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!

WWW Wednesdays #115 – December 14th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ 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 actually just decided I will be DNFing Tipping Point by Tomas Byrne. It was taking me way longer than expected to finish it because of the slow pace and the fact that I feel this story simply isn’t for me. I’m having a hard time to stay focused on the story, and I’ve decided to no longer force myself to continue. I’ve also started my second audiobook ever and a classic: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I’m about 3 hours into the story right now and I still have 10 hours left… I’m liking it better than I thought I would so far and I’m going to keep my fingers crossed I will be able to finish it before the end of this year. I’m also still only a few pages into The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, but I’m hoping to change that today or tomorrow.
  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished is Kill The Next One by Federico Axat, which was a very interesting psychological thriller with a lot of plot twists. The memory loss is an interesting twist that makes the story a lot more original, but I do have to admit I found things to be a bit too weird at some points. It took me a little while to fully understand what was going on, and that took away a little of the reading pleasure. It’s still an interesting read though.
* I then picked up Catacomb by Madeleine Roux, mostly because that way I would be able to finish my fifth and final series this year. It turned out to be another fast-paced and entertaining horror read and a great ending to this series. The photos are a nice twist as always, although they are yet again not as strong as in the first book. I don’t think I will read the novellas, but the three books of this trilogy I can definitely recommend.
* The last book I was able to finish is Walk Into Silence by Susan McBride. It’s without doubt a fast-paced and well written psychological thriller and a new series that will be on my radar for sure. The main character and detective is a bit of a cliche, but the case they are investigating is interesting enough and there are a lot of plot twists involved.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I’m trying to read more books published before 2000 to finish a pending challenge, so I might read Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown next. I also need to read both Netgalley ARCs Down The Rabbit Hole by Julia Crane and From Sand And Ash by Amy Harmon soon…. And my newest TBR jar pick is still Little Women by Louise May Alcott., which I will probably pick up closer to Christmas.

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.

WWW Wednesdays #109 – November 2nd

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ 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’m finally continuing with my last TBR jar pick The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, and I’m definitely enjoying it a lot better than the first time I tried to start reading it. I’ve also picked up my Netgalley copy of No Excuses Detox by Megan Gilmore, which is turning out to be a really interesting read so far and I can’t wait to start trying out the recipes.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I first finished The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer, which turned out to be such a great and creepy read! Definitely on the top of this year’s Halloween list; if you like a well written story with great descriptions and the right creepy atmosphere (complete with haunted convent), defiintely give this one a go. It’s brilliant!
* I then read The Scholl Case by Anja Reich-Osang, which is a true crime read about the Scholl Case where a former German mayor killed his wife. It wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be, as it focused more on the history of both the mayor and his wife and the murder case was forced into the background. The whole thing read more like a historical fiction story, and I’m not sure to what level this story can actually be called ‘non fiction’. The pace was pretty slow as well…
* I then picked up Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender, mostly because I wanted to read more Halloween related books. And I really enjoyed this one! Fast-paced and just the right dose of creepy; the perfect and entertaining read for the October month. I will definitely be continuing this series soon.
* I also decided to read Sanctum by Madeleine Roux for the same reason. I had completely forgotten how good this series was! Almost no romance, a fast pace, lots of creepy scenes and the photos are a nice touch. I really enjoyed this one and I’ve moved the third book right to the top of my TBR pile as well.
* The last book I finished was Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell, a Netgalley read that didn’t turn out to be as good as I hoped it would be. I had a hard time getting a proper feel for the story and I wasn’t really convinced by the characters in general… Lucy (killer) had a lot of potential, but Ruby (detective) felt weak as a main character and I didn’t appreciate the romance or love triangle either.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Next up are two of my pending Netgalley ARCs: The Power by Naomi Alderman and Anything For Her by Jack Jordan. I’m especially excited about the first title after I read Claire‘s review not that long ago and I can’t wait to start reading it. I also want to read Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, but I need to reread Six Of Crows first so I might wait a little while longer. And my next TBR jar pick is still A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I’ve heard so many great things about this novel that I can’t wait to finally pick it up!

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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