Source: Roaring Brook Press/Netgalley – I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Series: Vault of Dreamers #1
Edition: eARC, 432 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
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.
The Vault of Dreamers brings two different ideas together for one weirdly fascinating ride. On one hand we have a very typical dystopian, “Everything is too perfect to be perfect” type story, and on the other we have a “Big Brother is always watching” story. They’ve been blended together in a way that makes the progress seem like a high stakes gamble,
I really enjoyed O’Brien’s book Birthmarked because her writing style is sort of comforting, so I immediately knew she would give me a story that I would enjoy reading and I wasn’t wrong. I did have some issues with it as far as believability goes, but I appreciated the overall story too much to dwell on it. Our setting is the exclusive Forge School, a institution devoted to cultivating the most creative minds in the country. These individuals are given complete creative freedom in their work all while under the constant camera coverage of the Forge Show. This is where people can watch their favorite students work and go about their normal lives on the campus. But all is not as fantastic as it seems and Rosie is on the fast track to find out just how screwed up Forge is under the surface.
The story itself starts out really great, with some interesting world building and character building but it does slow down toward the middle…making that portion a bit difficult to trudge through. I liked the idea of the school and even the vault of dreamers, because they are both such wild ideas that I haven’t too many similar ideas out in the book market right now. I do wish we had been able to see a more fleshed out version of her family, other than the little bits of flashbacks, but I did enjoy having Rosie as a narrator. She even had me wondering at times if she was a reliable one or not, which made the book even more fun.
Fair Warning: This book ends on a massive cliffhanger! Like a screaming at the top of your lungs, “How could you stop there?!” kind of cliffhanger. I can’t even believe it and unfortunately i can’t even hint at what it is because so much of the books fun lies with not knowing.
In conclusion The Vault of Dreamers is a fun thrill ride of a dystopian! It might now be the most plausible story, but I still enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing how the series will continue.