Genre: YA, Horror, Thriller
“There are always two deaths, the real one and the one people know about.”
-Madeleine Roux, The Scarlets
When Dan and his friends meet Cal in Sanctum their impression of the privileged New Hampshire College student is less than stellar. But Cal wasn’t always the cold, sarcastic guy he is now. In this digital original story preceding the events of Sanctum, we meet Cal when he is experiencing college like any other kid with a group of close friends and a dad who piles on the pressure. Only, when the pressure starts getting to him and Cal accepts an invitation to meet a selective group of students and alumni known only as the Scarlets, the course of Cal’s life changes forever. And the price of joining the Scarlets might be higher than he can pay.
With plenty of twists, turns, and thrills, The Scarlets is an exhilarating installment in the Asylum series that can stand on its own for new readers or provide a missing piece of the puzzle for series fans.[Goodreads]
*Warning this contains spoiler for the second book in the duology, Sanctum*
I should state first that I feel like this is a novella that should be read after you read the two books in the duology. The fact that it came out and is listed as #1.5 is deceiving due to the fact that this contains spoilers for the last book, Sanctum. In my opinion I feel like by reading this novella before Sanctum it will ruin some of the events and actions that take place in Sanctum that can destroy some of the mystery and feel. I do not think I would have liked it as if I read The Scarlets before Sanctum.
With all that being said I did enjoy this novella and thought it was a nice addition. I liked the fact that it focused on a different character, Cal and his backstory. I felt like this allowed to see how Cal got to be how he was and explained a little of his personality before the story that happened in Sanctum. I also felt like this novella helped to make a connection with Cal and understand his actions at the end of Sanctum a lot more. This novella was a little creepy, but did not have the same feel the books did. There was a little weirdness and some strange occurrences, but it felt more mystery and suspense than horror.
Overall I thought this was a real enjoyable short story that added greatly to the overall duology. It was intriguing and gave you insight into how Cal came to be how he was in Sanctum and also gave some more background to the overall situation and the Scarlets. I feel like this is a must read if you have read the other two books first, but DO NOT read unless you have read Asylum and Sanctum first!