Insylum by Z. Rider – ARC Review

Insylum by Z. Rider




I received a copy of this on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Description

The Last Ones In…Never Come Out

A.J. changed in boot camp, coming out all straight-backed and short-haired. His best friend Nate hardly recognizes him anymore, especially when it comes to the way he acts. His priorities. Now he’s about to ship out to Afghanistan, and despite the rift growing between them, the two decide to have one last hurrah—at Insylum, the extreme traveling funhouse they’ve been waiting for a chance at for years.

They’re last in line on the last night of the show. They are the last two to go in.

And they may never come back out.

Warning: Some tentacular activity. (Also body horror. And maggots.)

My Review

I really wanted to like this book but I was disappointed! I love scary books but Insylum felt  disjointed and the “revelation” at the end was not well put together. Sure there are some good scares and horror. As the two friends first enter the shock funhouse, they encounter some cells with terrifying inhabitants. But from there the shocks get more WTF (not in a good way) and more gross out than gore. There is one brief moment of delicious horror concerning the couple who was waiting in line in front of them which was the only true standout for me.

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I also really did not like the characters. I found myself not really caring when the horrors of Insylum came at them. The very beginning of the story (Bookend I) will make sense at the very conclusion (in Bookend II). However, this “revelation” left me going “…really? I, mean really?” It was not thought out well enough, and was not executed well enough. The story is only a little more than 100 pages so there definitely could have been more to flesh out the “revelation” thread in the story.

horror animated GIF

In Summary

The Good

  • Some good scares
  • Very quick read

The Not So Good

  • Disjointed and mediocre
  • “Revelation” needed work


Eh, not really. Many other horror novels more worth your time.

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♥, Clare


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