The Requiem Red
By: Brynn Chapmann
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
A monster roams the halls of Soothing Hills Asylum. Three girls dead. 29 is endowed with the curse…or gift of perception. She hears messages in music, sees lyrics in paintings. And the corn. A lifetime asylum resident, the orchestral corn music is the only constant in her life.
Mason, a new, kind orderly, sees 29 as a woman, not a lunatic. And as his belief in her grows, so does her self- confidence. That perhaps she might escape, might see the outside world.
But the monster has other plans. The missing girls share one common thread…each was twenty-nine’s cell mate.
Will she be next?
After reading Boneseeker a couple years ago, Brynn Chapman has been on my radar. I loved Arabella in Boneseeker, and Jane and Jules proved to be just as equally engaging and independent characters in The Requiem Red. They had both learned to live in their own versions of a prison, one much more obvious than the other, and I loved how the two girls, who were so similar in looks and in their minds, were still unique unto themselves. Throughout the multiple points of view, Brynn keeps all of her characters voices unique and fresh, and the many changes made merge seamlessly from one character to the next even when the changes come mid-chapter.
While Jane and Jules are the obvious leading ladies of the book, and could hold the story on their own, their respective love interests should not be discounted. I loved Mason and Jane together, and recognized what Brynn had planned for them from the beginning. As for Jules and Jonathon, their meeting came later in the book, and their relationship developed much faster, but the relationship was something that I could just as equally cheer for.
The mystery mentioned in the synopsis hovers around the edges of Jules and Jane’s intertwined story until close to the end of the book, where a very clever twist kicks the disturbing atmosphere of the Victorian era asylum into high gear. With a well researched base that gives a dedicated nod to the reality of the time, when mental care, especially when it came to women, was abhorrent, Brynn weaves a highly original tale of two extraordinary young women that is un-put-downable and solidifies the need for a sequel immediately.
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.
She also writes under the pseudonym R.R. Smythe.
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. Author info, author picture, giveaway, and more were provided by Chapter by Chapter. A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.