BOOK REVIEW: Catacomb – by Madeleine Roux

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Title: Catacomb
(Asylum #3)
Author: Madeleine Roux

Genre: YA, Horror, Paranormal
First published: September 1st 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Finished reading: December 9th 2016
Pages: 352
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“Just because someone seems okay up close doesn’t mean they’re innocent.”

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I started reading this trilogy by Madeleine Roux last Halloween, and after reading the sequel this October I didn’t want to wait another year before reading the final book Catacomb. Combine that with the fact that I still had to finish my fifth and final series for a challenge, and it was the perfect excuse to dive back into Dan, Abby and Jordan’s world. And this third book is without doubt a solid ending to what has been a very entertaining horror/paranormal series! The photos that are used are a nice twist as always, although they are yet again not as strong as the first book. They are definitely creepy enough though, as well as the plot of this final adventure of the three main characters. Catacomb is without doubt a fast-paced and entertaining horror read that isn’t too scary and perfect for the Halloween and/or winter season. I don’t think I will read the novellas myself, but I can definitely recommend the three books of this trilogy to anyone who is looking for a creepy and entertaing read.

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

Dan, Abby and Jordan decided to have one last road trip together after senior year is over. They don’t want to think about what will happen after summer yet, and just want to spend a normal summer together. But as they are on their way to visit Jordan’s uncle in New Orleans, they notice that they are being followed. And not only that, Dan is starting to receive messages on his phone from someone that is no longer alive. What is really happening and are the three friends in danger again?

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The Asylum trilogy is without doubt a fast-paced and entertaining horror/paranormal read in general and I really like how Madeleine Roux incorporates a bunch of creepy photos into her stories. Catacomb was yet another solid read and a great ending to this series. It’s easy to read with just the right amount of creepy and intrigue to make you want to keep on reading. Recommended!

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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
Rating 4qqq

“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.

BOOK REVIEW: Asylum – by Madeleine Roux

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Title: Asylum
(Asylum #1)
Author: Madeleine Roux
Genre: Horror, YA, Paranormal
First published: August 20th 2013
Finished reading: October 5th 2015
Pages: 320
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“If someone tells you you’re crazy enough times, eventually it becomes true. It’s that old psychiatrist’s joke: insanity’s all in your head.”

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October is the month of Halloween and creepy reads and Asylum fits right into this category. It will be the first of hopefully many creepy reads this month! This first book of a series with the same name has been compared with Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and I can understand why. Both books include a series of creepy photos that make them into something truly special to read and enjoy. I only read an e-copy of Asylum myself, but I really want to get a physical copy now so I can take a better look at the photos… The prose is easy to read and with a fast pace, plot twists and a ‘medium’ creepy factor I was able to finish this story by Madeleine Roux in no time at all. Asylum is a ghost story set in an old asylum, so the horror part is mostly psychological and not too scary for those who want to sleep at night after reading this book. I sort of had a hate/love relationship with the main characters though; I liked that they all had their own personalities and all, but sometimes they came over as a little whiny. The plot twists were mostly well done, although a bit predictable. Still, I can’t deny I really enjoyed this read and I will definitely read the next two books in the series soon.

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Dan Crawford is an outcast at his high school, but he is able to get a second chance at making friends at a summer program during his last summer before college. When he arrives, he finds out his dorm actually used to be an asylum for the criminally insane… Dan and his new friends Abby and Jordan decide to explore some of the forbidden areas in the old building to see what they can find. They discover it’s not exactly a coincidence the three ended up at the summer program in New Hampshire… There are some secrets about the past that don’t seem to want to stay hidden away; soon enough creepy things will start happening to the three friends and the people around them. What are those secrets and will they be safe living inside the old asylum?

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Asylum is a creepy ghost story where the setting in an old asylum for the criminally insane alone already sets the tone. I’m not sure what to think of the characters, but the plot is easy to follow and there are some delightfully scary moments and interesting old photos to enjoy. It’s quite a fast read and not too scary if you are not really into the horror genre. I would definitely recommend it if you enjoy reading psychological thriller/horror/ghost stories!

WWW Wednesdays #59 – October 7th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve started reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern earlier this week and so far I’m really enjoying this read. Hopefully it stays this way! I’ve also decided to start reading my last pending ARC Firebolt by Adrienne Woods yesterday evening… It’s been a while since I’ve read stories with dragons and so far it looks promising.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Five finished titles this week… Looks like I’m getting back on track!
* Americosis Vol. 2 by Haydn Wilks was a novella full of chaos and madness I was able to finish the same day I posted my last WWW.
* I then finished The Kill Order by James Dashner, which means I can finally leave The Maze Runner series behind… I can’t say I was impressed by this prequel story either.
* Before starting with my creepy reads, I decided to read An Abundance Of Katherines by John Green first. It’s a quick and entertaining feel-good story, although nothing mindblowing. The teenage dialogues are very well done like always.
* My first creepy read of the month was Asylum by Madeleine Roux, a story with just the right scary factor and a bunch of creepy old asylum photos to look at.
* The last book I finished this week is I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells. I had high hopes for this series, but it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment… I just wasn’t expecting the whole supernatural-demon-serial killer angle.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have said it probably a million times before already, but this time I’m really going to read And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini next. This title has been on my TBR pile longer than any other book and it’s about time I read it… Plus, it will help me finish two challenges. I also want to read On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and I should read The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey since I have been starting way too many new series without reading sequels. The last one, The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle, is my newest TBR jar pick and looks like an interesting read as well. (Although I might try to read a few titles on my October/Halloween TBR first…)

Friday Finds #41 – June 19th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. This week a mix of books that have already been published and still unpublished titles; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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BOOK REVIEW: One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – by Ken Kesey

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Title: One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Author: Ken Kesey
Genre: Classics, Psychology, Contemporary
First published: 1962
Finished reading: January 7th 2014
Pages: 272
Rating 4,5

“Never before did I realize that mental illness could have the aspect of power, power. Think of it: perhaps the more insane a man is, the more powerful he could become. Hitler an example. Fair makes the old brain reel, doesn’t it?”

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This classic of the sixties is without doubt worth reading. Ken Kesey wrote a story that is both brilliant and intriguing, and it’s one that can be explained in many different ways. I guess that’s why this book is so popular among English Literature teachers; although mine never chose One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest for her lessons… McMurphy is an interesting character, although my favorite will always be Chief Bromden. The fact that we see the story through his not so normal eyes only adds to the brilliance of this classic. Definitely recommended, as well as the movie!

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 This is a story about an asylum and its patients, with in charge Nurse Ratched. She runs her ward like a dictator and nobody dares to defy her. Three black male nurses are her ‘helpers’; each selected for their hatred towards the patients and obedience to her. She is the authority on her ward until a new patient comes in. Randle Patrick McMurphy is a loud and life-loving troublemaker who fakes his mental ilness in order to be transferred from a prison farm to Ratched’s mental hospital. Once there he starts a so-called mental revolution. McMurphy challenges the authority of the Big Nurse (Ratched) and one by one wins the patients to his side by bringing gambling, alcohol and even women into the ward. He defies the rules openly and soon it’s war between the two. But Nurse Ratched has a strong ally: the autorities. First she tries to make McMurphy obey as she does with the other patients, but the big redhead is not one easy to be scared. So she turns to more drastic solutions: shock therapy. McMurphy still seems to be winning, until the Nurse uses her last and biggest hand and we read the book’s shocking end…

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We see the ward through Chief Bromden’s eyes, and sometimes it’s hard to understand his thoughts because of the hallucinations and ‘mental fog’ he’s suffering from. But it also makes you understand the whole situation inside the ward that much better, and without Bromden the story wouldn’t have been the same. Great read!