Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review: Sanctum

Title: Sanctum
Author: Madeleine Roux
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Rating: 3 Cows

Goodreads Description:

In this haunting, fast-paced sequel to the New York Times bestselling photo-illustrated novel Asylum, three teens must unlock some long-buried secrets from the past before the past comes back to get them first. Featuring found photographs, many from real vintage carnivals, Sanctum is a mind-bending reading experience that blurs the lines between past and present, genius and insanity, perfect for fans of the smash hit Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Dan, Abby, and Jordan remain traumatized by the summer they shared in the Brookline asylum. Much as they'd love to move on, someone is determined to keep the terror alive, sending the teens photos of an old-timey carnival, with no note and no name. Forsaking their plan never to go back, the teens return to New Hampshire College under the guise of a weekend for prospective students, and there they realize that the carnival from the photos is not only real, it's here on campus, apparently for the first time in many years.

Sneaking away from sample classes and college parties, Dan and his friends lead a tour of their own—one through the abandoned houses and hidden places of the surrounding town. Camford is hiding a terrible past, and the influence of the asylum runs deeper than Dan ever imagined.

“Sanctum” is the sequel to “Asylum” and initially I was really excited when I received this arc a few months back.  As soon as Fall comes around, I devour just about any type of ‘spooky’ read, like ghost stories or murder mysteries.  So Sanctum couldn’t have come at a better time!

If you read my review on the first book in this series, “Asylum,” then you’ll know I enjoyed it.  It wasn’t too scary and the plot was pretty predictable, but it was written well and I had a hard time putting it down.  With this book, I felt like there were a lot of unanswered questions that I really wanted to get solved when I read it.  I wanted to know what connection both Dan and Abby had with the asylum, because everything that happened to them hinted at familial ties.  Another big thing I was looking forward to,was finding out more about Professor Reyes.  Although a minor role in the first book, her character just seemed odd in general.  She was nice enough, but the fact that she was so interested in Dan’s whereabouts all the time in Asylum,made me think there was more going on than just her interest in teaching.  Also, she knew too much about the history of the asylum for someone who was just teaching a summer course on campus.  

I have to admit I wavered back and forth between giving this book a 2 or a 3.  I finally decided on a 3 after comparing it to a few other books I’ve read recently that I rated with a 2.  It’s not that I disliked this book, but it was really choppy.  The plot was confusing and picked up at a weird spot, and I felt like it was pretty far fetched.  The story just didn’t tie in that well with what happened in the first book.  One of the big issues I had with this book is that the events weren’t connected.  They searched the houses, and continued to dig up information on the asylum and it’s history, but none of the events made any sense.  There was this idea of the circus pictures and Felix’s notes that send Dan, Abby, and Jordan on a wild goose chase, but it felt like a plot filler more than anything.  

Another thing I didn’t really care for was the secret society.  For Pretty Little Liar fans like myself, it’s comparable to that of the A team, and if you’ve watched all the seasons up until now or read the books, you know how ridiculous it’s gotten.  I will say the leader in charge of the secret society came as a surprise to me though, and it did make for an interesting turn of events.  This was probably one of the few events in the book that actually tied in well with the plotline and helped solve a few questions I had going into Sanctum.

All in all, it wasn’t bad.  There are still unresolved questions I had at the end of it, but I realize that’s what the third book in the series will be for.  Since I enjoyed Asylum, I am still willing to give this series a shot, and I’m looking forward to see how the next book turns out.  Did anyone else feel this way after reading Sanctum?  Or am I the only one?  



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