Customer Reviews for

The Asylum

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
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5 Star

(15)

4 Star

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3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

If you like gothic stories, then this third novel by John Harwoo

If you like gothic stories, then this third novel by John Harwood is sure to please. Set in the Victorian era, it opens with a young woman named Georgina Ferrars who wakes up in an insane asylum. She is confused, for her memory has faded. She has no memory of how she ar...
If you like gothic stories, then this third novel by John Harwood is sure to please. Set in the Victorian era, it opens with a young woman named Georgina Ferrars who wakes up in an insane asylum. She is confused, for her memory has faded. She has no memory of how she arrived there and the asylum doctor and nurses tell her that gave her name as Lucy Ashton. But she knows this is false – she is truly Georgina, but the more she tries to convince the doctor of her true identity, the less they believe her and the more she finds herself trapped in the asylum. What ensues is a gripping mystery about stolen identities, greed, betrayal, and murder. A real page-turner! I do not wish to reveal any more information to avoid any spoilers. The author takes the reader on a journey through time, revealing mere tidbits of information as the truth is slowly revealed. Although the ending is highly satisfying, I did find the final scenes pertaining to the electronic device a little hard to believe.




I have not read any books by John Harwood before, but I definitely intend to do so. He knows how to weave a good story and create spell-binding characters. He has the talent to create a creepy mood while you’re reading the book, so read with care so that you don’t miss any of the clues he drops into various scenes. Gothic mystery at its best!

posted by Mirella on October 22, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

With the essentials and a perfect overall Gothic atmosphere that

With the essentials and a perfect overall Gothic atmosphere that mirrors some of the classics of the genre: Lady Audley's Secret, The Woman in White and even a nod to Rebecca, The Asylum is a tale that may find its way to the top of many Gothic Victorian admirers' readi...
With the essentials and a perfect overall Gothic atmosphere that mirrors some of the classics of the genre: Lady Audley's Secret, The Woman in White and even a nod to Rebecca, The Asylum is a tale that may find its way to the top of many Gothic Victorian admirers' reading lists. The novel provides superb description and story building that may leave the reader finishing this novel in one sitting. Mr. Harwood has captured the Victorian timeline complete with research of many elements such as believable dialogue, enlightenment on the psychological and psychosomatic beliefs and practices of the time period and created an intriguing tale all swirling around the obscurity and oddly this still ended in disappoint for this reviewer. The novel starts with classic mystery narration but then ends with a rapid procession of unbelievable coincidences that may be justified with the saying "stranger things have happened". True, stranger things have happened but The Asylum is a novel that crosses into the saying "stranger tales have been told".


With all the positives there are negatives that must be shared with the potential reader. Unfortunately, the latter parts of the novel did not match the first and the tension sagged with the introduction of the "twists" in the second part. The utmost potential of the setting seemed to be not fully utilized and became lost with the progression of the story. The anticipation of confronting darker themes were introduced and used briefly but then were overshadowed by a string of confusing out of place scenes. True, the ending does end with the unexpected but the ending also concludes with more questions than answers. The last regrettable observation is the modern belief that updated novels that so carefully try to pay homage to the classics must include a shocking scene or a parade of scandalous scenes and The Asylum plays with those notions (and depending on the reader may enjoy). With the positives barely overbalancing the awkward negatives, I'm sorry to say The Asylum is a tossup to be a must-read or be placed on a list to wait to borrow at the local Library.

posted by -TheLadyinPurple on June 3, 2013

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    Posted May 29, 2013

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    Posted December 7, 2013

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    Posted June 1, 2013

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