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
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.
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.