by Krystal Wade
“To cure fear, you must use fear.”
Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He’s understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they’ll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.
Horror isn't usually my genre, but after reading the blurb, I decided to give it a go and was pleasantly surprised.
Rose is a teenage girl on her way to the asylum because her mother can't deal with her anymore. The reasoning is shaky, at best. When Rose is admitted, it doesn't take long for it to become clear that something isn't right. She's constantly pumped full of drugs and suffers nightmares. The asylum, nightmares, drugs--it's the perfect set-up, if not seemingly traditional, for a scary ride. But this isn't scary, at least, not as I had feared. The story takes the ride of a thriller, where Rose tries to figure out what is truth and lies in a foggy state, in which she can't even grasp the concept of time.
Rose is a down-to-Earth character, and gives the immediate impression that she doesn't belong in an asylum. The indecision of who she should trust and how comes across very natural.
The other array of characters is well done, making it unclear who is involved in the nightmares and who not. There's a nice twist at the end, which brings a lovely dose of doubt to one character in an unexpected way.
The plot is curved, layered and paced fast enough to keep a reader engaged. Although many scenes are blurred, the author does a good job bringing out the right amount of feeling and details to keep even unclear moments from going under. The fear level could have escalated a little higher, but Rose is in danger and it's easy to fever for her safety.
There are a couple hiccups in the logic, but nothing big enough to ruin the read. The motivations are twisted and one questions some side character's reactions or lack of. But in general, it's an intriguing idea and basically impossible to see through. Who the 'good' guys were surprised me a tiny bit in the end (which is good).
Summed up, this is a thrilling read which kept me on the edge of my seat. The horror isn't as bad as I'd feared, but rather strung into more of a psycho thriller, where the borders between reality, good, evil, and dreams become blurred.