Review: A Vault of Sins by Sarah Harian (Chaos Theory #2)


A Vault of Sins by Sarah Harian // VBC ReviewA Vault of Sins (Chaos Theory #2)
Sarah Harian
Published: Sept. 16, 2014 (Intermix)
Purchase: Amazon
Review source: copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amanda

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While this review is spoiler free, it does reference the previous book in the series. If you haven’t started yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, The Wicked We Have Done.

Evalyn might have thought surviving the Compass Room was the hardest thing she’d ever done. It’s not. Not by a long shot. The trial brought on by her accusations that there was a glitch in the Room, resulting in the unintentional death of Jace, is worse. Much, much worse. Because the nightmares aren’t going away.

Someone out there believes her though, and wants to help, sending her clues in an annoyingly cryptic manner. If she follows them, she and her fellow survivors might have a shot at beating the system. And if she does, it means seeing the one person she’s hurt over and over again –Casey.

In A Vault of Sins, Evalyn and company are not doing so well. Nightmares, weight loss, constantly looking over their shoulders because the media won’t leave them alone…the constant glare of the spotlight’s put pressure on her family, too, and she’s resorted to drinking. Three screwdrivers just to get through the morning, gin and tonics with dinner, beer for breakfast (sometimes accompanied by cereal). She’s painted the victims of the Compass Room over and over again. And try as she might, she can’t forget Casey, and she can’t stop doubting her feelings. Is it really possible to fall in love in sixteen days?

I had some trouble in the first book believing the connection between Evalyn and Casey. Not so this time around. Evalyn’s hurt Casey more than once with her choices, and it shows. He’s pissed, yet can’t seem to stop forgiving her anyway. There’s a sweetness to it, because they’re able to fully explore what they mean to each other now that they’re not trying to escape sociopaths and make-believe water. But there’s also a sense of desperation, like they’re afraid everything will be ripped away from them again.

There’s more to Evalyn’s friendship with Val, too. After what happened to Jace, Val’s probably even worse off than any of them, yet she’s holding it together better than Evalyn or Casey. Evalyn tries to show her over and over again that she’s not alone and she has someone to lean on, but Val’s the one who ends up helping Evalyn deal with her issues. Seeing how strong she is and knowing just how much pain she’s in (read the novella, Our Broken Sky, to fully understand Val’s side) is kind of painful, and I wanted to hug her and make it better.

The technology of the Compass Room fascinated me. A lot of it is explained, from the Bots to the trigger objects to the Vault: The area beneath each Room that holds all the data recorded, and not just what goes on in the Rooms themselves. To say any more would give away a good portion of the book, but what’s revealed adds layers and complexity to an already twisted story.

The ending ties up most of the loose ends, but not all of them, and they’re dangling enough to be frustrating. I’m enjoying this futuristic world, and I hope I get to go back soon.

Sexual content: sex

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