Genre: YA, Horror, Mystery/Thriller
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.[Goodreads]
*Warning this is a sequel and might contain spoilers for the first book*
In the aftermath of the events that took place in Brookline, the old asylum located on New Hampshire College campus, Dan and his friends Abby and Jordan are still dealing with the nightmares and memories of what took place. With some mysterious information that is sent to them and presents itself to Dan, the trio must make the trip back to NHC and try to solve the secrets in order to be able to try and move on from what happened.
This sequel is fast paced, filled with suspense and reads much more like a horror movie than the first book, Asylum. It has the same creepy and eerie feeling that is found in the first book, but has a feeling of being in the realm of possibility. Whereas Asylum was more about the overactive imagination and unreliability of the mind, in Sanctum there is a more immanent threat that is developed. For me that poses a greater threat and more fear because instead of just thinking something is happening or going on you know it is happening. There are actual people stalking the three and when you put that with the eeriness of the setting and the added element of a creepy carnival there is a trifecta of terror. The dark and ominous elements added with the well thought out story layered with secrets and hints of insanity, perfectly combined to make a suspenseful story that reminded me of horror films and even of the T.V. show American Horror Story.
I was happy to see that there were a lot of questions answered in this book that I felt were unresolved in Asylum. I did still think that there were some questions not completely answered and just insinuated that I wish were actually answered. I know others have said they felt this was too rushed and at time I understand why they say that, but I felt like it worked because it was a horror novel and that adds to the suspense. The other problem I had with the first book was the characters and I thin Roux did a much better job in this book with the characters in my opinion. The relationships and friendships actually felt real and not like it was trying to hard. The addition of the new characters Micah, Lara and Cal really helped to add to the story and overall plot. Roux does a fantastic job creating characters that are questioning their sanity and even the ones that are close to insanity. The carnival really allowed for there to be some creepy characters mentioned that gave me chills.
Overall this was a fantastic follow up and conclusion that was filled with suspense and the creepy possibility of becoming reality. It contained elements that made the book creepy and left me wanting to keep the lights on. It had secrets, secret societies, ghosts, haunted/creepy houses and a carnival. It sets the scene perfectly to drive your imagination crazy and send chills down your spine.