The Vault of Dreamers
Summary: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 ridges 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.
The Vault of Dreamers was an entertaining novel, but unfortunately, it wasn’t much more than that. I felt a bit indifferent towards the characters and the ending despite my love of the premise itself.
Welcome to Forge – a prestigious arts school where every moment of the student’s lives are televised on a famous reality show. Half of the day is spent with the children broadcasted in their classes; the other half the children spend sleeping to help “enhance their creativity.”
Our story follows 15-year old Rosie Sinclair, who skips her sleeping pill one night and discovers that Forge is not what it seems…
Roise herself is a protagonist that is a bit difficult to connect with – mostly because of the fact that all we know about her is what her life at Forge is like. We never learn about what her life was like before entering this school; and that left me to feel a bit distant from her. From what we did know about her, however, I did like her and admired her determination and persistence and her desire for the truth and was on my toes trying to figure out the school’s secret alongside her.
The supporting characters are a bit underdeveloped here as well. The friends Rosie makes at Forge School and the antagonists are both a bit one-dimensional and never truly felt real to me. They all had the potential to have incredibly interesting and complex storylines, but Caragh M. O’Brien never really took that route, and thus the story felt a bit…bland.
The secret of the school itself is also a bit underwhelming. If you’re expecting the reveal to be mind-blowing or surprising, I can unfortunately say that is not the case here. The school’s secret and the methodology behind it is not something that should come as a surprise (it’s basically spelled out for you in the synopsis!), and that was the most disappointing aspect. View Spoiler »The concept of dream-mining here was only slightly touched upon, and I would have been interested in seeing O’Brien dive a little deeper; hopefully in the sequel possibly. « Hide Spoiler
The technology in this book was so incredibly similar to what we have today – computers, video cameras, etc – and I found it a bit unbelievable that there wasn’t more advancement in technology from modern-day technology until the 2050s, when this story was set.
I am, however, interested in seeing where the story goes from here – especially after that cliffhanger ending. The story has a certain originality to it, but the characters and overall reveal kept it from being something I’d easily recommend.