Escape From Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Published: June 14th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Horror
In this terrifying prequel novel to the New York Times bestselling Asylum series, a teen is wrongfully committed to the Brookline psychiatric hospital and must find a way out—before he becomes the next victim of the evil warden’s experiments. With the page-turning suspense and unsettling found photographs from real asylums that led Publishers Weekly to call Asylum “a strong YA debut,” Escape from Asylum is perfect for fans of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The nightmare is just beginning.
Ricky Desmond has been through this all before. If he could just get through to his mother, he could convince her that he doesn’t belong at Brookline. From the man who thinks he can fly to the woman who killed her husband, the other patients are nothing like him; all he did was lose his temper just a little bit, just the once. But when Ricky is selected by the sinister Warden Crawford for a very special program—a program that the warden claims will not cure him but perfect him—Ricky realizes that he may not be able to wait for his mom a second longer. With the help of a sympathetic nurse and a fellow patient, Ricky needs to escape now.
“To be Patient Zero meant losing himself, not to death, but to something much worse.”
Escape From Asylum was such an excellent addition to the Asylum series. Madeleine Roux truly knows how to deliver a book that has you questioning your own sanity. For those of you that have read the Asylum trilogy, this book is long before Dan, Abby, & Jordan and lets you see what Brookline was like under Warden Crawford’s command. For those who haven’t don’t fret this is a stand-alone and just gives you insight to what Dan, Abby, and Jordan discovered. I recommend these books so much. I would read the 3 first though.
This story was just as if not more thrilling and mysterious because this was a functioning psych ward where you never know what’s real or what is not. My heart was on edge so many times because I was screaming, “THEY DON”T BELONG THERE.” When you see movies about this and the character is actually not insane but of course, that’s what an insane person would say it gets your blood pumping. The scary pictures the author always has adds to the effect as well. I really love that this was a male POV just like the others because I love a male POV. I also really loved that this story had no real romance. It was under layers of plot and action but it was subtly there and adorable.
1) The Pace
“Searching. He was searching now, he realized, desperate to find not a phone or an exit but the source of the heartbeat.”
Miss Roux always kicks off her stories with a bang. Escape From Asylum is no different. Right away we see Ricky being put into the asylum for his anger issues and apparently to cure his “bi-sexuality”. Don’t let that deter you because the author handles that with care and shows what it was really like during the time when people thought you could be cured from what you like. The story was fast and chilling and kept a great pace.
“Day three,” he said in the most stuck-up, nasal voice he could manage, “patients still here and still completely nuts. Ricky dropped his voice. “Does he really think he can change you?” Or me.
He was such a great main character and person to read about. He was smart, funny and charming. I have never read a bi-sexual character before and it’s not just mentioned in passing. It was something Ricky was proud of and he thought about it often. He didn’t want to be fixed he just wanted to be accepted. The anger issues to me really weren’t as bad as his mom and stepdad (who was a jerk and deserved the broken wrist) claimed. He was a very accepting and kind person.
“Diana Ross…,” Kay whispered it, staring past Ricky, her eyes becoming slightly unfocused. “That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Only she wasn’t born Daniel Ross, was she?”
Along with never reading about a Bi character I never read about a trans one either. I thought it was really nice that the MC was bi and the second important character was a black trans woman named Kay. She was also there to be “cured” and the author really showed how a parent and others treated trans people in this time period. The diversity was a nice touch in the two MCs because I have yet to read about them and it was done well. The author also showed how Ricky and a few others were accepting but others still called Kay Keith & he. Plus she sparked the subtle romance between these two.
4) True To Genre
“No man is truly sane in his time,” was the answer. “Was Galileo mad? Michelangelo? Darwin? No. Geniuses all, but their contemporaries would never admit as much. And if I must be called insane for what I wish to accomplish in our time, dear boy, then so be it.”
With the pictures and all the intense moments you truly do get freaked. There are so many times when the story felt like watching a scary movie. You hear the heart-pounding music where you’re waiting and anticipating that thing to jump out or something to happen. You scream at the book like a TV saying don’t go there or run you, idiot. It was very intense and I was really gripping onto my book hard lol.
5) Accuracy To Asylums In The Past
“The water was torture, cold and then burning hot, the pressure so high it left his skin a furious red. Behind the nozzle of the hose, Ricky could see the blank face of the orderly who controlled the temperature, tormenting him, hot and then cold, back and forth, oblivious or maybe numb to Ricky’s pain.”
I did a lot of research before and so did the author on how patients were treated in asylums. It is wonderful because she did a stand-up job getting it accurate but it’s so disheartening to read about how they were treated. It is so scary because of how numb the patients become of the drugs and tests they do. To me, they made them crazier or made them crazy. They couldn’t say a thing either because who would believe them?
I highly recommend this series if you haven’t read it. It’s creepy, suspenseful, had great characters, a twisted plot, and much more.