The Asylum Series Book Review
October is a time where eerie sounds come to life and in the shadows fester your worst nightmares, or something along those lines. Autumn is here, the wind is chilly, and the fireplaces burst with life—a great moment to open a book. Why not three or four? The Asylum trilogy by Madeline Roux delves into mystery and psychological horror. All three novels feature settings that quickly switch from happiness to madness. The Asylum trilogy features novels Asylum, Sanctum, and Catacomb.
The series starts off with three teenagers, Dan, Abby, and Jordan that meet at a prep program at the New Hampshire College, but because of construction situations in the regular college, the students in this prep program or forced to stay in the old Brookline Dorm—formerly known as a psychiatric hospital. Together, they discover the dark past of this asylum and begin to realize that it was far from an ordinary psych ward when secrets refuse to stay buried.
Through this trilogy, the three of them endure the craziest of adventures—from cults to ghosts that may or may not delve from the psyche. The books are small and quite quick to read if you really take some alone time and really dig into the story. Each book has a buildup of enigma depending on their settings and does an excellent job in terms of suspense and drama. Though the ’romantic’ feature in all three novels appear to be there, they are quite faint, something I’m still unsure if it was intentional or not from the author. Roux does an incredible job at keeping each scene the teens venture into full of imagery and adventure. Admittedly the beginning of the first novel may seem just a bit slow to some readers, but every beginning needs a good buildup.
A problem that I’ve seen occurring to readers who delve into this trilogy, is its theme. A lot of readers when reading and once done with these novels say they expect nothing more than scary. Jump scare after jump scare, but the reality of this trilogy is that, it is far from jump scares. These novels are pure thrillers. What does that mean? It means when you read the novels expect horror that will mess with you psychologically and has a scary, mysterious aspect to it. A lot of youth of today forget that scary doesn’t have to lead to blood, gore, and surprise jump scares. Sometimes a good horror/thriller novel lies in the diction and set up — the conundrum and structure.
The best part of these novels is the realistic feature it brings into the reading in terms of reactions from the three teens, how characters go about obstacles, and how they use the environment around them. The stories also feature further characters like, main character Dan Crawford’s parents. There are so many different stories and angles that the Asylum trilogy takes, that it really leaves more for the imagination, no matter how much detail they have.
If you’re a quick reader and want a little more from the Asylum series, check out Roux’s Asylum Novellas that feature side stories from characters further introduced in the Asylum trilogy. I’m quite delighted when arthurs do this. With side stories not embedded into the main stories, readers can choose whether or not they want to venture to those aspects of the novels or if they want to keep the wonder of the main series. The Asylum series are great books to start off the October month while the weather becomes colder and the Halloween decorations get set up one by one.