Review: A Vault of Sins by Sarah Harian

18579501A Vault of Sins
(Chaos Theory, #2)
By: Sarah Harian
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: Sept. 16, 2014
Genre: Dystopian New Adult

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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…

1thoughtsIn the last book we watched Evalyn be sentenced to the Compass Room. A simulated location to test the morality of the convicts placed inside. It is supposed to help them determine whether a convict is rotten to the core or if they are actually good. She and a couple of other convicts were able to trip up the system and get out alive. This book starts a month later. We watch as Evalyn tries to go on with her life knowing that any day now, she will be called back in to be judged for her actions that put her in the Compass Room to begin with.

I was a little weary going into this one because as far as I was concerned I was okay with the story ending at book one. Sorta like the Hunger Games, I was totally fine with the first one being it. And just like the Hunger Games, I still really enjoyed the sequel.

Evalyn is damaged from her time in CR. She has nightmares about all the death she saw. She’s been told to keep out of the public eye and to shut off all contact with the two surviving convicts that she befriended while in the CR. Evalyn’s way of coping with is all is to remain sedated under copious amounts of liquor and to paint those who didn’t make it out of CR. She’s not going to forget about what happened in the room and how good people were murdered by this so-called justice system. She knows her days are numbered until she’s called back but she has no idea how soon that time will come.

There was always something happening in this story. Even though it’s about how broken Evalyn is after CR, there is still some fight left in her. You see her start to pull herself together and reform herself into a fighter, a survivor. The author introduces new characters to help support Evalyn and her mission to reveal the CR for what it really is. I was engrossed in the story from the moment I started to read it. My only issue was that there were a couple of parts where the story sort of jumps forward in time abruptly. One case is a vision that Evalyn see’s and it isn’t revealed until later that it was such but there was no indication that this was anything other than another lapse in time. I found myself rereading certain parts of the book trying to figure out what just happened and that sort of pulled me out of the story some. Granted, I did read an ARC and things could change before it goes to print.

This is a great story. The characters are not innocent. There are times where you are going to dislike them for their actions or their past. After all, each of them has killed someone. So it goes without saying that these are not your typical heroes and heroines. However, that distinction is what makes this story so great. You know these are people that have committed murder. That they have taken a life or even lives in some cases. However, you still find yourself rooting for them because you see them show remorse for their actions and yet, if asked if they’d do it again, they would. But… you still root for them. It’s amazing how the author can make you root for such people.
1favequote“I can’t be a hero. I can’t paint a letter on my chest like a super-hero and fight for justice, because I don’t even know what justice means. I’ve killed people, I’ve hurt people, I love people who’ve done horrible things. I can’t be an advocate. I can’t be an icon.”

Previous reviews from Chaos Theory
The Wicked We Have Done


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