16 August 2014

{Book Review} The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien

By: Me My Shelf And I | 16 August 2014 at 12:00 AM | | | | | |


The Vault of Dreamers
Author: Caragh M. O'Brien
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Rating: 3 Birds

From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.
The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success:  every moment of the students' lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students' schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What's worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

I was perfectly captivated by this reality TV show school tale, complete with it's mysterious undercurrents and it's brilliant concept. It held me completely until about 3/4 of the way through, when the ending started to get shaky.

Rosie Sinclair is the underdog, her Blip rating, which tracks the number of viewers choosing to stop in to see her over the other 99 students in her grade, is dismally low. In fact, she's certain that she's not going to survive the fifty cuts, and wind up going home to live her life in that boxcar with her family. When a last minute event for her, sends her just barely into the surviving fifty students, a series of events and an assignment from one of her teachers begins her journey down a dark and twisty path.

I enjoyed Rosie and her backstory, as much as her gumption and drive to survive at The Forge School and figure out what's really going on behind the scenes.  The Forge School itself is a fantastic concept, and to be honest I'm really surprised that this hasn't actually happened in real life yet, they seem to follow teens doing everything else these days.  A school that is a Reality TV show, live for 12 hours out of the day – the lives of the students to watch at your leisure with a series of clicks on your tablets. They've made shows about everything else, why not this? Well, luckily there's The Vault of Dreamers to fill your need and curiosity on the topic.

Unfortunately, with the concept being so brilliant, and the protagonist being so strong it's what makes it hard for me to say that the ending of this book took off at top speed, going in multiple directions at once, and leaves you with more questions than answers. Put bluntly, it's confusing, and with the addition of a new sub plot at 3/4 of the way through with little to no explanation, it just felt shaky to me.  One thing I know for sure is that the author was determined to leave you wanting more with an epic cliffhanger. And as I have confirmed this in fact the beginning of a trilogy, I have to say even with my reservations about the ending, I will likely still pick up the next because I have to know what happens.

All in all, while I felt the ending didn't live up to all that I adored of the beginning, I think it's worth you giving it a shot. And if you do, or if you've read it I would love to discuss it with you. Please, if you chat about it in the comments try to remain spoiler free.

Find Caragh M. O'Brien on her website and Twitter


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  1. I've really wanted to read this book, I've read some of this author's other books, which I loved. Maybe this series will get better as it continues, who knows? But I'm a bit iffy about reading it now.

    Erin @ The Book Nut

  2. Aw that is too bad that the end of the book was confusing. The beginning sounds promising though so I still want to read it.
    Thanks for the great review!


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