by Madeleine Roux
Release date: August 26, 2014
Genre: Supernatural-Fiction, Universities & College-Fiction, Haunted Places-Fiction, Horror, Mystery & Detective
[First of all, I would like to sincerely apologize that I was never able to make a review for Extraordinary Means (by Robyn Schneider). Kristen and I were so stressed about college that we were not able to read for almost 3 months! But we’re back! She just posted her review for The Wrath and the Dawn (by Renée Ahdieh), and here’s my first book review in our blog!]
Sanctum is a sequel to the horror and mystery novel Asylum. The Asylum series was written by Madeleine Roux, and the first book was released on August 20, 2013, and the sequel was released a year later on August 26, 2014.
Sanctum tells the story of Dan Crawford and his friends Abby and Jordan, on their plight of learning more about Brookline, recently turned dormitory that was once an asylum, and its horrible past. They mainly wanted to learn more about Daniel Crawford, Dan’s ancestor who was once the warden of Brookline in the 1960s that made notorious experiments on people that led to Brookline’s controversy.
After the mysterious events of the first book, the trio came back to Brookline to investigate further on why Dan Crawford is still having weird dreams and hallucinations of his dead ancestor. There, they are entailed to more mysterious events, and they find out more horrible things that have happened in Brookline.
Madeleine Roux created a prolific story filled with mystery, that will definitely let you keep reading the series and asking for more as you progress. You are placed on the hands of the protagonist, and with it, you feel the emotions, and the confusion that the book has to offer. Roux had in her hands a story that has the potential to be something great. It has the potential to be famous, and be critically acclaimed . . . Unfortunately, she ruined it.
In making a review, you should always start with the pros, to give the readers or your audience a well-verse knowledge of what’s in store for them. Sadly, I have nothing else to say that’s positive about the book (maybe I’ll leave some in the conclusion of this summary).
Because it’s practically garbage. Because it’s not as good as it should have been.
See, the problem with the series is that Roux made it too mysterious, and too complex.
And too stupid. There should be a line to where a story can be fantastic for being mysterious, and when it crosses that boundary, that’s where it could be criticized and that’s where the questions and the rants come in. Of course, when a story gives off more questions than answers, that’s good! Sanctum, on the other hand, made too many questions and made little-to-none answers, which made it terrible.
The Asylum series literally copied off Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s series. It had the same style, and even copied some of the font styles! And the pictures? They weren’t even ‘real’, meaning that she just bought them on Getty Images and Shutterstock! Ransom Riggs researched on the pictures, even going to flee markets to find the books’s intriguing pictures! Roux did nothing like that! The only thing she didn’t copied was Riggs’s story! (Well, mainly because that would be plagiarism.)
Also, Sanctum had pictures of circuses, and carnivals. But the story didn’t exactly revolved on carnivals and circuses! I believe that Roux just picked those photos because she ran out of ideas of what pictures to place on the book! Don’t believe me? Well, here’s a minor spoiler: The carnival had almost nothing to do with the plot! There was one event when the characters went there, but that’s it! It was not significant at all! All the characters did before and after that one event were just talking about it! The carnival had no significant role in the story whatsoever. Also, the book had a backstory about Daniel Crawford that was entirely confusing and even boring to read.
Next, the actors were way off. They lacked motivation, and they were primarily played as flat characters. It surprises me to find that the main protagonist is a flat character. Another thing is that they’re supposed to be ‘friends’. They should help each other in times of crisis. And when something bad happens, Dan suggests something for them to do, but Abby and Jordan don’t even follow or at least listen what he says. They two always despises Dan’s plans and rarely follow them. That was too annoying for me.
Here’s a minor spoiler to at least give an example to how obnoxious this book is:
So Dan and Abby have a ‘thing’. They like each other but they themselves don’t know whether they’re boyfriend and girlfriend or if they aren’t. Dan has mentioned that he wanted to know what they were, and if given an opportunity, he’d ask her. So then later on Abby was the one who asked him that, if they were actually a thing. Dan then answered something like “Yeah, I want to know that too.” AND THAT’S IT. They never answered that question, and they never dwell on it again! I mean, she literally already asked the question! And he didn’t even answered it! Even if he did say that he wanted to know, then why didn’t they talked about it!
The last thing I have to say was that there were 3 plot holes to this book. 1 was minor and could be forgiven, but the other 2 were way off. I can’t spoil too much, but here’s what I can say: The first plot hole is that there are events that happened in this book that could’ve happened in the first book but it was never explained to why it never happened in there. There were characters that were in the same location in the story in the second (Brookline) but were never showed in the first book. Those new characters played a major part in the story, whether or not it’s in the first or second book, but why did they only show up in the second book? To shed some light, they did bad things, and Dan was their target. But why didn’t they do those bad things in the first book? They were there the whole time! They knew who Dan was in the first book, but why didn’t they do anything and had to wait until the event of the second book!
Realizing it now, some parts of the two books made no entire sense. It’s hard to explain without spoiling, but just to say, the antagonist of the second book was a minor character in the first book. And I beg the question yet again: Why didn’t the antagonist do anything in the first book when there was a bigger chance to fulfill it!
The second plot hole is that the antagonist needed a MacGuffin (term for a plot device) from Dan, so the antagonist apparently had this complex plan to making Dan go to haunted houses across the neighboring town of Brookline to find information about Daniel Crawford. How is this a plot hole, you may ask? Well, the antagonist already knows where the MacGuffin is (in one of the haunted houses) so why would the antagonist needed Dan to do it when the antagonist could’ve done it? To let him and his friends suffer a bit by tiring them? Maybe, I don’t know, but it lacks motivation and continuity! The whole book is a tragedy!
So that is my review for Sanctum. Though I have to say that I enjoyed Asylum better than its sequel, I’ll still give Sanctum the same rating I gave Asylum: ★★/★★★★★. Though the low rating, I still suggest that you all should read the series. I’ll let you readers find out for yourself if you’ll like the book or have many problems with it like I did. It’s enjoyable to read, and it’s really interesting, but it will annoy you with all the errors and the problems that has. That’s why for now I’m leaving it all to Catacomb, the third and final book to the series. I want to see if it can be better than its predecessors and it has what it takes to salvage this series from the ground. Though I have the book, I’ll reserve to read it in the near future.
For now, I’ll divert to reading some contemporary books before coming back to the fantasy genre. That is why I’ll be reading 21 Proms next. Expect a review later on this week. By then Kristen will be releasing her reviews for the novellas of The Wrath and The Dawn.
So for now, happy reading!