Book Review: Frightened in France (Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries Book #2) by April A. Taylor

Title: Frightened in France (Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries Book #2 by April A. Taylor)
Author: April A. Taylor
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Alexa Bentley is back, and this time, she’s gone international! A series of disturbing murders in Paris send Alexa to some of the City of Light’s most notable attractions. Can she tap into the spectral network quickly enough to prevent another murder? And what do these crimes have to do with a notorious criminal from France’s past? Alexa scoffs at the idea that a ghost could be the murderer… but what if she’s wrong?

Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries – She’s a witty, mystery-solving ghost therapist. From the author of the Midnight Myths and Fairy Tales Series.

Praise for Frightened in France:

“With book one Alex became my favorite unlikely hero. In book two I realized why…She seems like someone I could befriend. Alex is real, relatable, and relative. The story catches you, draws you in, and keeps you enticed till the end.” -Goodreads Reviewer

“I really enjoyed this read as much as the first in the series! New characters are introduced…the adventures they share are thrilling and entertaining.” -Goodreads Reviewer

“A great read that grab[s] your attention.” – Amazon Reviewer
Praise for Missing in Michigan:

“The story is fast-paced, the plot entertaining, the characters – in particular Alexa – are intriguing…this is a gripping read that fans of paranormal mysteries will certainly enjoy.” –I Heart Reading

“Alexa (Alex) Bentley is the type of main character I love…the plot grabbed me and made me want to read on…this is a book I would be quite happy to read a second time.” –Long & Short Reviews

I previously reviewed (and gave it 5 stars!) the first book in the series, Missing in Michigan. Read my review here.

In this sequel, Frightened in France, Alexa Bentley is back, and this time, a series of disturbing murders sends her to Paris, France. While the city is usually a romantic hangout, now it’s the scene of several gruesome murders… And it’s up to Alexa to prevent the next murder from happening, and to find out who the murderer is, and how she can stop him.

Once again, the story was so compelling I lost all track of time and space as I devoured chapter after chapter. This is my kind of book, spot-on. A relatable, witty heroine who I would love to hang out with in real life, storylines that incorporate murders and supernatural elements, a blast from the past, a setting I’ve visited a few times and really love (who doesn’t love Paris?), and writing that pulls you in from the start.

If you like paranormal mysteries and ghosts, then I absolutely, 100%, recommend this series!

Book Review: Missing in Michigan (Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries Book #1) by April A. Taylor

Title: Missing in Michigan (Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries Book #1)

Author: April A. Taylor

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Is she a medium? A psychic? Alexa Bentley only knows one thing for certain; she can talk to ghosts. And sometimes, they take her advice. Missing in Michigan is ideal for fans of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Mysteries, quirky female characters, and the Paranormal Mystery/Supernatural Suspense genre. This exciting, funny new series will keep you guessing!
Alexa’s unusual ghost therapy skills take her to a remote corner of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. But this case is much trickier than anything else she’s ever encountered. A grieving ghost, several missing teens, and a supernatural creature from Native American folklore stand in her path. Along the way, she manages a bit of romance and lots of witty humor.
Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries – She’s a witty, mystery-solving ghost therapist. From the author of the Midnight Myths and Fairy Tales Series.
Praise from Early Reviewers:
“I love Alex! She’s the witty, sometimes snarky, definitely quirky best friend you didn’t know you needed.” – Goodreads Reviewer
“The author’s voice is fresh and inviting. I was intrigued from beginning to end! I honestly can’t wait till book 2.” – Goodreads Reviewer
“I enjoyed it very much. It is going to be a very good series.” – Goodreads Reviewer

In Missing in Michigan, the first book in this brand new series, Alexa Bentley isn’t quite sure if she’s psychic, a medium, or something else alltogether, but one thing’s for sure: she can talk to ghost. As a therapist for the deceased, she helps troubled spirits move on to the afterlife, but that’s not always as easy as it sounds.

Her current case, for example, is anything but easy. This time around, rather than a living family asking her to remove a ghost from their property, it’s a grieving ghost enlisting her help. During a seemingly normal case, the ghost refuses to leave until Alexa helps her find her missing son. But then Alexa discovers there are more teens missing…

Missing teens, a supernatural creature from Native American folklore, and of course a plethora of ghostly activity are only the tip of the ice berg. I don’t want to give away any spoilers for the plot, so I’ll just say that a lot of stuff happens, and some of it you wouldn’t expect in the slightest!

The story is fast-paced, the plot entertaining, the characters – in particular Alexa – are intriguing, and overall, this is a gripping read that fans of paranormal mysteries will certainly enjoy.

Book Tours: Starter Day Party Darkview Part One – Psychosis


We’re hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for “Darkview Part One: Psychosis”. The tour runs from May 8 to May 15.
Enjoy the tour!

Tour Schedule

May 8th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

May 8th: Book Excerpt @ Andi’s Book Reviews

May 9th: Book Excerpt @ Books are Forever

May 10th: Book Excerpt @ Just Books

May 11th: Author Interview @ Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks & Characters

May 12th: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy

May 14th: Book Excerpt @ Stacking My Book Shelves

May 15th: Book Review @ Bookish Madness

About the Book

Title: Darkview Part One: Psychosis

Author: R.J. Bathgate and M.J. Hall

Genre: Ghosts / Paranormal / Horror

Take a journey into the disturbed, delusional mind of Jack Cyrus … take a journey into Darkview … a small, remote coastal town, deep within the Scottish Highlands.

The sleepy, isolated spot bears a sinister, horrific history, shrouded by a chilling secret. A secret one man must unveil, which will ravage his soul … and sanity!

Jack Cyrus is in damnation!

After witnessing the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, he has become plagued by dark memories and devilish visions, the result of post traumatic stress.

After returning home to Scotland and compounding his trauma, he is faced with the sudden death of his wife, from cancer.

Lost, alone, and struggling to forget the horrific circumstances surrounding her passing, Jack has developed schizophrenia, experiencing chaotic, disturbed thoughts and demonic hallucinations.

On the sixth anniversary of his wife’s death, Jack receives a cryptic, hand written letter from her, telling him she is still alive. Suffering and held captive, she pleads with him to return to Darkview, the place she spent her last days, and rescue her from purgatory.

Upon arrival in Darkview, strange things start happening, and what appears to be a centuries old mystery, starts unravelling itself.

Jack must piece together the clues and lost fragments of his sanity to solve the unravelling mystery.

Is any of it real, or is it just a manifestation of Jack’s mind, or another facet of his schizophrenia?

Author Bio

R.J. Bathgate, born and bred in Scotland, is the creator and co-author of Darkview: Psychosis. A father of two, and enormously proud of his heritage, he has studied psychology, social sciences, and is currently working towards an advanced diploma in psychotherapeutic counselling and hypnotherapy. His heart lies with new experiences and an interest into the unknown, particularly with writing. He has travelled the world from the dusty, wildlife-filled plains of Zambia, to the glaciers of Alaska, and the soaring peaks of the Canadian Rockies. He is extremely fond of NHL ice hockey, video games, good films, fine wine, and Jack Daniels. He originally wrote Darkview as a screenplay when living in Canada, but upon returning to Scotland, researched mental health issues, namely psychosis and schizophrenia. Inspired by this research, he brought in his lifelong friend, M.J. Hall, to help create a more realistic take on Darkview. The result is a story that combines traditional Scottish history with real life, catastrophic world events, told through the eyes of the protagonist, Jack Cyrus.
M.J. Hall was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, at the turn of the eighties. Despite being born in England, he identifies more with his ‘adopted’ country, Scotland – he’s lived there since he was four, and his late maternal grandfather was Scottish, too. He presently lives in Edinburgh and is currently studying Environmental Science at the Open University, but has always dreamed of a career in music or writing, or both. He is vegetarian, loves animals (especially cats) and is devoted to his black and white moggy, Tahlula. He humbly admits being just a small voice in a big chorus, and his life changed for the better, or at least would never be the same, when his lifelong and best friend – R.J. Bathgate – invited him to collaborate on Darkview.

Links

Buy link: http://geni.us/gPCD

Book Trailer

Cover Reveal Blitz Ghost Slayer


Title: Ghost Slayer

Author: Majanka Verstraete

Genre: New Adult Paranormal

Twenty-one-year-old Kaelyn has spent half her life hunting ghosts and killing them. But she’s not like the other ghost hunters who have to rely on spells and curses to banish ghosts back to where they came from, hoping that they don’t come back. When Kaelyn kills a ghost, they stay dead.

But in Mortimer Hall, a behemoth of a house, Kaelyn is about to face the most powerful and life-threatening ghost she ever met, and what she doesn’t know is that the ghost has been waiting just for her…

Author Bio

Majanka Verstraete studies law and criminology by day and writes speculative fiction by night. All her books include monsters of some kind: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her first books were the Valentina’s Spooky Adventures series, a children’s picture book series featuring a little vampire girl. She also worked on the Weirdville series, a series of scary lower grade chapter books ideal for fans of R.L. Stine. She has written a few young adult books, most notably the Mirrorland series (YA Dark Fantasy) and the Angel of Death Series (YA Paranormal). She loves writing short horror stories and novellas, and hopes to finish a horror novel one day. When she’s not writing, she’s probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.

Author Website

Facebook

Twitter

Links

Add on Goodreads

Fire Quill Publishing

Giveaway

Win a $10 Amazon gift card during the cover reveal for Ghost Slayer.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: Confrontation with Evil by Steven A. LaChance

30268338Title: Confrontation with Evil
Author: Steven A. LaChance
Genre: Nonfiction, True Haunting, Exorcisms
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 2 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Known as the 1949 St. Louis Exorcism, the story of possessed child Roland Doe was immortalized in the groundbreaking novel and film The Exorcist. Much has been written about the case, but the truth has been shrouded in secrecy…until now.
Join Steven A. LaChance, as he shares the shocking evidence for how a family’s grief over the death of an aunt progressed into a full-blown demonic possession. While the conventional story is that Roland Doe brought the demonic infestation upon himself, LaChance convincingly suggests an alternative interpretation, and provides new insights into the nature of possession itself.
The events of 1949 culminated in grueling exorcism rites, but the story doesn’t end there as LaChance guides readers through the stunning aftermath that forever changed the Catholic church and the city of St. Louis.

In Confrontation with Evil, Steven A. LaChance investigates the 1949 exorcism on Ronald Doe (pseudonym), a young boy who suffered terrible fits, and was seemingly under demonic possessoin. This case inspired the 1973 movie, The Exorcist. LaChance researches the people involved in the case, their motivations (from the boy’s mother, who seemingly deliberately contacted spirits or demons, to the priests putting their own souls on the line to help the boy). One of the priests left a diary of the events, and through that diary, LaChance discusses what happened to the boy.

The last third of the book is spent on a rundown of the places involved in the exorcism, which the author visits now decades later. He even manages to find some paranormal evidence in some of the places, and communicates with a spirit who he believes to be Father Bowdern, one of the priests involved in the case who passed away.

Now, while sometimes bordering on being entertaining, overall the book is kind of dry. It doesn’t really offer a lot of new info, especially to people who’ve read or investigated anything related to exorcisms before. It’s just a feeling of ‘same old, same old’. There’s no real emotion behind it. First that happened, then that happened, but the author never really manages to make any of the people involved sound realistic in his writing. I know it’s nonfiction, but I can’t sympathize with people if I just hear a rundown of what they did. “The boy had a seizure, the boy had a fit, the boy cussed”, and so on, doesn’t really make me sympathize with the boy. The writing just wasn’t on par, and didn’t make me feel involved in the case.

The author also comes up with some wild – really, really wild- theories, starting with how the mother invited the demon into their house (which I was somewhat willing to believe) to the Vatican willingly allowing the devil to possess a priest so they could do research, to the devil infiltrating in the Vatican itself, which was just waaaay too far-fetched for me.

Also, repetition. Some parts of the book were really drawn out, and repetitive. If you don’t know anything about the exorcism case, this is a good place to start, but if you’re already quite aware of what happened in 1949, you won’t learn a lot of new things.

Book Review: Haunted Bridges by Rich Newman

28700191Title: Haunted Bridges
Author: Rich Newman
Genre: Nonfiction, True Haunting
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 1 star
Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Restless Spirits and Supernatural Thrills

More than 300 bridges with eerie phenomenon that span space and time

Across the country hundreds of bridges harbor some of the creepiest paranormal activity known to man. Invisible hands reach out and touch unsuspecting travelers. Residual ghosts haunt scenes of murders, accidents, hangings, and suicides. At some bridges a voice cries out in the darkness that sends a chill down the spine of anyone who hears it.

Haunted Bridges tells the kinds of stories that are told in hushed tones around hearths and campfires as we ponder the unknown late into the night. The stories are at once mesmerizing, unique, and unexpectedly familiar, as if we all know deep down that fate keeps some spirits bound to earth. If you can endure the fear and you don’t look away, you will experience the dread and mystery of the unexplained.

Cities and states are listed for 324 public locations so readers can look up specific bridges.

When I started reading Haunted Bridges, I was really curious. I had thought the book would tell stories of the hauntings related to the bridges, focus on the background/history of the bridge, tell readers the location of the bridge, and ideally also provide some witness accounts, or the author’s first hand experiences.

Uhm, not so much. First, the book is really quite ambitious. It focuses on more than 300 bridges, but only shares a page at most about each bridge. The stories are repetitive and boring, so much so that it would be better if the author focused on 2-3 bridges per chapter, and then just added in a paragraph along the lines of “(insert numerous other bridges) share a similar story. You can visit them at (insert locations)” or something like that. Now, it’s basically the same after the discussion of a bridge or two, and I found myself skipping entire pages.

The book has zero thrill factor. It’s actually quite boring. The information is short, and you scarcely find more than you would have found by a quick Google search. More information on a smaller number of bridges would be a lot more interesting.

This book is an example of where the author chose quantity over quality, providing the reader with a dry run-down of haunted bridges that makes for a dry, dull read. I didn’t finish this one, just skimmed through it.

Mini-Reviews: Missing Pieces, The Visitor, The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb

minireview

Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Missing Pieces

Tite: Missing Pieces

Author: Heather Gudenkauf

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband’s family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf

Sarah Quinlan’s husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack’s past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

Review: The plot was decent, but I didn’t care that much about the characters. Not all of the characters were as developed as they could’ve been, the relationship between Sarah and Jack was weird, they didn’t act like a married couple at all, and Sarah’s behavior was often unrealistic. The ending was worth it, though, and it was a pleasant read nonetheless.

The Visitor (Gaveyard Queen #4)

Title: The Visitor

Author: Amanda Stevens

Genre: Paranormal Mystery, Ghosts

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Restoring lost and abandoned cemeteries is my profession, but I’m starting to believe that my true calling is deciphering the riddles of the dead. Legend has it that Kroll Cemetery is a puzzle no one has ever been able to solve. For over half a century, the answer has remained hidden within the strange headstone inscriptions and intricate engravings. Because uncovering the mystery of that tiny, remote graveyard may come at a terrible price.

Years after their mass death, Ezra Kroll’s disciples lie unquiet, their tormented souls trapped within the walls of Kroll Cemetery, waiting to be released by someone strong and clever enough to solve the puzzle. For whatever reason, I’m being summoned to that graveyard by both the living and the dead. Every lead I follow, every clue I unravel brings me closer to an unlikely killer and to a destiny that will threaten my sanity and a future with my love, John Devlin.

Review: I absolutely adore the Graveyard Queen series, so I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw the fourth installment on Netgalley, and I knew I had to read this. The author did an amazing job of describing Charleston, in particular the cemeteries Amelia worked on restoring. I also really enjoyed the riddles, and the romance between Amelia and John Devlin in this book.

The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb

Title: The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb

Author: David John Griffin

Genre: Horror, Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

The turn of the last century and Theodore Stubb’s manor house resides in the quirky village of Muchmarsh. A renowned entomologist, he is often within the attic adding another exotic specimen to his extensive collection of insects. But Theodore is also a master hypnotist, holding the household in thrall to his every whim. Theodore’s daughter-in-law Eleanor – returned from the sanatorium two months before – is a haunted figure, believing that her stillborn child Alastair lives and hides in the shadows. Then she falls pregnant again, but this time by the hypnotic coercion and wicked ravishment of Theodore. A dreadful act begets terrible secrets, and thirteen years later the boy Alastair Stubb begins to lose his identity – it is not long before mystery, intrigue and murder follow gleefully in his wake. The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb is a gothic terror of the highest order, delivering a dream-like and hallucinatory reading experience that promises to reveal secrets both disturbing and astonishing. Do you dare meet the Stubbs?
Review: A gripping gothic horror centered around the Stubb family, who reminded me of the Adams family. The writing is reminiscent of turn-of-the-century writing, and provides an atmospheric, eerie vibe to the book. The story was very intriguing and I loved the weirdness.

Mini-Review: The Agony That Remains, A Strange Little Place, The Haunted Pub

minireview

Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Agony That Remains

Tite: The Agony That Remains

Author: Brandon Callahan

Genre: Nonfiction, True Haunting

Rating: 1 star

Purchase: Amazon

In the northeast corner of Oklahoma, where the Trail of Tears ends and where one of the world’s largest clusters of ley lines intersect, there’s a place of extreme paranormal activity that has received little attention from the outside world. Join Brandon Callahan and his crew as they investigate the horrifying legacy of a bloody and brutal past, where generations of families have been terrorized by ghosts, demons, UFOs, Sasquatch, and countless other paranormal manifestations.

Partnering with a family that’s been driven from their land, Brandon and his team discover energies that have no fear. As dark forces take hold of the investigators’ lives, Brandon must attempt to salvage what’s left of his team’s—and his own—sanity.

Review: One of the most over-the-top, exaggerated, implausible paranormal cases I’ve ever read about. Sure, give me a ghost. Give me a demon. But don’t give me ghosts, demons, aliens, and even death itself dropping by for a visit. It’s like the author’s imagination just went completely wild, and there’s no reason at all why I would believe the author’s claims in this book. It’s just not realistic, and too over the top. Also, the writing is bland, and it’s too obvious the majority of this book is fiction.

A Strange Little Place

Title: A Strange Little Place

Author: Brennan Storr

Genre: Nonfiction, True Haunting

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Revelstoke: Where the worlds of the living, dead, and extraordinary collide

Embark on a fascinating journey into Revelstoke, Canada, a world-renowned ski destination with a well-kept secret: it has a long and active paranormal history just as breathtaking as its mountain views. Packed with stories of hauntings, UFOs, Sasquatch, missing time, and much more, A Strange Little Place takes you into a small town full of thrilling secrets and bizarre encounters.

Chronicling over seventy years of unusual occurrences in his hometown, Brennan Storr provides exciting, first-hand accounts of unexplainable phenomena. Discover the sinister mysteries of Rogers Pass, the strange craft and spectral music of the Arrow Lakes, and generations of hauntings in the infamous Holten House. As a magnet for the supernatural, Revelstoke invites you to experience things you never thought possible.

Review: I want to visit Revelstoke. Right now, please. While UFO’s usually aren’t my thing, the author had a great way of describing what was happening, along with witness testimony and background info. I also loved the accounts of paranormal happenings. It’s obvious the author’s research took up a lot of time, but it makes the book all the better for it.

The Haunted Pub

Title: The Haunted Pub

Author: Melanie Tushmore

Genre: Paranormal, Ghosts, Romance

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When young cad Finlay Saunders spurns the wrong lover, he is murdered, his soul now tied to the place where his life ended. Though the building changes over the years, Finlay’s haunting of the living becomes so bad, that a priest is called in, trapping him in the wall of his ‘death room’.

Ninety-three years later, Finlay’s room is unwittingly reopened, and given to a twenty year old boy suffering from depression. His negative energy feeds Finlay’s soul, and as soon as the first crackle of blaring rock music fills the room, his ghost is free once again to wreak havoc upon the living.

Review: An intriguing ghost story and gay romance mixed in one. Finlay was an interesting ghost, and his background story made me compelled to understand him better. All characters were realistic, and the writing was very gripping.

Book Review: Dark Spirits by Stephen Lancaster

26796653Title: Dark Spirtis: A Man Terrorized by the Supernatural

Author: Stephen Lancaster

Genre: Nonfiction, True Haunting, Ghosts & Hauntings

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Stephen Lancaster has been investigating haunted locations for the past 15 years, and these are some of his darkest cases, which have an eerie connection/familiarity. It also focuses on how the cases/investigations affect his life and what happens when an entity follows you home.

In Dark Spirits, Stephen Lancaster talks about some of his scariest cases to date. From a haunted plantation house to a spirit that possibly followed him home, all the cases are memorable. Some are a bit over the top, and don’t seem all that believable, but I’m willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt.
I do feel that in some cases, as with the spirit possibly following the author home, there might also be an edge of paranoia to the stories. Even if something is haunting you at home, it’s a bit irrationable to immediately think it’s the same ghost you met x number of days/weeks ago somewhere else. I didn’t immediately see why it would be that ghost, and not something else.
Anyway, despite showcasing the author’s scariest adventures, I wasn’t really terrified – not even freaked out to admit. Most of the accounts were just too over the top, and the repetitive writing (serioulsy, things were repeating A LOT of times) made the book lose its tension, and it wasn’t as scary as I had hoped and anticipated.
Nevertheless, if you enjoy true haunting books, I would recommend you give this one a shot. The writing isn’t bad, and the stories are entertaining.

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.