Review | The Dollhouse Asylum by Mary Gray


Title | The Dollhouse Asylum
Author | Mary Gray
Pages | 296
Publisher | Spencer Hill Press
Series | None
Release Date | October 2013
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

A virus that had once been contained has returned, and soon no place will be left untouched by its destruction. But when Cheyenne wakes up in Elysian Fields–a subdivision cut off from the world and its monster-creating virus–she is thrilled to have a chance at survival.

At first, Elysian Fields,with its beautiful houses and manicured lawns, is perfect. Teo Richardson, the older man who stole Cheyenne’s heart, built it so they could be together. But when Teo tells Cheyenne there are tests that she and seven other couples must pass to be worthy of salvation, Cheyenne begins to question the perfection of his world.

The people they were before are gone. Cheyenne is now “Persephone,” and each couple has been re-named to reflect the most tragic romances ever told. Everyone is fighting to pass the test, to remain in Elysian Fields. Teo dresses them up, tells them when to move and how to act, and in order to pass the test, they must play along.

If they play it right, then they’ll be safe.

But if they play it wrong, they’ll die.

branch and berry

A girl and her teacher, a forbidden romance and an psychological thriller? Surely not? I stumbled across this book on Goodreads many moons ago and merely brushed it off as something completely crazy and something I would dislike from the get-go. But I was completely off the mark with that, and perhaps I should have read it sooner. The Dollhouse Asylum was a fantastic thriller, and satisfied the bookworm inside me fully.

While I would argue that Mary Gray could have done a better job of dragging the plot out, I have to admit that she did a pretty fantastic job. The idea was completely unique, and if you’re a regular here you will understand that I adore originality. Now I do have to admit that I’m not a fan of the whole dystopian, zombie-apocalypse kind of novel. But the decision to use this as a ploy for the real reasoning behind Elysian Fields was great.

The characters, although some were completely two-dimensional, played the game quite well and it was interesting to see their story unfold. Cheyenne, albeit the protagonist, was not strong enough to lead the story on her own. Whether she was completely in love with Teo or not, I would have loved to see more emotion from her. There were things the author brushed over, such as the fact that she showed no emotion over her dead mother – this was something that made her appear more fake. Luckily, her characterisation of Teo was completely spot on. Creepy? Check. Delusional? Check. Twisted? Check. Teo was literally the living embodiment of ‘psychotic’ and this really made me enjoy the story so much more!

The Dollhouse Asylum has easily been around for a few years now, so I’d advise you to go out and grab your copy as soon as! It’s creepy, it’s chilling and it’s absolutely perfect to fill your time with this summer!

4 Stars

branch and berry

Don’t just take my word for it! Here are what a few other bloggers worldwide had to say about the book.

Alison @ Lost In Believing says “The Dollhouse Asylum is a fantastic debut.”

Gil @ Writer of Wrongs says “‘I’m going to grade this book on a serious originality curve, and for creeping the pants of me.

branch and berry

❤ Mary Gray ❤

Mary Gray has a fascination with all things creepy. That’s why all her favorite stories usually involve panic attacks and hyperventilating. In real life, she prefers to type away on her computer, ogle over her favorite TV shows, and savor fiction. When she’s not immersed in other worlds, she and her husband get their exercise by chasing after their three children.


Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate


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