Series Review: Asylum Trilogy by Madeleine Roux

Book 1: Asylum – 2.5 stars out of 5
Book 2: Sanctum – 3 stars out of 5
Book 3: Catacomb – 1.5 stars out of 5

Protagonist: Dan
Character(s): Abby, Jordan

Review: Since I didn’t have a chance to review books one and two I think its pointless for me to even try reviewing this. Not only will it ruin book 1 and two for you, but you won’t have any idea as to what I’m talking about.

The first time I heard about this book, Aylum, it was being compared to Miss Peregrine’s home for Peculiar Children. Although, I’m not really a fan of the latter, I still decided to pick this up because the premise held promise. Plus, I had nothing to read at the time and this was available in audio at Overdrive. Unfortunately for Miss Peregrine fans, besides the haunting pictures, these who books are the polar opposite. Where the former is in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, this trilogy is considered to be a mystery/paranormal book. Since I listened to this on audio, the pictures are actually not the highlight for me and I think this made my reading experience less terrifying. Which in turn, didn’t make me love the trilogy.

In Asylum, we meet our protagonist Dan who attends a special summer program in a prestigious school, where he befriends Abby and Jordan. Eventually, the three find out that their dorm was a previous asylum for the criminally insane and the three find out that their invitation was not a coincidence, someone or something wants them to there.
*From the synopsis of this novel, I was instantly intrigued and envisioned late night frights and sleeping with the lights on. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. I found the story to be dull and the climactic scene was disappointing. Although, the author tries her best to incorporate as many intense moments, I feel that she wasn’t able to convey the frightening scenes in words. I believe this is the reason why the pictures would have been more effective in this case. I’m not trying to bad mouth her writing, I just found some of the moments she included were cliche and eye-rolling scenes. Even until the end I was hopping for a little bit more scare factor. As for our three characters, I found the protagonist to be just as dull and at times I wanted to shake him to give some life to his personality.

Dan, Abby and Jordan are back at the Asylum to determine who has been sending pictures of the old Asylum. Wanting to leave the memory of their experiences last summer, they must return to make sure that the evil that lurked is no longer following them.
* I’m pretty sure you’re wondering ‘why read the second if you disliked the first so much?, well to answer your question, I actually have two. 1. I’m on the waiting list for all my library books and 2. I wanted a ‘scary’ story to read for Halloween. To be honest though, I actually enjoyed this book a lot better than the first. I’m still not a fan of the three protagonists, but I had creepy moments while reading this book. I enjoyed the whole freaky, haunted carnival scenes. That being said, the Warden arc of this trilogy actually ends with this book and was a sufficient ending for the heroes/heroine.

After the ordeal in Sanctum, the three teens are now ready for a new beginning and put the past behind them. Unfortunately, for them the past is not yet ready to let go of them.
* I was actually surprised that there was a third book to this series, because as I said before the second book ended the story. I was intrigued as to where Roux was taking the story so I decided to pick it up and since I did enjoy Sanctum, I thought maybe this would be even better, I was so very wrong! I actually really regret picking this book up because I feel like this is the worst out of the three books. The things that sold me in the second book, the creepy factor and the equally freaky Warden, is actually not present in the last installment. I feel that this book was useless and didn’t really add anything new to the story of Dan, Abby and Jordan, in fact, I think this book is pointless and should have kept the Asylum Trilogy as a Duology. The only winning factory for this book was the actual ending. I enjoyed seeing the outcome of the three protagonists and their lives after the events from the last book. If Roux created a novella, it would have been more welcoming, in my part, but this book bombed (and not in a good way!).

All in all I would give this trilogy and overall rating of 2.5 out of 5 stars. Although I did enjoy the second book, I feel like the other two brought the rating down. Also, I wasn’t invested on the characters at all. I felt them to be two-dimensional and lacked the fight that I usually enjoy in my protagonists. Like I said before, I did listen to this book on audio and therefore my reading experience might not be the same as compared to someone who read the physical books and saw all the fascinating pictures. If I will recommend this trilogy, I’ll sell it as a Duology since I did find the second to be worth a read.

***********************SPOILER ALERT!!*********************

Ending: I’m really not sure how I go about revealing the ending for these books since technically there were two different endings.

For the story arc of the Warden: Dan, Abby and Jordan was able to defeat the evil that possessed one of their friends, which was the warden. We also learn that the Warden is actually the great uncle of Dan and one particular ghost is seeking his revenge on the protagonist. Eventually they were able to defeat the ghost and in the second book, the Warden as well.

As for the third book, which is a bit hazy in my memory, all I remember is a cult base on the Warden, that three were able to defeat. Jordan meets his biological mom and the three go off to three different colleges. They still keep in contact and are still great friends, with the events they experience bonding them for life.

Advertisements

2016 Challenge Wrap-up

Before the year is over, I want to look back on the challenges that I participated in. This is a look back on those challenges and if I have accomplished them or not. I will also include my Goodreads goal as well.

So lets get started.

In 2016 I participated in six different challenges that other bloggers has created. I was very pumped up in the beginning of the year that I wanted to enter in all of them, sadly that’s really unrealistic. Also, I participated in four different Readathons throughout the year.

Anyways, lets get started.

goodreads1

I wanted to read a total of 50 books. Since starting Goodreads I’ve always set my goal to 50 because I can never surpass this number. Alas, this year was the year and I was able to read a total of 80 books! I am super proud of myself and I did do a little celebratory dance when I passed 50! I won’t talk about the different books I’ve read or even the highlight read for me. Those can be found on my individual wrap-ups or reviews.

I also set mini challenges for myself which is to read more from books I already own, read more cozy mysteries and Finish series I’ve started. I did fairly well with these mini challenges.

  • Read books I own: 17 books
  • Cozy Mystery read: 27 books
  • Finished Series: 9 series

BLOG CHALLENGES

Out of the 6 Reading Challenges I participated in I was able to complete 5 of them. That too, is actually a great achievement for me.

mount-tbr-2016

Unfortunately Mount TBR is the on challenge I was unable to finish this year. I’m not much on sticking to a list of books all throughout the year. So sadly this is one that just wasn’t for me. I was able to at least read 17 books from the list, which I think is a great accomplishment either way.

craving

This year for me was all about cozy mystery. I was addicted to them and inhaled them one after the other. So I was able to surpass my goal for this challenge, which is to read 1-10 cozy mystery books. Let’s just say I was actually able to finish this challenge by April, which deserves props from the highest order!

cloak and dagger challenge

I feel like I cheated on entering this one because the cozy mystery challenge books could technically have been used for this as well. So for me not to feel so guilty I used a different set of books to count for challenge. Obviously enough, I was able to finish this as well, which is not really a big WOW since I really do love Mystery books. The goal was to read 20 books from the mystery genre and that was completed May of 2016.

Reviews Challenge

I dreaded entering this challenge because I can never write any reviews on time, but lo and behold, I actually finished this too! The goal is to write 24 book reviews and I was able to write more than that. Which amazed me and I was able to finish this just in the nick of time, December 2016!

finish

This was another challenge I was hesitant to participate in  because I’m awful at finishing series. I have series that I started in high school and 10 years later I still haven’t finished them! I’m proud to say *drum roll pls* I annihilated this challenge! Ok maybe not annihilate, but I did finish it. The goal was to finish 7 or more series before the end of the year. I reached 7 series by May 2016, but even went further and finished more series that I have started way back when.

Dystopia.png

Last and but not least, Dystopia Reading Challenge. This is actually one I had a tough time with this year only because I was not in the mood to read Dystopian books. Fortunately, my goal was only set to 5 books and this was completed in November.

READATHONS

I won’t go into details of my Readathons, since I did separate wrap-up for them as I went along. I was able to participate in 4 of them and enjoyed all of them, most importantly, I completed each and everyone of them!

***

That’s it for 2016 and I’m really looking forward to all the different challenges I’m going to participate in next year.

 

December Wrap-up and January TBR

I can’t believe the end of 2016 is here! Happy New Year to all! I’m actually posting this 2 days before January 1, but might as well greet everyone!

So right after I posted my December TBR I actually decided to take a chill month before the year is over. I’ll be doing a year end wrap-up to discuss how well I did on my challenges both from the yearly challenges and my Goodreads challenge. Also, I will be creating a separate post on challenges I will participate in 2017!!!!

Anyways, even if I did take a much needed hiatus this month, I was able to read 2 books and these two books allowed me to finish off 2 series that has been in my TBR forever!

Here are the books I read:

Since I only read two books this month, I don’t think either books made a big impression on me. I just really want to finish off the series so I picked them up. I feel that it took me too long to finish of these series that I really wasn’t that impressed with the last book. I know that for the former I feel like its been in my TBR pile for so long that I just lost interest in the story and as I was reading the book I feel that the author felt the same way. Since the ending did feel rushed and he tried to wrap up as fast as he could. As for the latter, I really enjoyed the first book and the second was a disappointment, but I really did want to finish the trilogy. I’m not a fan of the ending, but I can live with it, at least I can finally move on.

JANUARY TBR

I’m always excited to start the new year because I feel that this month is my make it or break it month. It’s either I’m going to have a great reading year or an awful one, but then again I had an awful start January 2016, but ended up having an amazing year! So you would never know.

Here are the books I’m planning on reading to start off my year:

Also, for 2017 I have decided to do a 12-months challenge that I will discuss further in my 2017 Reading Resolutions. For now, all I’m going to put is the topic.

12-months Challenge: FANTASY

***

That’s it for me this year and let me know down below what are some of the books you want to get to at the beginning of 2017?

Happy New Year to all!

 

Top 5 Characters I’d Invite to a New Years Eve Party

top-5

This week’s Top Five Wednesday topic seems very fun. There are actually a few people I would love to invite for my New Year’s Eve Party, but here is my top 5.
uncommon-criminals

The group from Heist Society. I would love to hear all the different heist that these teens go in and all the different strategies that they have to remember. I love the different names that they give to their strategies.

the martian

Hilarious people is a definite must in all parties and Mark Whatney is that person. I love the humor that Mark has in this book and the fact that he’s stranded in a planet on his own, he deserves an invite to my BEST. PARTY. EVER!

percy

Grover is my favorite character in this book because of the humor he brings to the books and his friendship with Percy Jackson. So obviously he is also a definite must invite to my party!

winter

It’s not really a secret that I wasn’t a big fan of this series, but when I read this book I loved it! I wouldn’t really invite one individual person in this book, but as a whole I would love to have all of them. I think they’re a hilarious bunch of people and the little banters that each of them have with each other is what made me really love this last book.

HarryPotter

I don’t think a party is a party without the Weasley brothers. Any fictional party worthy of being created must have these twins and their practical jokes items.

***

So that’s it for this week. I hope you enjoy my list and let know who will you be inviting to your New Year’s Eve Party!

Disappointing Reads of 2016

A few days ago I posted my Best Read of 2016 and now I’m back for my Disappointed Reads of this year. Looking back at all the books I’ve read, I’m actually quite amazed at how great my reading year has been. Unfortunately, even with all the great books I finished, there were some that did not meet my standards.

Please note, my opinions are my own and I’m not discouraging people in picking these books up. As I always say, what works for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it works for others.

Most of these books I’ve rated 2.5 and under. There are some that are 3, but those usually are books that are part of a series and the series overall has disappointed me.

Here is my list:

my true love gave to me

I’m not much of a contemporary reader and those that I do read come highly recommended or they’re hyped up in Goodreads or Youtube. This anthology of short stories by popular contemporary authors was all the rage during 2014 Christmas Holiday, but I didn’t pick it up until this year. I just came back from my holiday and it was close to Valentine’s Day so I wanted a quick and cuddly book. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I felt underwhelmed with most of the stories and I felt that they dragged on longer than necessary.

catacomb

I was weary going into this book because I wasn’t a fan of the first book and the only reason I decided to pick this up is because the second book was fantastic. Unfortunately, my good impression did not resonate to this book. I did a whole series review on it, which I will post in the new year.

the girl on the train

Before this book was even published, I was seeing it everywhere! When I heard they were making a movie adaptation of it, I was all for it. So decided to read the book earlier this year to be ready for the movie. I had such high hopes for this. Being a mystery fanatic, I wanted this to be gripping, thrilling and everything that the advertisement promises. In the end my hopes was dashed and the book left such a bad impression on me that I didn’t even bother watching the movie.

ten

As I have stated before I’m a mystery fanatic. So obviously I’ve read my fare share of book from the Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie. When I hear that this book is re-telling of her famous And Then There were None, obviously I’m all over it. The problem was, it fell short of its predecessor. For those who have not read the original, then this would have been a great read, unfortunately for McNeil, I have.

emerald green

This is one of those series that I actually have stopped from the first book. Although I did enjoy the first, the second was already a great disappointment, but the cover is so beautiful and I wanted to give the last book a chance. I should have just quit while I was ahead. I had such an awful experience reading this book and I’ve actually decided to give my copy of the books away. I never want to re-read this trilogy again.

reign-of-shadows

Quest for Camelot is one of my all time favorite movie that’s not Disney. This book reminded me of it and instinctively I thought I would love it as much. The problem is, I didn’t. It held so much promise in the beginning, but as the book progressed I found myself disliking the protagonists more and more. Plus, the ending bites dust!

confessions

James Patterson’s books is always a hit or miss for me. This book actually falls on the latter. I really wanted to give this book a higher rating, but I just couldn’t pretend to love it. It reminded me too much of his other YA Angel series.

champion

This book might rattle some cages. I loved reading the first book of this Trilogy, but by the second I was already underwhelmed. The same reasoning as the Emerald Green, I decided to stick to this because I wanted to see what happens to the to main characters. Even though I feel that the author was able to tie up all her loose ends, I just wasn’t a fan of the ending. I actually wish this is one book I decided to pass this year.

***

As you can tell my reading year was pretty fantastic and having only 6 books in my disappointing pile is actually pretty amazing. Hopefully next year it would be even less.

Best Read of 2016

Since I haven’t been reading much, I’ve decided to create my best read of 2016 before the year is over.

I’m listing the books that have impressed me this year, it doesn’t necessarily mean I gave it a 5 star, but enjoyed it enough that it was a memorable read. I will create links that I have made reviews for.

I’ll start with my 3.5 Stars first and move my way up the rank.

These are my 3.5 star reads and they would have gotten a four, but there were small areas to it that I wasn’t in love with and that’s why it got bumped down to 3.5. Reviews have been done for: Anna and the French Kiss, The Martian, Illuminae, The Cuckoo’s Calling

I have grouped together the 4 and 4.5 Stars, since I did only give three books 4.5 stars: Winter, Their Fractured Light and The Blood of Olympus. I have written a review for:The Blood of Olympus, Their Fractured Light, The Darkest Minds, Uncommon Criminals, Winter and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Finally, my 5 star reads. I know I didn’t really read a lot of 5 stars, but I don’t really give a 5 unless I was totally in love with the book. So here are the two that is worthy of a 5 star. I made a review for: Blood of my Blood 

***

So that’s it for my Best read of 2016. I actually had a great reading year and keeping my fingers cross, 2017 will be even better.