Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

First, let me tell you that I love Mrs. O’Brien’s writing style! Her imagery is beautiful and rich and her characters are complex and engaging. In fact, I love her books so much I re-read them about once a year just so that I can visit the characters and settings that I love. So, when I heard she was coming out with a new series I couldn’t wait! 

The Vault of Dreamers is the first book in a new science fiction series by Caragh M. O’Brien. (Publication date: 9/16/14 from Roaring Book Press)

Here is the summary from Goodreads:

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.

From the first sentence of this book I was hooked! The Book is exciting, new and (I’ll say it) a little creepy. I didn’t want to go to sleep right after reading it! 

The students don’t sleep in beds they use “sleep shells”. When Rosie decides to stop taking her sleeping pill she watches her classmates get wheeled out of the dorm but always returned in the morning. She begins to try to film what is happening but, somehow nothing gets recorded. As she begins to doubt herself and what is going on, as the reader I began to doubt too (did I read that right? Is that what is really happening?).

Rosie is brave and scared (a combo that doesn’t usually happen in books like these) she sticks with her convictions even after being offered a way off the show and out of the School. 

When she meets Linus they don’t have an instant connection (and I liked that) their romance builds throughout the book and it’s really sweet. It wasn’t too mushy but you really root for them. Mrs. O’Brien does a great job of weaving their story into what is happening with the Forge Show and the goings on at school. It didn’t feel forced, just natural. 

I have to say I think it took me a whole two days to read this book cover to cover. It was fast paced and engaging! If you haven’t put it on your pre-order/library/to be read list I strongly suggest you do!

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