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.
A Vault of Sins picks up pretty much where The Wicked We Have Done left off. Even though Evalyn Ibarra, Casey Hargrove, and Valerie Crane have survived their experiences in the Compass Room, they are far from free, and one misstep will lead to their conviction for their previous crimes that got them sent to the CR in the first place.
The emotional and personal tolls from their CR experience add up, and having the DOJ hovering over their lives doesn't exactly help heal the mind, the body, or the soul. Evalyn experiences nightmares, and she blames herself for Jace's death. Even though she survived her trip to the CR with some cunning moves, she still doesn't believe that she's a good person. Her coping mechanism comes from painting and the nearest bottle of alcohol. She also ends up pushing away the one person that could keep her from losing herself entirely; Casey.
Vault introduces readers to a new group of characters who belong to an organization called Reprise. The group is a combination of hackers, and former CR Engineers who created the Bots. Reprise knows the truth about what happened to Evalyn and the others and is prepared to help them against the DOJ. The same DOJ who now wants the Evalyn, Casey, Valerie problem to go away by any means necessary, even if it means sending them back to the CR to face certain death.
While Wicked was filled with action, suspense, romance, and intrigue, Vault becomes more conversational in nature. There is a whole lot more time wandering in the mind of Evalyn and her belief that she some how got away with murder. Vault is definitely more character driven than plot. There is a whole lot of romance in this story that perhaps will keep the New Adult genre readers happy. For me, the romance took up way too much of the storyline that could have been dedicated to something else.
Just like my previous comments on Wicked, one can presumably avoid the comparisons being made to The Hunger Games by taking Harian's work for what it is. It is an original idea, that challenges readers to put away their preconceived notions and just enjoy the world that she has created. Harian leaves you wondering what other secrets the DOJ holds, and if the answers will ever see the light of day. If you truly learn anything from reading Vault, it is that nothing is what it appears.
While A Vault of Sins unlocks even more secrets of the Compass Room, and once again pits Evalyn and Val against twisted characters that would love nothing more than to kill them, it also leaves some very interesting questions, and avenues for the next story in the series. One can only hope that when all is said and done, that the friendship between Evie and Valerie holds up, and her romance with Casey doesn't take an end run to destruction.
*Recvd 09/08/2014 via NetGalley/Penguin Expected publication: September 16th 2014 by Penguin/InterMix
Author - Sarah Harian Title - A Vault of Sins (Chaos Theory # 2) Published by Penguin/Intermix Released: September 16, 2014 Genre: Speculative, New Adult Format: E-Book 257 pages