November 24, 2014

Blog Tour: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien – Review, Letter from Author, and Giveaway


Welcome to our Tour Stop for

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

presented by Jean Book Nerd!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

The Vault of Dreamers

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.

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The Vault of Dreamers (The Vault of Dreamers #1)
by Caragh M. O’Brien
Publication Date:  September 16, 2014
Publisher:  Roaring Brook Press

Available for Purchase:

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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **


Gabby-2013I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to think of The Vault of Dreamers by author Caragh M. O’Brien. I’ve never read any of the author’s previous works but quickly looked up her Birthmarked novels on Goodreads and saw relatively positive reviews, so I was ready for anything. I can honestly say that the Vault of Dreamers isn’t at all what I expected it to be but it was definitely an experience.

In The Vault of Dreamers our protagonist Rosie Sinclair is attending the Forge School, an elite school that televises every moment of their students’ lives for the world to see. There is hardly any privacy and students with the highest ratings and the best viewership are successful and receive grand sums of money for their attendance at the school. Each night students are given a sleeping pill and while they sleep viewers can catch up on everything they’ve missed. However when Rosie decides to skip her sleeping pill she soon begins to discover that something else is going on at the Forge School. Something that might have sinister consequences and that at the Forge School not only is nothing at all what it seems, but that there is something wicked at hand.

I was surprised by the direction that The Vault of Dreamers went in. I found the plot entirely unpredictable to an extent. In terms of climaxes, plot twists, and the like I really enjoyed what The Vault of Dreamers had to offer. Not often do I enjoy going into a novel without an idea of what is going to happen but The Vault of Dreamers does an excellent job of weaving a mystery that will leave readers curious as to what will happen next.

The characters in The Vault of Dreamers are all unique. While my favorite character was not our main character Rosie, I enjoyed the entire cast. Ranging from the cameramen to the antagonist who I did not see coming, The Vault of Dreamers is very good at creating a diverse cast who impact one another and are all individual. This is one of those novels where everyone will be able to find a character who they can relate to in some way, shape, or form.

The writing in The Vault of Dreamers was decent. There were a lot of scenes where the descriptions painted vivid pictures in my mind but others felt like they were skimming over some of the more important details that could give a clear image of the novel’s world. I still have a lot of questions even after having finished the novel and I do think that this could be attributed to the lack of major details. There are plot holes that I could do without and I really do hope that at some point in time they will all be answered. As for pacing, I think there could have been a better divide between crazy dramatic points and points that were the total opposite. There is romance in The Vault of Dreamers but it doesn’t overtake the plot that is all about conspiracy and action and the big bad truth about the Forge School.

I really enjoyed the premise for The Vault of Dreamers and it reminded me a lot of novels like Flash Point by Nancy Kress and How to Lead a Life of Crime. To any readers who found those types of novels interesting (i.e. stories dealing with characters in either Game Shows/Reality TV shows or teens fighting to become the next best thing at their schools) then you would definitely enjoy The Vault of Dreamers. It has the best of those two worlds. Any readers who want a novel with romantic sub-plots, action, and teenage angst and drama all thrown into one story should definitely check out The Vault of Dreamers.


An Unimportant Letter from Caragh M. O’Brien


Dear Readers,

We’re friends enough by now, I hope, that you know I’d rather write a novel for you than try to convey something important in a letter.  I’m honest in novels. They’re products of considerable thought over a period of time, whereas a letter depends much on my whim of the moment, and it might give the false impression that I’m serious when I’m actually not, or that I’m glib, when I’m actually not that, either.

I will tell you, then, only the facts.  I’m in my local public library, hunkered down in a green armchair, with my laptop and a backpack containing a slice of banana bread for a snack later.  Yum.  I’m part way through the second novel of my Vault of Dreamers series, and for the last couple days, I’ve been giving myself credit for deleting scenes and brainstorming because they’re part of the process, too, even if they aren’t as satisfying as clicking forward in a rush of happy, countable pages.

Incidentally, and I say this without spoilers, I gave myself a whopping challenge with the end of Book 1.  Now I wish I could see clearly how Book 2 will come together, but I can’t, at this stage.  Instead, I keep working at it, pondering, casting about for connections and ideas, and underneath, I’m trusting that this process will yield something worthwhile.  Perhaps you’re involved with a similar process yourself and also believing in something you can’t yet see. These are wild times, no?

By the time this story reaches you, I’m hoping it will seem so effortless, you can read it one breathless gulp.  For now, however, I’m writing a muddle.  I’m lifting stones on a beach, cool, smooth, heavy stones, one by one, and turning them over to see what colors linger in their shadows.

There, now.  I’ve managed a bit of truth after all.

All best,



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Caragh M. O’Brien is the author of the BIRTHMARKED trilogy and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS, both from Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ms. O’Brien was educated at Williams College and earned her MA from Johns Hopkins University. She recently resigned from teaching high school English in order to write young adult novels. For more information, visit

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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  1. Lacey @ All Night Reading

    I have been waiting to read this. I just have so much else on my plate. It sounds wonderful and I did enjoy the Birthmarked series.

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