Sanctum is a sequel to Asylum, which is the first young adult book in this series. These two books are a paranormal series supported by old creepy and unusual vintage photos which give a visual reference to support and enhance the story.
The story begins with Daniel Crawford, Abby, and Jordan, three friends that met the previous summer at the New Hampshire summer school, who were traumatized by their experience there. They suffer from vivid nightmares and visions as a result. In Sanctum, the story continues, and Dan, along with his friends, try to put an end to their paranormal and evil experiences. Unlike many series, you need to read Asylum first or you will be totally confused.
The story begins with each friend receiving a torn piece of a photo from a vintage circus, and Sanctum picks up where Asylum left off.
Felix, Dan's roommate from school, is in a psychiatric ward and Dan visits him with the hope that some of his nightmares and visions will resolve themselves after the visit. However, Dan is drawn further into the mystery when Felix presents him with mathematical coordinates of houses in Cranford, the town surrounding the school, and the old Asylum of Brookline that was their dorm the previous summer.
The plot unfolds with Dan and his friends visiting the school they attended the previous summer and find an eerie vintage circus identical to the photo they received set up in the front of the school building. Immediately, the three students begin to follow the coordinates Dan received from Felix to old and creepy homes and the clues they find hidden inside each one of them. It is almost like a scavenger hunt! With each new piece of information, the students, and Dan in particular, begin to piece together the history of the Warden, who was in charge of experimenting on the patients in the old asylum, and the namesake of Daniel Crawford. The gruesome past that the Warden began is being continued into the present day by Prof. Reyes who is the head of a secret evil society called the "Scarlets". This organization uses drugs, lobotomies, and hypnosis by a red "star jewel" that the original Warden stole from the circus magician to control their members, students as well as powerful adults. As Dan, Abby, and Jordan try to put an end to the evil, they also hope to also end the nightmares and visions, and return to a "normal" existence.
The book ends with just the right amount of mystery, spookiness, and the possibility of a sequel, as Dan sees a ghost as he is heading home, and Abby goes to visit her Aunt Lucy, a past patient of the Asylum.
If you are a young adult, with an interest in paranormal mysteries, you will enjoy this book. The photos will also add a bit of help visualizing parts of the story as you read, which is helpful if you are a visual learner.