BOOK REVIEW: Sanctum – by Madeleine Roux

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Title: Sanctum
(Asylum #2)
Author: Madeleine Roux

Genre: YA, Horror, Paranormal
First published: August 26th 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Finished reading: October 29th 2016
Pages: 343
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“Dan wasn’t sure which was worse – the idea that he was actually being haunted or possessed or whatever, or the idea that this was all in his head.”

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I actually read the first book Asylum back in 2015 and I remember planning to read the sequel soon after that. But other books got in the way, and somehow I soon completely forgot how good this series actually was. I’m regretting this now, because I really enjoyed reading Sanctum. While I don’t think it’s actually as good as the first book, it was still without doubt a solid sequel. It basically has everything I look for in a YA paranormal/horror read: almost no romance, a fast pace, well written, interesting plot and lots of creepy scenes. I’m not completely sure about the character development and some characters can come over as a bit whiney, but the new plot with the carnaval elements is without doubt excellent. There are a few photos included again this time as well, although I wish there would have been more or at least a bit more scary. I guess you can’t have it all… But if you are looking for an entertaining paranormal read that actually focuses on the creepy elements for once, definitely give this series a try.

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first book of this series yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

Dan, Abby and Jordan are still traumatized by the summer they spent together during the summer program in the Brookline asylum. They would love to move on, but someone seems to be determined to keep the terror alive, sending them photos of an old-timey carnival without further note. They decide to return to New Hampshire College to find out what is going on, even though they promised each other to never go back… Under the guise of a weekend for prospective students, they start their hunt for the truth. Will they be able to figure out who sent those photos and what’s going on? And is it safe for them to be there again in the first place?

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While not as good as the first book, Sanctum is still quite a satisfying sequel to this paranormal horror series. The included photos are a nice touch, although they are not as creepy or numerous as in Asylum (or at least I remember it that way). The fact that it has almost no romance is a huge bonus though, and I really liked both the plot, carnaval and historical elements and the prose itself. Recommended if you like the genre! I will definitely move the third book right to the top of my TBR pile.

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11 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Sanctum – by Madeleine Roux

  1. You really don’t like random romance in your novels. I get you though, sometimes I wonder why authors insist on this angle. I am glad that you enjoyed this one. I haven’t read the series but it sounds great. Happy reading:-)

    • Haha true! I can enjoy romance when it’s done in the right way, but as soon as it gets just a little tacky/cheesy/adult I’m out. In a way it’s weird, because the way me and my hubby met is beyond cheesy and could have been taken straight out of a romance novel haha. This series is great though.

  2. I spotted this on Overdrive and thought about getting it but hadn’t realized it was the second in the series. I’m definitely going to be looking out for Asylum. I’m feeling the need for something a bit creepy and scary.

    • If you are looking for a dose of creepy, this series is definitely great. Nothing to scary, but it’s without doubt an entertaining read. The photos are a nice touch as well and they fit the story perfectly.

    • It could have done without the romance yes, but the sequel is still almost as good as the first book. Definitely worth reading! I hope your library will be getting the books soon. 🙂

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