Saturday, February 13, 2016

ARC Review: The Rule of Mirrors by Caragh O'Brien

The Rule of Mirrors
Author: Caragh O'Brien
Series: The Vault of Dreamers (Book 2)
Publication: Roaring Brook Press (February 16, 2016)

Description: The fast-paced, psychologically thrilling sequel to The Vault of Dreamers follows Rosie after her consciousness has been split in two.

The entire country was watching when Rosie Sinclair was expelled from Forge, the prestigious arts school that doubles as a reality TV show. But few know how Dean Berg was mining students' dreams in laboratories deep below the school. And no one, least of all the Dean himself, knows that when Rosie's dreams were seeded into the mind of another patient, Rosie's consciousness woke up in that body--a girl far from Forge, a girl with a completely different life from Rosie, a girl who is pregnant.

Told from alternating points of view between Rosie as she makes sense of her new identity and the shattered subconscious that still exists in her old body, The Rule of Mirrors will keep readers on the edge of their seats and leave them hungry for more.

My Thoughts: This is the second book in the Vault of the Dreamers trilogy. It is told from two points of view. Rosie who was left behind in her body and the Rosie who became a dream seed and was reseeded into the body of a brain dead pregnant girl in a clinic in Iceland. Both have harrowing adventures.

The Rosie who is still in a vault and being mined of her dreams is let awaken periodically by a creepy attendant who is fixated on her. She uses that fixation to engineer her escape from the hidden clinic outside Denver. Then, bent on revenge, she contacts Burnham who sends a car to bring her to him in Atlanta. She and Burnham have a complicated relationship and her current situation doesn't make it easier.

Meanwhile, the Rosie who was seeded into Althea wakes up surrounded by loving parents, only they are Althea's parents and they don't believe that Rosie is now living in Althea's body. They begin by thinking that the doctor who seeded her can tweak things and get their Althea back. Now calling herself Thea, this Rosie feels trapped inside a body not her own and, no matter what she tries, she can't convince anyone who knew her that she is really Rosie. Her main support is Althea's boyfriend Tom who wishes she was still Althea but is convinced she is not.

Both Rosies contact Linus at different times and both love him in their own way. The only problem with that is that Linus might not be as free of Dr. Berg as he thinks he is. And Dr. Berg is still lurking in the background and has evil designs on Rosie - both Rosies.

Has anyone else noticed a trend to have evil scientists as villains in YA literature lately? Maybe I'm seeing something that isn't there because I read a lot of science fiction. Anyway, Dr. Berg really fits the pattern of an unethical scientist who justifies his actions because of his desire for some greater good.

This was an entertaining and thought-provoking middle book in a trilogy which will leave the reader longing for the next book.

Favorite Quote:
Any last, lingering, irrational idea that I'd ever be able to get back into Rosie's body vanished, which left me with the question: why did I want to find her?

For her sake. Because she needed to be found. Berg had the other Rosie captive, and I couldn't just forget and neglect her because I had new problems of my own. Besides, it went deeper than that. I owed it to myself to find Rosie. My nightmarish memories of lying helpless in the vault still haunted me, and no matter how safe I was in Althea's pretty room, I knew I wasn't safe inside. 
I got this ARC from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.

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