Review: A Vault of Sins by Sarah Harian
Published September 16th 2014 by Penguin/InterMix
Review copy received from the publisher
A Vault of Sins is the second part in a series by Sarah Harian, following her debut The Wicked We Have Done. Where The Wicked We Have Done was a fast-paced Hunger Games style of dystopian, A Vault of Sins focusses on more world building and plot twists.
After the happenings of the first book, our main characters are prosecuted, hated, and traumatised. They are incredibly broken. Evalynn tries to hide her sorrows in drinking massive amounts of alcohol, pushing everyone around her away, and painting from dusk till dawn. She has screwdrivers for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner as well. Although I appreciated that the characters felt some actual effects of what happened before, the speed of the story was incredibly slow in the beginning. They basically sit around, talk a bit with lawyers, an wallow. It took me two weeks to get through the first half of the book. The second half I read in one evening.
With the premise of finding out more about the world and the conspiracies, I was a bit disappointed with everything we learn in A Vault of Sins. Expecting Feed, I got Catching Fire. It was still a good read, but I wanted to know more. The conspiracy is still rather flimsy, with not enough clues for the reader to pick up on. A Vault of Stars is a good book for readers of character driven books, rather than plot-driven.
At just 250 pages, this book is incredibly short for the genre. Many 350 page books have exactly the same amount of plot as Vault does. This difference stems from the lack of padding. The writing is incredibly direct, to the point, and almost staccato. I’ve noticed that a lot of readers have appreciated this form of writing, but it felt too empty for me. There were not enough words to let me linger on a scene, to truly paint a picture. We’re left frantically scrambling through conversations and short scenes, turning them to a meaningless blur. I just simply need more words to fully appreciate a scene.
The few glimpses we got of things to come did make me curious. I hope the third Chaos Theory book will have a faster start, and maybe a bit more meat.
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…
- Review: The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian (4 Stars)
- Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (3 Stars)
- Review: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings (4 Stars)
- Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (5 Stars)
Doing this is like a drug. My heart races and I feel euphoric. And then I write the book just to get the idea out of my head and move to the next one, except it usually doesn’t work that way because of all the revising I have to do. – Read my interview with Sarah