My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What the WHAT!
The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh O’Brien has a mix of everything. There is mystery blended with science fiction blended with a bit of romance and it all takes place in a story about teens going to school with a reality show twist. I enjoyed it and honestly couldn’t stop turning the pages to see what was going to happen.
Rosie Sinclair made her way into The Forge School that was created to cater to students of the arts. It also has a bit of a twist in that all of the students are in a reality show situation. The students get to stay at The Forge School only if their blip rate is in the upper end and when the book starts, we find that Rosie isn’t doing too well. Add to this the fact that Rosie comes from a financially struggling family and she is definitely motivated to make a change. The problem is, she isn’t entirely sure how to make it happen. As luck would have it, she runs into one of the kitchen guys and he ends up giving her some guidance – it is essentially a popularity contest but includes a financial impact. As Rosie begins to interact with those students who are in the top end, she sees some changes and eventually finds that she has made the cut. This is when things start to get even more interesting.
Rosie is one of those characters that I just wanted to shake sometimes. She is smart but she doesn’t always think about what she is doing. I get that she isn’t really sure who to trust but as she starts to become closer to Linus I would have hoped she would have learned to lean on him more as he never really gave her a reason to doubt him. With all of that said, I know she is a teenager and expected to make mistakes. My issue is that they were pretty silly mistakes that if she had taken the time to think about things (because she really is smart) she may have had a different outcome.
I liked Linus – I just wanted to know more about him and what really happened to him at the end of the book. I don’t want to give anything away here but I’m glad we learned a bit about his background along the way and I am very hopeful that the next book will provide some of the information I want (read: need) on him.
So, back to the story…As part of the contract with the school, the students are required to take a sleeping pill each night to ensure they sleep the required 12 hours determined by the school. Rosie decides to skip her pill a few nights and finds out that weird things are happening at the school at night. As she tries to dig into what is being done to the students while they sleep, she finds herself in some pretty dangerous situations and the man behind it all isn’t willing to take any chances that Rosie will ruin things for him.
I can’t say a lot more as I don’t want to give anything away. I will tell you that this book definitely grabbed my attention and there was a part at the end that had me wondering what the heck is going to happen in book two. There is a bit of a cliffhanger here but take it in stride…I’m not sure how else O’Brien could have ended it without continuing on to the next book. I’m pretty sure my impatient nature is the problem, not the spot where O’Brien chose to end it. If you enjoy science fiction with a bit of a mystery, definitely check this one out.
Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan for the review copy.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars