Book Review: Catacomb (Asylum #3) by Madeleine Roux

23429355Title: Catacomb (Asylum #3)
Author: Madeleine Roux
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 1 star
Purchase: Amazon

Sometimes the past is better off buried.
Senior year is finally over. After all they’ve been through, Dan, Abby, and Jordan are excited to take one last road trip together, and they’re just not going to think about what will happen when the summer ends. But on their way to visit Jordan’s uncle in New Orleans, the three friends notice that they are apparently being followed.. And Dan starts receiving phone messages from someone he didn’t expect to hear from again—someone who died last Halloween.
As the strange occurrences escalate, Dan is forced to accept that everything that has happened to him in the past year may not be a coincidence, but fate—a fate that ties Dan to a group called the Bone Artists, who have a sinister connection with a notorious killer from the past. Now, Dan’s only hope is that he will make it out of his senior trip alive.
In this finale to the New York Times bestselling Asylum series, found photographs help tell the story of three teens who exist on the line between past and present, genius and insanity.

I’ve had it with the Asylum series. When I picked up Catacomb, I at least expected it would somehow be connected to the other books, but apart from having the same main characters, there is no connection at all, except an extremely loose one. The mystery doesn’t build on upon the storyline already set out in book one and two. Instead, we get a new location, a new villain, and whatever ties there still are to Brooklyn and the asylum, they’re so disjointed they make no sense and make for some extreme coincidences that aren’t believable at all. Since this is fiction, I’m willing to stretch my imagination but this is too far-fetched, even for me. On top of that, we find out more about Dan’s past and it’s so utterly and totally ridiculous. Dan sure is some special cookie – now he has a crazy great-uncle who did terrible experiments on people in an asylum, but his parents were journalists murdered on the job by some strange cult that enjoys using human bones in their insane rituals.

Instead of continuing on the legacy left behind by Dan’s great-uncle and exploring that more, this book takes place in New Orleans, where our three friends hang out because Jordan is moving there. On the way there, some stuff happens that is supposed to be freaky but isn’t, and there, they stumble upon the Bone Artists, and a sinister connection to the past. They also meet some people who are so boring and one-dimensional I’ve already forgotten their names, and I finished the book last week.

Everything that happens is so unlikely I just wanted to rip my hair out. That is, along with how disjointed the plot is, my major issue with this book. It just screams deus ex machina. Things happen randomly and Dan happens to be where he needs to be every freaking time. I can forgive a coincidence or two, but this was just too much.

The lack of overarching plot is so annoying. Every book you pick up reads like a new book. Well, fine, but I’m not willing to buy that every city has some crazy cult running around. I can buy that once, but not twice.

On top of that, Dan and his friends just get flatter and flatter. They had sparks of personality in book one, but by now they’re so dull and one-dimensional you might as well replace them by cardboard figures. They don’t develop. They don’t change, they don’t grow. I barely got to know them, and I spent three books by their side.

All in all, this series started out great for me, but went downhill fast. I wouldn’t recommend it, especially not if you’re looking for horror! Despite the creepy cover, there’s not an ounce of creepiness anywhere in this book.


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