the surrounding town. Camford is hiding a terrible past, and the influence of the asylum runs deeper than Dan ever imagined.

Sanctum (Asylum Book 2)

By Madeleine Roux

Three Stars

I’m somewhere in the middle on this book. While I respect the theme of the story and the idea that Roux was trying to get across, I couldn’t help but feel confused the entire way through the story.

The first book was clear and simple. Is the main character seeing ghosts, or is he really insane? And in that simplicity came one of the best horror books I’ve ever read. However, in the second book, it felt like Roux was trying to throw every possible crazy thing at you in order to make the readers scared when it just made the story confusing. I spent half the book wondering if these “red skull” people were actually important or just a red herring when it turns out that this is now a book with 99.9% no supernatural entities at all. Just good old fashioned brainwashing.

That was a major let down but also brought up an interesting point. While Professor Reyes admitted to drugging and hypnotizing Dan, she couldn’t have made up those memories that he had. Not to mention, him seeing Micah at the end of the book when he was apparently dead.

Dan gets crazier in this book, going so far as to talk in the first person when explaining the thoughts of Daniel Crawford.

“He wanted control. That was always the goal. That was it all along, I wanted to control people, unlock their true potential as interpreted by me.”

If that’s not a sign your off your rocker I don’t know what is.

 

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Also, his and Abby’s relationship still doesn’t go anywhere. There are just a few moments of them looking at each other, or Dan explaining to someone that he doesn’t know what they are to each other. Dan, you were the man by making a move when you first met her! Make a move again! Go for what you want!

Although, she doesn’t do much other than being an idiot in this book so it might be best to pick someone else. I mean, she wanted to stay with the dead body when it was obviously a trap for the red skull society to capture them. Then she wanted to go to the police when it was obvious the red skulls had reach all across the town. You are in a horror book woman. You need to learn to think!

And then Jordan I feel like is only in this book because he was in the last one. He literally offers nothing other than to be the gay friend who follows them around and keeps pointing out the annoying boat shoes his mentor is wearing. Oh, and going to the vending machines to get them food.

And my main complaint about the whole story would have to be something so small, that many people may not have noticed it. It occurs when Professor Reyes has Dan in Daniel Crawfords old office. Dan tries to reason with her and tell her that she’s not the “villain,” she’s a “victim.”

She then proceeds to say:

“I am not a victim, I most certainly am the villain. I haven’t gotten to choose much in my life but this much I choose: I am the villain.”

There are many problems with this. Either Professor Reyes is running around knowing she’s a bad guy and embracing it (which is unlikely), I would like to know why. What would make her want to be the bad guy. Every other “villian” in the stories believes they are doing what they are doing because it’s the right thing.

Like in Star Wars, Anakin thought he was doing the right thing to save everyone by getting rid of the Jedi because they had too much power. He didn’t do it to be the bad guy, but to try and save everyone. Then he turned sour because he killed his wife, but that’s a whole other thing.

The only scenario that I can think of where the bad guy actually knew he was the bad guy and wanted to do bad guy things was in Kick-Ass 2. The Mother Fucker (Chris) became a supervillain to take down Kick-Ass (superhero) after Kick-Ass killed his father. His father was a crime lord, so to take down a superhero, he knew he had to become a supervillain. I thought it was quite inspiring.

So, if Professor Reyes knows she’s the bad guy, why is she choosing to do these bad things? Why does she want to cause harm to people? The only other thing I could think of, is that she’s brainwashed by Daniel Crawford and following in his footsteps to do the same things he did. To find a way to control people and unlock their true potential. But if that was the case, she would think the way Daniel Crawford did and not see it as a bad thing, but a way to make progress.

So why would she say she’s a villain?

The only reason I can think of is that Roux wanted to throw up a flashing neon sign that says “THIS IS THE BAD GUY!!!”

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Even though this book had way too much crammed into it and then shoved the ending in the last twenty pages, it still stays true to the message in the first book: how do you know if you’re insane?

I’ll still read the next book because I already bought it, and I do still find myself curious on what is going on with Dan.

Good day.

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