Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: The Asylum for Fairy-tale Creatures by Sebastian Gregory

Once upon a nightmare…
Long ago, in a land where imagination meets the darkest nightmares, they built the asylum. Surrounded by a forest of thorns, it holds the most twisted minds in the fairy tale kingdom: a terrible collection of evil creatures and forgotten souls. Imprisoned within its walls, they are doomed to spend forever after telling their tales… and serving as a warning to others.
Now, you are invited to accompany Blood Red Riding Hood into the depths of this strange place – where you will meet its even stranger inhabitants. But be warned: walls this thick were built to withstand the darkest magic… so once you’re inside, you might just find yourself living horribly ever after… and wishing you were indeed in a land far, far away.
I find fairy tale re-tellings fascinating so I decided to give this book a try.

In The Asylum for Fairy-tale Creatures, some of our favorite fairy tale characters, as it turns out were actually driven mad by the things that happened to them. The story centers mostly around Red Riding Hood, Thumbeana, and Thread Bear. The three of them end up in the asylum for fairy-tale creatures after they go through some horrible things. But what exactly happens to them once they get there?

I found the first chapter very interesting. It was dark and a little twisted and held the promise of more things to come. However, the succeeding chapters were not quite what I expected.

I'm not familiar with Thumbeana and Thread Bear, although I think I read a story or saw a cartoon that started similarly to Thumbeana's story once. As for the other fairy tale characters I was more familiar with, they more or less followed their stories, at least, they started that way. The more magical aspects of the story, however, were turned into something darker.

Personally, the tales and the story were a little bit too twisted for me. I can't really put my finger on it, but I guess since the book is relatively short, I missed the longer descriptions and world-building that could have helped me empathize with the characters instead of just being an observer and being creeped out by them.

I noticed a few typos and missing words in the ARC I received. It took away a little bit from my being immersed in the world of the book, but they should be fixed by the time this book gets published, so you shouldn't worry too much about that.

Thanks to NetGalley and Carina UK for the e-ARC.


  1. The twists to the characters' stories are interesting.
  2. It's a good concept.
  3. This book may have a potential following and a possible future as a movie, if the story was expanded. 


  1. Some may find it hard to feel for the characters. 

Surrounded by a forest of dense thorns and crumbling on a precipice falling to an infested monster sea, the asylum held the most insane in the entire fairy tale kingdom. 

  1. You like fairy tale re-tellings.
  2. You like creepy books.
  3. You like dark, twisted stories. 



Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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