Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Pages: 432 pages
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Vault of Dreamers #1
Synopsis (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.
When I first started reading The Vault of Dreamers I didn't know what the heck was going on. I mean, I know because I read the book's description but you're kind of just thrown into the action. It took me quite a bit of chapters until I was able to get the set up of the world and Forge School.
Basically, it's a mash up of a prestigious art school (think Juilliard) and the reality TV show Big Brother. Rosie, a budding filmmaker, was one of 100 students that were accepted into Forge School and be featured in the very popular Forge Show. But the 100 students have to work hard to raise their blip rank (the show's popularity meter) because half of the student with the lowest blip rank will be cut after the first ten days they're in school. Rosie was at the very bottom, but with the help of Linus and some of the students she was able to make the cut. But Rosie's relief was short-lived because she started to get suspicious of the strange rules and goings on at Forge School, especially after she stopped taking the sleeping pill the school required all of their students to take.
The Vault of Dreamers had a very interesting concept and I liked it. I was surprised to learn about 150 pages in that it's set in the not so distant future--I want to say about 40 years from now. I didn't really get a sense of that until it was explicitly said during a conversation between Rosie and Linus that an earthquake that happened in 2045 and it caused the abandonment of the trains in the town where Rosie lived. The train's boxcars became the townspeople's shelter. This information was significant because the whole futuristic aspect didn't click for me--I mean, the world wouldn't be significantly different anyway since it's only a few decades into the future. But I thought the story was set in the present until this information came up and it changed my perspective of the story a bit.
As for characters, I liked Rosie. She's a teenager so she's not going to have all her stuff figured out. She had her moments where I was like, duh, Rosie, you're kinda slow on the uptake. I didn't mind her naïveté and I'm looking forward to seeing her grow in the series (well, maybe... because of the ending, I don't know how where the next book will take us...). I also liked Linus. He was a mystery man. We know some info about him but you get the sense that there's something more about him. Is he trustworthy? I guess we'll find out. The other secondary characters were an interesting bunch too. I really like when Burnham confronted her about her using her friends and the other students to up her blip rank--I liked him and hope we see him again in the next book.
The Vault of Dreamers would've been a sold 4-star read for me if it weren't for the ending. It was really confusing and weird. I had to read it again just to make sure it really happened... it kind of came out nowhere. But I am excited for the next book in the series. I really like the unique premise of the series--it's very imaginative, twisty and I enjoyed unraveling the mystery along with Rosie. I don't really know what to expect next and I am really looking forward to finding out what the author has in store for us. I'm giving this book