Sunday, October 11, 2020

Mommy and Daddy's Weekend with Asylum by Theresa Dale

 Only a few weeks to go before everyone dresses up in the most imaginative costumes and heads out to collect whatever candies they can get their hands on. At first, I thought COVID might put a damper on that, but here, it isn't going to. Yep, we live in a part of the US, where the locals are rough and tough and you could saw off their arm and they'd just grunt and nod. At least, that's what it seems like. 

Anywho, what's this season without a creepy read? I picked up this one because asylums...especially abandoned ones...offer all sorts of shadows and dark moments. This one is for moms and dads, although I could see YAers grabbing up this one too. There are some triggers (child abuse, sexual abuse...) but all of this comes without extreme graphic details and is 'detached'. You'll see what I mean when you pick it up. In any case, it isn't a book that needs to be hid under the bed and, as said, it's mild enough for YAers, too.

by Theresa Dale
Paper Doll Press
Thriller / Paranormal
228 pages

From the creator of the Rose’s Ghost series comes another thrilling tale: Asylum proves to be a ghost story that stands on its own.
We follow Bailey O’Connor on an exciting urban exploration trip across the border to discover the secrets of a long-abandoned institution for mentally and physically handicapped children. But there's more than just mystery darkening the crumbling buildings they discover, and Bailey finds herself lost within them with the help of those who linger.
The search for her is mounted during the day while her own search takes place in the dark. Are the rumors true? The whisperings of experiments performed on the innocent and vulnerable? What secrets lurk within the few impenetrable buildings on the site? Most importantly, can the truth be uncovered before the property is leveled and its secrets are buried forever?
Told in Dale’s unique voice, readers both familiar and new will appreciate an engaging cast of characters and a compelling story that is hard to put down.



With a mix of mystery and the paranormal, this tale explores the dark halls of a place where children suffered nightmares and refuse to let it go.

Bailey loves photography and is a member of a group of like-minded, who love to visit forgotten places and capture whatever emotion they can. When they get the chance to visit a deserted asylum, shut down years before due to evidence of mistreating the children patients, it's excitement pure. If a ghost wasn't trying to reach out to Bailey, that is, one that happens to be one of the children, who was never found. And this child is determined to use Bailey to get the truth of the asylum out before the asylum is destroyed forever.

Ghosts, asylums, secret medical experiments...sounds great and it is. First off, I'm a chicken when it comes to anything which leans in the horror direction. And this one did have me taking a second glance when I walked into the dark rooms of my house after reading the first few chapters. But after that, this novel lets off and swings in a different direction. It's still dark, there are ghosts, and the secrets lurking in the asylum's past rank horrific at best. So, I can't say this novel just wasn't quite what I expected.

I do enjoy this author's writing style and will be checking out some of her other books. It's fresh and light while still drawing in and painting a vivid world. The characters have bounce to them and don't carry the usual heaviness that these novels often give them. I appreciated that, although I can imagine it won't be everyone's thing. It simply adds a ray of sunshine and fun before the much heavier, darker aspects sink in. As to the ghosts, I was missing a bit of character depth and would have liked more on that end, but this also wasn't enough to make me want to stop reading.

The tale definitely keeps a good pace the entire way through and had me not wanting to put it down. Nothing is really shocking or surprising, but that doesn't ruin the atmosphere or reading enjoyment. I think it's because the author manages to keep the tale unexpected on the smaller end of to what exactly happens to Bailey next. Her journey was chucked full of interesting and unexpected moments. There were a couple times, where the logic stumbled...and about mid-way through, the change in Bailey's world happened a bit too suddenly. So much so that I had to go back and re-read a couple of paragraphs to understand why there was a point of view switch...while half the book is from Bailey's perspective, this expands about half-way through. But I didn't dislike the tale because of it, either. It just jolted more than it should have.

If you're looking for horror, this isn't it. Not exactly, anyway. This one runs along a creepy mystery with chilling paranormal activity and a dark and horrible past. Fans of ghosts, horrific histories, and darker moments will enjoy this one quite a bit. It does get under the skin and leaves an impression after the last page comes to an end. These victims will get their revenge...and not in ways one might expect.

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