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.
The idea behind Vault of Dreamers is truly extraordinary — but the execution is less than exceptional. The book’s fast-paced start bogged down in the later chapters, as potential plot twists and subplots became dead-ends. And ultimately, the ending was far from satisfying — and in many ways, felt as if the author had written herself into a corner and had to scramble for a conclusion to the story.
If Vault of Dreamers is the first in a series, there is certainly potential for things to improve — but the ending of this book was not just disappointing, but felt like a cheat. When I read a book, I want to feel rewarded — and that never happened with Vault of Dreamers.
The real disappointment is that the book had such potential. The concept alone is massively intriguing — and O’Brien’s characters are entirely likeable. I would have happily spent more time with Rosie and her friends — had the circumstances of their story been different.
Vault of Dreamers is in stores September 16th.