Thursday, June 30, 2016

Book Review: "The Requiem Red" by Brynn Chapman


by Brynn Chapman

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Patient Twenty-nine.

A monster roams the halls of Soothing Hills Asylum. Three girls dead. 29 is endowed with the curse…or gift of perception. She hears messages in music, sees lyrics in paintings. And the corn. A lifetime asylum resident, the orchestral corn music is the only constant in her life.

Mason, a new, kind orderly, sees 29 as a woman, not a lunatic. And as his belief in her grows, so does her self- confidence. That perhaps she might escape, might see the outside world. 

But the monster has other plans. The missing girls share one common thread...each was twenty-nine's cell mate. 

Will she be next?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Two girls. One, patient twenty-nine in Soothing Hills Asylum (that is anything but soothing as it dehumanizes its patients). The second, the esteemed daughter of the Asylum’s head doctor. Both have catlike eyes and hear whispers of words in the music they see everywhere. But there are more problems going on their bizarre connection. There is something killing some of the other women in the asylum, all of whom were roommates with patient twenty-nine before their deaths. And the head doctor has a dark side only his daughter and the servants are aware of.

The Requiem Red by Brynn Chapman is just as dark and bizarre as the one other book I have read by Chapman, The Violet Hour. Words hidden in music. Monsters in the night. Hair changing from brown to white overnight. The patients might not be the only insane ones. Then, throw in a couple whirl-wind romances…

I can’t quite figure out whether or not I like this book. It was so weird and dark but yet so interesting. It pulled me in and kept me interested in the tale of these two ladies. I figured out a couple of the mysteries, but not all. And the ending was a complete surprise. It left me hanging, and I’m not even sure there will be a second book! So frustrating. I didn’t like some of the darker elements, though they added depth and danger to this tale.

One thing is for sure, though. I will never look at insane asylum’s the same way again. Back in the early 1900’s and before, asylums were more like a prison than a place of healing. People were hospitalized for a variety of ridiculous and reasons, including when husbands wanted an excuse to remarry. The Requiem Red did an unforgettable job of showing life inside one of those asylums. Makes me feel even sorrier for my great-grandfather who was entered in an asylum around the turn of the twentieth century for stealing his family’s car (and escaped a couple of times) … but that is a story for another day.

The Requiem Red was as fascinating as it was bizarre. I recommend it to lovers of the weird with a dose of YA romance.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

1 comment: