So Sanctum is Book 2 in Madeleine Roux's Asylum trilogy. It has been a few months since Dan Crawford took a program at New Hampshire College and discovered his ties to the Brookline asylum, with his new best friends, the stubborn, caring, attractive Abby Valdez, and the nerdy, joke-cracking, attracted-to-boys Jordan. Now it's Halloween and Dan gets a notice from his old roommate Felix, who's been going crazy but seems to be fighting something. According to his mother, he keeps uttering Dan's name. And what Felix gives Dan is a photograph, but only a section of one, ripped into three, and his old friends have the other two. Along with a list of coordinates, Dan, Abby and Jordan meet up back to the college for a carnival on the Halloween weekend to see if they can finally put the nightmare behind them. But there's always the one question that was the same back at the summer: Are they being played?
Honestly, this Asylum series really shows a lot of effort. Some of the photos Madeleine Roux has are edited a little bit, but she is still on top of her game here. The chapters are longer but it doesn't feel like a burden, and she really maintains a creepy atmosphere. I'll probably look over my back the next time I go to the carnival. She even has a new chapter page picture without making it feel like it's a different book entirely from the amazing predecessor.
And what can I say? If you liked Asylum, you'll like Sanctum. People are calling Daniel's name, weird people are chasing Dan and his friends, and our heroes come up with outrageous but maybe even likely theories about their illusions. I said all that in my Asylum review, so here it is again. Just like Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, the excitement never really falters and uncovering the past gets creepier and creepier as it goes. For instance, Dan finds a ground sculpting of someone lying dead, and Dan also finds the old warden's...well, I won't spoil it, but there are clues all around that neither the characters nor we know where to find, but when we, not they, but we, find them, we are biting our nails hoping Dan and his friends won't procrastinate and hope they find something that brings a knockout. And usually, that's the case.
Something also very interesting is this book takes place in a lot less time than Asylum did, even though it's about thirty pages longer. And yet Madeleine Roux utilizes the suspense and drastic measures that need to be taken in this story, and understands every second counts.
This book is not quite as much of a kicker as Asylum was, primarily because we kind of already know who the bad guys are, so the drive to find out who to watch out for isn't in this one. However, there is still a mystery. As to what the heck is happening and how all of these different clues connect. Also, something happens to a character and I don't feel our protagonists do what they should've done. Dan agrees, but I felt after what happened, that part left me a little cold. Other than those things, it's almost like the ride never took a breather from the first book.
Oh, and by the way! At a point, Dan's teeth feel, and I quote, furry because he hadn't brushed his teeth in a while. Just like Roux's previous representation of coffee, this proves she can bring details to perfection. I won't spoil what happens in the end, but it's quite...terrifying.
Welp, in my review of Asylum, I mentioned how I was worried Sanctum and Catacomb, the final book, would end up being disappointments after giving so much praise to the first one. For now, this series is making me give some space for a new trilogy favourite! Now I'm going to start Catacomb, something I refrained from doing until I finished my review of this book.