Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Title: Asylum
Author: Madeleine Roux
Series: Asylum, #1

Dan Crawford cannot wait to attend New Hampshire College Prep for their summer school program. Everything seems normal, until Dan and his classmates realize they’re being housed at Brookline, a former mental institute. When Dan and his new friends stumble upon an office which once belonged to Brookline’s former warden, they find strange memorabilia that speak of the asylum’s abhorrent past. Soon Dan starts having strange dreams and unexplained lapses in memory. Unable to resist his curiosity, Dan delves deeper into the institution’s history, where he discovers that Brookline’s past may hold answers to his own.

“It was wrong, all wrong. Dan was in the wrong place. There must have been some mistake. He didn’t deserve to be here. He wasn’t crazy, he wasn’t. So why was he chained to the wall?”

Madeleine Roux’s Aslyum has a variety of horror elements, but its storyline lacked cohesiveness. At times the novel felt like a predictable horror story in which I was either shaking my head at the characters’ decisions or correctly guessing what was going to happen next. The photographs included in this novel are real mementos from mental institutions which might have made the story more frightening if it delved deeper into the history of Brookline’s questionable practices instead of giving a rather shallow overview. I was really disappointed with the conclusion of the story, as it offered very little explanation for the events that occurred in the novel and did not explain important pieces like whether Dan’s lapse in memory were a result of the paranormal influence of Brookline or part of the psychological issues he has.

A creepy setting and strange mystery make the story interesting, but the characters lack depth and sometimes common sense. Dan’s past plays a key role in how he reacts to the strange incidents in Aslyum, but other than vague allusions, we are not given a full overview of his history. The mundane interaction between Dan and his two new friends Jordan and Abby could have been forgiven if they felt more real. Jordan was barely present and when he was, he came across as very rude and moody. Abby played the role of the protagonist’s crush, but didn’t have a significant role in the story. Every character frustrated me to some degree and I couldn’t figure out whether the author was trying to draw meaningful conclusions between Brookline and its three main characters or if they were meant to simply be coincidences. And since we aren’t given a full explanation, the novel felt largely incomplete.

Rating: 2/5


17 thoughts on “Asylum by Madeleine Roux

  1. Well that’s a shame. I’ve been in such an asylum mood recently, watching American Horror Story and reading A Madness so Discreet. So this was on my shortlist to read soon…However a deal breaker for me is character development. If the plot is good but I can’t stand a character, or they are just too static/flat, I can’t do it.
    I would probably feel the same as you, and want to know more details about mental illness treatments, and the back story behind the photos. Why use them if they don’t add a level of depth to the story?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Asylums can be really creepy, I don’t think I’ve read a book that’s done it well though. Did you like A Madness So Discreet? I’m waiting on my library hold. Characters are really important to me too, I can forgive a lot when it comes to plot, but flat characters are harder to forgive.


      1. I just started reading it, so far its good. I read Guests on Earth last year. It’s about Zelda Fitzgerald’s time at an asylum in Asheville NC. It’s not a scary story, but it paints a pretty realistic picture of what it was like to be a patient there.
        And I just started watching American Horror Story:Asylum. Its terrifying.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Only two stars for this one? I always see positive reviews for this one so it’s nice to see someone point out some flaws with the book! The creepy cover drew me in and I’ve had this on my kindle for a while now. I really should get around to reading it. Awesome review =]

    Liked by 1 person

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