Review–The Vault of Dreamers (Vault of Dreamers #1) by Caragh M. O’Brien

The Vault of Dreamers
by Caragh M. O’Brien
Summary: 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.

Source: I received a digital copy from NetGalley

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First of all, The Vault of Dreamers is apparently NOT a stand alone novel. It was difficult to obtain this information, as nothing in the NetGalley summary or the Goodreads page labeled it as book 1 of anything. And that’s fine, but not knowing confused me at the end. Was this the end? Like, THE END? While The Vault of Dreamers is not a stand alone novel, it could have been, but with a slightly open ending that I loved. It was one of those great books that is full of mystery and intrigue and the ending left a lot open, but gave up some information as well. I’m glad there will be more books, though.

The Vault of Dreamers was like many YA scifi novels with a teen girl at a boarding school where all is not what it seems. Many YA novels have the same premise, but it all depends on what that weird thing is that differentiates them. Is it a dystopian regime? Aliens? Biological testing? Robots? Magic? Mythical creatures? What is this school hiding? I loved not knowing.

The Forge School was not like a normal boarding school because it was also a reality show. Students were ranked by viewer popularity and some students were cut if their viewer ranking wasn’t high enough. Students had to be interesting to the viewers to stay. Rosie struggled with her ranking during the cuts, but her ideas kept her interesting to viewers and allowed her to stay. Her relationships with others were complicated, but I loved how refreshing she was as a character.

There was so much going on, I had no idea what the final reveal would be. What was the school hiding? Or was Rosie crazy? What was going on?! I definitely recommend The Vault of Dreamers and I will read the rest of the series. It was great!


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