The Vault of Dreamers
By: Caragh M O’Brien
Available Sept 2014
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.
This Blonde’s Review:
We meet Rosie when she is already at the Forge School and already breaking the rules. We learn about her slowly, but mostly we learn about the way that she doesn’t feel comfortable there while at the same time doesn’t want to leave. So we get to meet her as we see her trying to decide how to deal with the idea of leaving. She’s giving up and doesn’t see a possible way to stay when she meets a guy who gives her tips on how to stay. And when she stops trying and starts to just enjoy herself and get to know people then she works her way up to meet the cut. After that is when things really start to happen.
Rosie goes from being an unknown to still being the girl in last place. Of the 50 students left she is number 50. But somehow she made some friends out of the deal and she got a boyfriend. Somehow her life is going well, or so it seems. But something doesn’t seem right at the Forge School. While Rosie is awake at night she notices things happening that aren’t talked about. There are girls given IVs, being taken from their room for hours at a time, and even though it’s grounds for expulsion someone knows Rosie has been out of her bed and hasn’t said a word. She is determined to find out why.
The whole thing was interesting. Who could she trust and how much of what she thought was happening was real. Was she imagining things, and did she people she have her trust and suspicions of the right people. The thing that really amazed me was how it all ended. I was so sure of what was happening, but then the author threw in ways for me to doubt everything. Once you doubt what you know and believe you also doubt the people you know and believe in, which creates a spiral. Soon Rosie has to decide if she can trust anyone at all or if she’ll isolate herself.
The end of this one surprised me in multiple ways. At first I thought that meant there would be a followup, but then something that happened at the very last made me think that there wasn’t. And it made me want the book to continue even more. I like when books end in unexpected ways, so I liked that it didn’t wrap up in the kind of bow that I was anticipating, but I really wanted to know more about several different aspects. So Many Questions! I didn’t see mention of this being part of a series when I looked at it on Goodreads, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
If you like books about schools with conspiracies and the students who want to find the answers then you’ll want to read about whether Rosie is able to show the world the truth about this the Forge School.