The Keep of Ages by Caragh O'Brien
Book Three of The Vault of Dreamers series
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
In the fast-paced, high-stakes conclusion to Caragh M. O'Brien's Vault of Dreamers trilogy, Rosie travels to a derelict theme park to shut down dream mining once and for all.
Driven by fear when Dean Berg kidnaps her family, Rosie Sinclair strikes out across the country to rescue them. When an elusive trail leads her to Grisly Valley, the contaminated ruin of a horror theme park, Rosie has to consider that Berg may once again be manipulating her every move to make her fearful, priming her for a final, lethal dream mining procedure. As Rosie struggles to outmaneuver Berg, she unearths the ultimate vault of dreamers and the hint of a consciousness more powerful and dangerous than any she's imagined before. Faced with unspeakable suffering and otherworldly beauty, Rosie must discover how to trust her mind, her friends, and reality itself.
Propulsive and deeply speculative, The Keep of Ages concludes the Vault of Dreamers trilogy with stirring possibilities for what it means to be alive.
What I Liked:
This trilogy is hands-down one of the most bizarre and interesting series I've ever read. It's a futuristic science fiction thriller trilogy with an odd premise that people will either love or hate. I didn't love The Vault of Dreamers, but I really enjoyed The Rule of Mirrors and The Keep of Ages. This conclusion novel was intense, exciting, and nail-biting, and I couldn't get enough.
I will try not to spoil anything from this novel, but there will probably be plenty of spoilers from the first two books. Unavoidable, unfortunately!
Rosie is on the run, trying to go home to find her family before Sandy Berg does. But Berg finds them first, and kidnaps them. Rosie has no one and no idea where to look. Lucky clues lead her to Grisly Valley Theme Park, and old amusement park that was closed years ago. At Grisly, Rosie finds her sister - in a hidden vault of dreamers. Rescuing Dubbs comes with consequences, and Rosie must find her parents. It is up to her to find her parents, take down Berg, and free her consciousness from a strange voice in her head.
From the start, this book was filled with nonstop action. Rosie is on the run constantly, never stopping once she realizes that her family has been kidnapped by Berg. This book never had a dull moment. The abandoned theme park setting was very creepy and definitely a good setting for the vault of dreamers. I got chills, when Rosie first went into Grisly! So creepy.
The dream mining concept of the series is very much a large part of this book's plot, even if Rosie and Berg barely communicate. Rosie is terrified that her family is being mined. She herself gets caught in the vault and gets mined. The dream mining is creepy and takes on a very strange aspect in this story, about which I won't say too much.
Rosie is an easy character to follow and like. She is impulsive and quick to take action, so it's no surprise that she leaps into a trap, trying to get to her family. Sometimes Rosie's decision-making made me roll my eyes, because she is so impulsive and doesn't always think things through. But it's one of her better qualities too - she doesn't think, she just does. She stops at nothing to get her family back, which is very admirable.
I'm so glad Linus plays a big role in this book. He is present from about a third of the book and onward. I adore Linus - he is so sweet and very smart. Burnham was also part of this story but not in a love-triangle-y type of way. Lavinia, a new character, is critical to the story. She is the mentor archetype, and I liked her a lot.
In terms of the romance, Linus and Rosie are cute together. At first they are a bit tentative, because Rosie is worried about the camera that was in Linus's eye (installed without his permission). But that is taken care of by the time she sees him next, and they hash things out. I like them together. Linus is so sweet and calm, compared to Rosie who is jumpy and impulsive. In many ways, Linus is too good for her. But I like them together. There were a few short, swoon-worthy scenes between them.
The main conflict of the book is finding Ma and Larry (Rosie's mother and stepfather), and being free of Berg. I won't spoil anything about the climax and the ending but let's just say that this book has a surprising plot to it, and the ending involves aspects that you wouldn't see coming. The ending is really good and most characters get a nice ending. I liked the ending.
Overall, I liked the book It was an excellent conclusion and a good read.
What I Did Not Like:
Honestly I thought Burnham was a waste of space and he didn't even need to be present in this story. He is one of those secondary characters who is more annoying than anything else.
I also kind of wanted an epilogue! Like, six months from the end of this book. Readers of this book will now why I specified that time frame.
These are little things that didn't really detract from the story as a whole though!
Would I Recommend It:
I highly recommend the series in general if you're looking for futuristic science fiction to read! The series has a slow start, and it's definitely creepy and strange at times. Mining dreams is done without consent so there is that. But I was intrigued and fascinated by this series. This conclusion novel is definitely worth the read if you've read the previous book(s)!
4 stars. I am so glad I stuck it out, with this series! It's a strange, interesting series that makes you want to look over your shoulder and check for cameras everywhere. I'm curious about what O'Brien will write about next!
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