Asylum: 13 Tales of Terror
Accessed as an Ebook
$2.99 on Amazon at time of review
I don’t really have a system in how I review books. I generally go for ebooks over paperbacks just because if I have my Kindle with me, I have my library with me (I’m sorry, paperbacks-and-those-waiting-for-me-to-review-them). I normally honestly just read whatever’s next on the first page of my Kindle.
I pick up a lot of indie and indie type horror on Amazon and then it stews there until I get a chance to read it-which means often the books I’m reading are new/newish to me by the time I get there. So I’m saying that when I started this book I really had no idea anymore what I was sitting down to read.
This is one of the better books that I’ve read this year. Not really a ‘ghost story’, but one with a ghost at its core and several of the stories within it do center around ghosts and hauntings so I’ll count it for Ghost Month anyway. An anthology in the loose sense of the word, Asylum walks both the reader and the main character through Blackwater Heights, a private mental hospital reported to be haunted somewhere in England (the location is sort of murky). The book proceeds to tell the tales of 13 of the patients along with the original owner of the estate.
The book felt very much like the first and second season of The Twilight Zone. The stories are on the shorter side, but there is enough movement and development that they don’t feel cut off or rushed. And they are legitimately creepy-which is high praise for me. It is very rare for me to get a fear reaction out of a book, and while these are not ‘scary’ they definitely pack a punch, especially for their length. Ranging from traditional revenge horror to shapeshifters and hauntings, they also move enough through the sub genre to not feel like Drabble sat in one place or played favorites with themes
This is also one of the ‘cleaner’ books that I have read this year. While it plays with the normal darker horror themes, including violence, it’s not full of heavy profanity usage or sexual content. Drabble is pretty direct with language, but not to an extreme level, meaning that this book is probably pretty accessible to younger horror fans as well-obviously with guidance.