Asylum of Diction
Independently Published (2021)
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (08/2021)
“Asylum of Diction” is a competitor to many movies in the horror genre. In my younger years, I used to be a fan of scary movies but have since moved away from that genre; reading “Asylum of Diction” brings me right back to those years and experiencing the rush of psychological thrillers. There is something to be said about horror stories waking you up and getting the blood running through your veins.
“Asylum of Diction” is a collection of eight short stories and novellas by Alyssa Milani that are unique and worth reading. Stories one through five and eight are short stories that tell a lot in a short number of pages, the shortest being two pages. Stories six and seven are longer to draw in the reader. Milani’s writing is descriptive, focused, and gives off the right vibes. Select themes that run through the stories are murder, psychosis, betrayal, and, of course, fear.
I don’t think that I can name a favorite story because they all contain different elements; however, I noticed similarities to the “Saw” and “It” franchises within two of the stories. If the reader is looking for a light-hearted, feel-good set of stories, this book is not for you. I kept questioning myself why I had the drive to keep going when the short stories ended with a note of hopelessness and despair; however, it was nice that the novellas had a different vibe to them with a slightly happier ending. After some soul-searching, I figured out that while I don’t particularly care for horrible things happening to people, Milani’s writing is captivating, contagious, and included twist endings everywhere, leading me to read story after story.
The target audience for “Asylum of Diction” is adults, given the language and adult content included in the stories. Reading her short stories and novellas, I felt I was watching a motion picture in my head, and it gave me the same feelings as when I watch it on the screen. Both writing and imagination are top-notch, and I would be excited to learn of anything else written by Alyssa Milani.