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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sanctum, the second installment in Madeline Roux's Asylum saga, continues the creepy adventures of teens Dan, Abby, and Jordan. They lie to their parents and must deal with sinister professors, red-robed figures, drunken frat parties, and several gory murders, some seen in hallucinations and dreams, as well as lobotomies, past and present. Lots of creepiness, with old, strange photos involving carnivals and circus freaks.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Teens Dan, Abby, and Jordan may have emerged alive from the events in Asylum, but they're not exactly back to normal. Dan's haunted by nightmares, most involving his late relative and namesake, the warden of a creepy insane asylum. His friends also are dealing with weirdness. Determined to get their lives back, they return to the college campus that houses the former asylum. In short order they're dealing with drunken frat boys, sinister robed figures, endless stashes of old photos and documents, a scary professor, plus several murders and lobotomies. Will our heroes survive? And what does all this have to do with the long-dead-but-still-terrifying warden?
Is it any good?
Genre fans will have a good time with zombie novelist Madeleine Roux's fast-paced, spooky narrative. The author turned to teen horror with Asylum, and, as in Book 1, SANCTUM brings many of the genre's staples, starting with likable but boneheaded high schoolers who, against all reason, open that door, go into the woods, and break into that house, driven by motives that require a whopping suspension of disbelief. The novel comes complete with secret societies, mad scientists, the CIA, mind control, and a kitchen sink full of other perils -- all made more vivid and nightmare-inducing with dozens of found historic photos of old carnivals and circus freaks.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the current popularity of books telling a story through strange-looking found photos. Have you read any others? What's the appeal? How does the Asylum series compare with others?
Why is mind control such a popular -- and usually sinister -- theme in storytelling? Are there any circumstances under which it would be OK?
Pick one of the photos in the book and make up a story about it that has nothing to do with the story here.
- Author: Madeleine Roux
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Harper
- Publication date: August 29, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
- Number of pages: 352
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.