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Monday, September 15, 2014

A Vault Of Sins by Sarah Harian (Review)

Title: A Vault Of Sins
Series: Chaos Theory #2
Author: Sarah Harian
Published: September 16, 2014 - Penguin/Intermix
Format: Galley - Thank you Penguin!
In her stunning New Adult debut, The Wicked We Have Done, Sarah Harian introduced readers to the Compass Room: a twisted experimental jail where the guilty and the innocent suffer alike. But breaking out was only the beginning…

Even though she’s escaped, twenty-two-year-old Evalyn Ibarra is anything but free. She’s desperate to return to a life that no longer exists, but prying reporters continually draw her back into nightmarish memories, using the tabloids to vilify her. Bad press is the last thing she needs during the trial of the year: the case that she and her fellow survivors staked against the Compass Room engineers. A case that could terminate the use of the inhumane system forever...

But in her dreams, she is still locked in that terrifying jail.

When she wakes, someone is trying to communicate with her in secret, through strange and intricate clues. As Evalyn follows their signs, she uncovers a conspiracy that goes so much deeper than her own ordeal. A dangerous intrigue that only she can bring to light. One that will force her to work with the one person she doesn’t want to see.

The person who owns her heart...

 This is a crazy crazy series, and I'm totally loving it!  Now, I've kind of messed up my own reading order and totally skipped Our Broken Sky, because when I started reading A Vault of Sins, I thought I was reading Our Broken Sky.  I even emailed my friends and was all like, "Um, guys this book isn't focused on Valerie, like at all..." and then they were like, "Um, Liz, you're a dork, you're reading the wrong book!" and I was all like, "OMG, you're right!" So later I will read Our Broken Sky, which is a novella based on Valerie, who is a bad as hell character and totally deserves to be read.

As for A Vault of Sins, this is the second full length book after The Wicked We Have Done.  In TWWHD, I gave it a five star review.  I loved the horror and mystery, with a splash of sci-fi.  In A Vault of Sins, it kind of lost me - just a smidge.  This book went more to the sci-fi spectrum than I like for my own personal tastes.  There were points in the story that were really kind of crazy for me to follow, but I'm guessing sci-fi people will be over the moon about it.  As for me, I wish it would have went more to the horror side of the spectrum.  But either way, it's still a pretty awesome story.

The low-down, for people who have no idea what I'm talking about is this.  In the future, if you are a murderer you can get sentenced to something called The Compass Room, which is this.... well, place, that is highly technical and super scary, and can actually kill you.  The point of the CR is to find out if the murdering side of you is the real you, or if it was a circumstantial thing.  Like, do you enjoy murdering and will you do it again, or did the time and place call for something beyond your control?  Are you remorseful?  Are you a danger to society?  You need to live through a month of tests, and deemed fit for society or it's lights out for you - and usually in a brutal fashion. That's what's so neat about the Compass Room, it's out of the control of people and relies on technology and whatever else they use to figure you out (or so we think??)  Later, we discover it's nanotechnology.  The finer workings of the Compass Room definitely get examined more in Vault of Sins, and that's where it gets really sci-fi.  However, even with that, it's an incredible story and Sarah Harian definitely has an awesome imagination.

As for the characters, we still have our heroine, Evalyn.  Obviously, she survived book one, but her troubles aren't over, because they want to give her, Valerie, and Casey a retrial. Things get pretty hairy, and it's definitely stressful and intense for all three of them.  Evalyn is still kind of the same, although she's really picked up a drinking habit at this point - but who could blame her.  She acts in ways that seem a bit selfish, but in her mind, she does things in order to protect those she cares about.  The problem with this is that she doesn't stop to consider what the other people in her life want, and she actually ends up hurting them.  Evalyn still feels like a real person to me.  She has flaws, for sure.  But essentially, she is good.  Evalyn is definitely someone I would want on my side.

Valerie and Casey are also in this book, along with some newcomers.  Valerie is just as awesome as before, and Casey... well, that guy definitely is a keeper.  He's gone through hell and back multiple times, and he is still as steadfast as always.

This book will take you on a wild ride, for sure.  If you like sci-fi and horror, add in some conspiracy theories and taking on the crooked-as-hell government, then you are good to go with this book.  I would really LOVE to see this made into a movie, or even a tv series.  I think the characters are very engaging, and the special effects would be mind boggling.  The story is fast moving, and I think it would really appeal to a wide range of audiences.  Hey, there's even a bit of romance, and a woman-to-woman friendship that blooms under the very worst of circumstances. And also, if you are into the techy side of things, this book also has you covered.  Of course, there's the super advanced nanotechnology I mentioned, but there is a group of Hacktivists (activist hackers) that play a major role in everything.

I'm still definitely going to keep up with this series.  The book ended at a spot where I feel comfortable letting it go - but in no way do I want to.  I'm definitely on board to see what happens next!