Review: Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Posted 18 March, 2014 by Pushy in Blog, Featured, Pushy, Pushy Book Review / 6 Comments

Review: Asylum by Madeleine RouxAsylum by Madeleine Roux
Published by HarperCollins on 2013-08-20
Genres: Contemporary, Horror, Mystery and Suspense, Paranormal, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed From Library
Buy on Amazon
4 Stars

Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.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.Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux's teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.

Things That Go Bump

Asylum by Madeleine Roux is one of those fantastic spooky tales from the celebrated round-the-campfire vein.  Starting out in a deliciously creepy setting, an insane asylum turned into a college dorm and following the traditional horror arch of unreliable narrator, people making bad decisions in the dead of night and creepy paranormal elements that make the hair on your neck stand up, this book is a delight from start to finish.

Our narrator, Daniel Crawford, is a great set of eyes for viewing this story through.  He’s come to this pre-college camp for smarty pants kids completely alone and not fully expecting to be a social butterfly.  So when he does make some friends, complete with a cute girl who might be open to liking him, he’s flying high!  Sure he’s got a strange ranger for a roommate, but really, what first time roommate doesn’t seem a little strange?  And so what if said creepy roommate convinces Dan to go into the supposed-to-be-locked old warden’s office in the middle of the night?  What could possible go wrong?!?  *insert Friday the 13th music here*

As the story progresses, the reader becomes less and less sure of the sanity and non-homicidal tendencies of all the characters.  Dan’s memory plays tricks on him.  His friends, Abby and Jordan, become aloof and troubled.  His roommate, Felix, remains strange, but starts to develop additional odd quirks.  And finally, like Dan, the reader finds themselves surrounded by characters that simply can’t be trusted.

The back story of the asylum itself and the doctor/warden who ran it is also intriguing, adding a layer of slowly building fear to this perfect mix of creepiness.  And Madeleine Roux deftly uses setting and characterization to flesh out the story while ratcheting up the tension quite nicely!

The ending’s not full of shockers but still we’re left with a few lingering open threads…perfect for a sequel…or just to make you jump at that bump in the dark!

Bottom Line

A perfect blend of YA horror and thriller, this is a great read for the dead of night….or the dead of winter!

Rating 4


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6 Responses to “Review: Asylum by Madeleine Roux”

  1. I know several of my friends love this series, but I don’t know. I’m not a super visual reader but when it comes to horror thrillers, all my imagination seems to kick in and pictures the most morbid image ever that will hunt me in my sleep. This cover is already giving me the creeps and I think the plots is even spookier. Ahhhh I would really hate to miss something as good as this, but I’m so conflicted 🙁

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    Pushy 3/18/2014

    It’s definitely spooky and gave me the creeps, but I’m a WUSS! So if I can take it, I think most other folks can too! Hope you give it a try!!
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