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.


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.


“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! 


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.


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.



(Click the cover to see my review!)

       False Memory   Unremembered

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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8 thoughts on “The Vault of Dreamers (The Vault of Dreamers #1) – Caragh M. O’Brien

  1. Alexa S.

    It’s funny because the beginning of The Vault of Dreamers actually had me completely sucked into the story! I was interested in discovering what would happen next, what Rosie would learn — but then my enthusiasm also petered out. I found the ending slightly off-putting, and I’m also not sure if I’d continue on with this series. Pretty unique premise though!

  2. Nori

    I haven’t heard of this book before, but your review makes me want to go and read it! Even though you weren’t fully satisfied with the ending, it sounds like it was an interesting read.
    I am a new book blogger and really like the format of your blog! I also really liked the format of your review. Have you always been doing your review in that format?

    I would love to discuss your blog in more detail with you if you wouldn’t mind helping out a newbie book blogger like myself. 🙂

    1. Brittany Post author

      Thanks, Nori! This one was definitely interesting and I see a lot of potential for the series! I’m still curious about book two… I want to see where it goes!
      Thanks so much for your feedback about my blog! My review format has actually changed a LOT over the years. I kept tweaking until I finally figured out what I wanted and added things along as I went 🙂
      If you want to talk a bit more about blogging and things, I’d be happy to discuss! Feel free to send me an email 🙂 My email address link is in my sidebar. Thanks!!

  3. Sarah

    I completely agree with your thoughts on this book! What got to me the most were the horrible choices Rosie took! I just couldn’t get behind her as an MC because I just wanted to shake her for all the bad decisions she was making. I have my review scheduled for Thursday so I’ll be interested to see what you think! 😉

  4. Liv_TheAbsentHistorian

    Do you really always avoid reading synopsis? To be honest, I do it a lot but mainly because I am lazy and I like to first experience the book when I begin reading.
    This does sound like an interesting one from your review and when you manage to read a book in one day, I always think it has to be a bonus because you are hooked!
    Great review.

  5. Pam@YA Escape from Reality

    I reviewed this one today too! I really liked it, I found it pretty creepy and disturbing, but I completely agree about the ending. I read it again and I still don’t even know what happened. I’m actually considering contacting the author…not that she’ll necessarily respond, but WHAT HAPPENED???? This one kept me on the edge of my seat, I have to say. It goes from bad to absolutely horrific as far as what’s going on and I just wanted Rosie to leave, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I actually didn’t think about the risk-taking not necessarily being consistent with her character, but I think you make a good point about that. I’m definitely reading the next one just because I have to know what happens (and what happened at the end). Great review!

  6. Rebecca @ The Library Canary

    I just read another review of this and they said the same thing about the ending being a bit confusing. I really enjoyed Caragh’s other series, Birthmarked, so am pretty excited about this one. I hope I connect with the mc a bit better than you did. That’s always a big thing for me. If I can’t connect to the characters, I don’t really enjoy the book.

  7. Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

    I was skeptical about this one just reading the synopsis because it sounded like it could go either way (meaning it was an ambitious premise). I’m sad it didn’t live up to your expectations quite the way you had hoped but I’m glad it wasn’t a lost cause either. I naturally just assumed it was a series because almost everything is these days that’s not contemporary – so that doesn’t surprise me. I’m not sure if I’ll read this one yet. If I get distracted by too many other books, maybe i’ll read it if the sequel is good. We’ll see…


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