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Summary

Winner of the 2018 Audiobook Reviewer Award for best horror!

What lurks within Chaythe Asylum? 

College professor Stephen Barlow needs cash. Badly. When a student asks him to head a new campus organization that centers around paranormal research, he puts his skepticism aside, and signs on in the hopes of scoring a fat bonus. 

Enter Chaythe Asylum - a long-shuttered and controversial institution where patients were allegedly subjected to unethical experiments. Stephen deems the old building, closed in 1989 after a series of grisly murders, as good a place as any to explore the possibility of the supernatural, and arranges to take a tour with his students.

But it turns out that the asylum is not as abandoned as it seems. There is something sinister in the building. It has watched and waited for nearly three decades, and when Stephen and his students enter, they find themselves at the center of a nightmare 28 years in the making. 

Asylum is the first novel in the Afterlife Investigations Trilogy. 

The Afterlife Investigations: 

  • Asylum 
  • Forest
  • The Occupant 
©2017 Ambrose Ibsen (P)2017 Ambrose Ibsen

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Asylum

Not at all what I was expecting. But I was hooked.excellent believable story telling. Can't wait to start second book.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Zoe
  • 18-08-17

Asylum

Any additional comments?

Very interesting. This is a very fast paced good old fashion ghost story. I am going to download the next audiobook in this series when it is available.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-09-17

A ghost story

This is a good story. Nothing new. A cute summer read or listen. The audible recording is well done.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Todd (Toad) Vogel
  • 18-08-17

Haunting!

This is my first book I've come across by Ambrose Ibsen. I loved it! Very creepy! A pair of college students and a professor start a paranormal research organization at their school. The professor doesn't believe in that nonsense but he could use the extra cash. The first call they get leads them to an abandoned asylum only to find it wasn't abandoned. There was something waiting there. It had been patiently waiting for 28 years planning for this night.

Excellent narration by Joe Hempel! He always does a great job and knows how to properly set the mood for the story he is telling.

I will be adding Ambrose Ibsen to my list of authors I'd love to read/listen to more of. I will definitely be check out the rest of this series when it is available!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-11-17

Great book for a night drive.

Great book. Built up fast and ended abruptly, but now I understand why. Can't wait to listen to the sequels.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sooo many books...
  • 27-10-17

Excellent narrator & interesting story

Good story that would bemefit from a little editing for grammar but otherwise has me interested enough to purchase the next book in the series. Definitely written with the intention of writing a series as it ends on a cliff-hanger, which usually annoys me but didn't this time, as long as the cost of the series audio books remains reasonable. I recommend this book, especially for listening to at night around Halloween.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • C. Bland
  • 12-10-17

very creepy!

this is a very promising start to a new series. while not wholly original, there are enough new elements and interesting takes on genre convention to keep the story fresh. the characters are interesting and surprisingly multidimensional. The characters are also smart enough to arrive at the same conclusions as readers are likely to, which is a welcome departure from the numbskulls who seem to populate so much of supernatural horror.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary Karowski
  • 11-09-17

Ghost story worth its salt!

I've said it before and I will say it again Ambrose Ibsen is the master of the ghost story. I have read and listened to numerous stories and he delivers shivers and he-be-jee-be's on every one. I live in Florida and made the mistake of listening to this tonight during hurricane Irma with no power, raging storm and lots and lots of strange noises. I so cannot sleep at this point. Joe Hempel delivers an impeccable narration lending the story the edge it deserves and creating that creepy crawly feeling the author intends you to have. Can't wait for the next one!!I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Christine Newton
  • 01-09-17

3.5* - spooky asylum story

Any additional comments?

This was an interesting and spooky asylum story. Remember that it's the first volume of a series, so the ending isn't written as a standalone book. I give the story 3.5 stars for the purely subjective reason that I'm a post-secondary educator and Stephen Barlow doesn't behave like any college or university Professor that I know. There's no way that I'd interact personally with one of my students like Stephen did (especially if she was a current student in one of my courses). I wouldn't permit any of my students to speak to me like the female character did. I definitely wouldn't say provocative things to a student's boyfriend/girlfriend to stir up jealousy or be petty. I wouldn't put my personal phone number on an advertisement for a school club. I wouldn't manage a student club the way that he did, or plan/undertake a 'field trip' the way he did. I wouldn't behave as unethically as Stephen did with a member of the public (when he lied to Jake's aunt about writing a book). And, any sessional or Adjunct Professor that I know doesn't have a lot of boring idle time on his/her hands - if our protagonist wants tenure track or more permanent status, he would know that he needs to do research, get a doctorate, publish, participate in campus events/clubs to build his network/c.v. rather than put a thousand bucks into his pocket, go to academic conferences, and so on. In other words, the part of the book (the main character) that's supposed to be serious and rational is totally unbelievable to me.

Which is too bad, because the creepy build-up to the asylum visit is really well done. The events relating to the DJ, the research about the asylum and its patients, the chat with the former patient, the mysterious asylum owner - all of these things created a sense of impending disaster. I enjoy asylum-horror movies such as 'Grave Encounters', so when our characters were at the asylum I was fully engaged with the story.

As mentioned, the story didn't end cleanly. Since the author positioned things to move right into the next installment, we don't have a good understanding of the entity in the asylum, the fate of the mad doctor, or why the asylum owner gives me the creeps. Unfortunately, I'm frustrated about the main character (see my first paragraph) so I totally disengaged with him and have no interest in his fate. If you're not in academia, then it's completely understandable if you have a different and more favourable impression of Stephen. It's just that I couldn't suspend my disbelief sufficiently to continue with the series, based on my personal experience in academia. (Lol, I could suspend my disbelief to engage in the paranormal aspects of the story, but I was totally skeptical about the Professor's character and professional behaviour. That's just not right...)

Anyway, I've read and reviewed Ambrose Ibsen's work more positively in the past. So even though I'm not going to follow this particular series to the end, I'm more than willing to explore his other stories. Similarly, I've reviewed multiple audiobooks narrated by Joe Hempel and I think he does a good job with this genre.

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Spooky Mike
  • 29-08-17

Another great Ibsen/Hempel story

What made the experience of listening to Asylum the most enjoyable?

Joe Hempel. He really does a fantastic job narrating all of his stories. He definitely adds to the tension of the plot and truly perfected his craft.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Elizabeth, she was the only character who actually has a mission. Stephen is only doing this for money as he is broke and Jake is only doing it because I assume he loves his girlfriend. Why the story centers around Stephen, he was my least favorite character. I don't mean that as a bad thing, I just personally didn't like him and wouldn't want to be his friend.

Have you listened to any of Joe Hempel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Absolutely and as always he does not disappoint.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reactions but it definitely made me want to listen to the next story. I am happy to see that there is going to be more to the story than just a simple haunted asylum.

Any additional comments?

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jason
  • 26-08-17

Excellent ghost story. Very spooky

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

Ambrose Ibsen has managed to do something that no author has done in a long time, scare me. The darkness and cavernous space of the Asylum Is very creepy and conducive to let you imagination run wild.
Well crafted story and I definitely look forward to the next one.
The narrator, Joe Hempel, did an excellent job as well. He had unique voices for each character and helped the listener to embrace the story and put them selves right into it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful