Archives

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

The Vault of Dreamers (The Vault of Dreamers #1) – Caragh M. O’BrienTitle: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien
Publishing Info: September 16, 2014 by Macmillan
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 22, 2014

    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.

bookreview1

I have a bit of an obsession with books about dreams. I feel like there’s really so much you can do with the concept and it’s so interesting to see how authors play with the idea of dreaming and how it plays into people’s everyday lives, so needless to say, I had some high expectations for THE VAULT OF DREAMERS!

I was interested to see where this book would go and when I started, I still wasn’t 100% sure what the whole thing was about since I’m a notorious synopsis avoider to really allow myself to experience the most amount of surprises and twists possible. This really didn’t affect my interpretation of the book in this case (sometimes I think books are about something completely different), but considering the fact that the book is called THE VAULT OF DREAMERS, I was really hoping the dreaming aspect would play a much bigger part in the book.

I felt like there was a lot of set up in the beginning in and in the middle which I was fine with… But I would have much preferred the plot to develop much quicker. The book is over four hundred pages long so to go for so long just anticipating what exactly the “vault of dreamers” really is and what that means, it just felt like a little too long to wait. From the synopsis, we already know that main character Rosie will already be a part of The Forge Show, an insanely popular reality TV show. I actually did like the aspects of what we see of The Forge Show and how it’s run but at the same time, I kept wanting to know more about the dreaming aspect so while I wasn’t not enjoying what I was reading, I was still waiting for something more to happen.

Once I finally did start to get answers… well, they weren’t exactly what I was hoping for. The ending didn’t quite go as I had hoped and it wasn’t wholly unsatisfying but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I think part of it was that I really didn’t fall in love with Rosie. I liked her character and her personality all right but risk-taking somehow didn’t seem like her style and somehow I felt like her personality clashed with how pushy and adventurous her actions were. I just felt like there was something missing to really make her feel real and so the ending just felt a little forced to me. It was also a bit confusing.

I only found out that the books is a series after I finished it (when I had started, there was no info on Goodreads or Amazon about this being the first of a series) so review pending, I had to go out and look (confirmed on Caragh’s website) that it is in fact the first of a series. I have to say that the ending was a bit confusing, knowing it was a series or not. It definitely felt like the story was incomplete but even as the ending of the first book in a series, something just felt like it was missing. I actually re-read the last bit and was still a bit confused so I’m a little undecided right now whether to invest my time in the second book and see where the story goes or wait until other reviews are out and gauge what the general reactions are. Either way, I do have quite a bit of time to decide!

I think maybe I got myself a little too excited for THE VAULT OF DREAMERS but anticipation and hype isn’t really to blame. I didn’t dislike Rosie but she wasn’t exactly a stand out protagonist for me. I liked quite a few of the other characters but no one else really quite stood out for me either. I usually enjoy a lot of world building in fantasies right in the beginning of the book, but when it comes to science-fiction, I’m more itching for plot and twists. There was a lot of info in the beginning of the book but not exactly what I was hoping for.

view_from_goodreads1

“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 6.33.36 PM

Yep, that’s right. I read it in one day! 

character_breakdown1

Rosie // Character Obsessions: Film-making, The Forge School, a better life, solving mysteries. 
I liked Rosie… But I didn’t love her. As stated before, something just felt like it was missing from her character. Her actions didn’t seem to quite align with the rest of her character. I didn’t feel like her reactions were alway genuine. I’m not doubting that they were but they didn’t feel like it.
Linus // Character Obsessions: Working, life, responsibility.
I liked Linus a lot in the beginning! But then I felt like his character didn’t really get that developed. I think a lot of things were told to readers about how characters were, what their background was… But I didn’t feel a lot of getting their stories through the actions and through their reactions. I also expected more from him as a solid love interest. Instead I just found myself never really trusting him.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Reality TV show plots. I don’t usually enjoy books about reality TV. I’m not sure why… I think it feels too melodramatic? But with a science-fiction/dystopian twist, it had a much more Big Brother feel and instead felt much creepier!
Left Me Wanting More: Development. On everything really. Characters, plot, details… The book was long and I finished it quickly… I was clearly interested enough but I think I just kept waiting for things that just never panned out.

Addiction Rating
Try it

THE VAULT OF DREAMERS was interesting, but it wasn’t one that wowed me. Maybe I was expecting too much but can you really blame a person for wanting a book to be fantastic and hoping it will? I wasn’t 100% on board so while I think it could be a really good read for some, I’m still waiting to see if I want to pick up book two.

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE THE VAULT OF DREAMERS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

       False Memory   Unremembered