REVIEW: Camp Hell by Jordan Castillo Price
Psycop: Camp Hell – Jordan Castillo Price
Victor Bayne honed his dubious psychic skills at one of the first psych training facilities in the country, Heliotrope Station, otherwise known as Camp Hell to the psychics who’ve been guests behind its razorwire fence.
Vic discovered that none of the people he remembers from Camp Hell can be found online, and there’s no mention of Heliotrope Station itself, either. Someone’s gone through a lot of trouble to bury the past. But who?
Normally I don’t like book covers with models because they tend to be cringe-inducing but I liked this book model. Even before I started reading Psycop, I thought he was perfect as Victor Bayne. JCP’s book models are almost always on point. Also, Gomez Pugh’s narration is the best!
Anyway, when Vic was 23, he sported DMs, mohawk and safety pin piercings. Love it!. His boyfriend at the time was Stefan Russell who I dubbed Boy George because of his teased hair and makeup. When Vic got out of Camp Hell and became a psycop, he never looked back. After some research, Stefan resurfaced, reinventing himself as Steven Russeau, an empath specializing in counselling rich housewives and corporate types. I didn’t warm up to the guy. Although he seemed concerned about Vic’s panic attacks and succeeded in helping him deal with it somewhat, I suspected there was a catch somewhere. As to Jacob meeting the ex part, it’s a good thing that JCP wisely steered away from petty jealousies. Jacob met Stefan and deemed him a decent guy. But if I am okay with a Jacob+Vic+Crash threeway, Stefan would be no, just no to Boy George.
Via Stefan’s hypnosis therapy, Vic revisited his memories of Camp Hell which was something like a college dorm slash medical facility slash science lab, the lab rats being young psychics. Vic was in his rebellious state, messing with his tests, sneaking up with Stefan to get high and have sex, stealing food from the kitchen, and getting involved in other shenanigans until the new guy in charge put his foot down and made their lives hell. He was as good a prisoner in the facility with almost no control over what they did to him. I know it was one of the worst periods of his life but the Camp Hell experience was actually kind of fun to read about and I would love a Psycop spin-off featuring young Vic.
I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the flashbacks of him was doing it with Stefan because I kept thinking he should be with Jacob dammit! but the Camp Hell memories had some answers he was waiting for. Although I said reading about the place was fun, being trapped in a mental facility with no one believing your sanity is a big fear of mine. So I could understand why Vic had panic attacks every time he remembers the place.
This installment is one of my favorites. There were major character developments and revelations. Vic faced his past, put it behind him and came to terms with himself. Meanwhile, Jacob discovered abilities he never knew he had. How these abilities play out in the succeeding books is something I am looking forward to. I think this marks a new chapter in Vic and Jacob’s life.
Now, about that ghost tv…
Review of Psycop books here.
Review of JCP books here
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
Soundtrack: Mental Hell
Album: Animal Boy
Soundtrack to Psycop: Camp Hell by Jordan Castillo Price