Asylum has a creepy vibe even before you open the book. The cover photo is of a girl or woman who turns her head just as the photo is taken, or maybe there is something sinister about her. That atmosphere is unease that continues through the book is Asylum’s forte.
The book includes disturbing photos that tie into the story. You know there are there, but they creep you not nonetheless. And the peculiar thing is, I looked at the photos before I read the book, and didn’t find them scary, but as I turned the pages and saw e.g. the girl dressed in her Sunday best, staring into the camera with empty eyes and with a jagged scar across her forehead, I was definitely scared.
Dan Crawford attends the summer programme at New Hampshire College and just happens to be housed in the old mental institution Brookline. Dan and his newfound friends Abby and Jordan explore an old office and find a disturbing photo that Abby feels strangely drawn to. Dan on the other hand is drawn to history of Brookline and the reason why it closed.
Naturally, or should I say unnaturally, mysterious things begin to happen. Joe, the hall monitor ends up dead and Dan receives cryptic messages that make him question his sanity.
Asylum is a young adult horror book with a male protagonist and without the over the top romance, balancing the horror on the side. Now, there are more books in the series, but I haven’t dashed to the bookstore to buy them.
One of the elements that I appreciate about Asylum is the dynamic of the three friends Dan, Abby, and Jordan. Madeleine Roux could so easily have written them into a couple and a third wheel, but she expertly succeeds in creating and having three very equal characters and share different bonds in their three-leafed clover. Two share an extroverted personality. Two enjoy a budding romance. Two are boys. No one character is left behind.
If you’re not going trick or treating, this would be an enjoyable read for a dark, cold night. MOHAHAHA!! (I admit, I have just decorated pumpkins and I am in a Halloween mood.)