4 star rating
A Vault of Sins
Chaos Theory, Book #2
By Sarah Harlan
ISBN# 9780698152182
Author’s Website:  http://sarahharian.com/

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Scott

a-vault-of-sinsVery rarely do I dip into a series mid-stream, so to speak, but with the novel A Vault of Sins, I found myself drawn into the story, despite the fact I had not read the first part of this series. A Vault of Sins is a hyper-tense conspiracy laden techno-thriller with a bite of almost anything to satiate everyone.

The writing style is brisk, easy to read, and if nothing but informative. At no point did I feel lost at having not read the first book, The Wicked We Have Done, as the book gracefully interleaves the crucial events of the previous book into its folds.  At no point, though, does the action in the book slow down to blazé expository, to recount the precise details of what went on in the first bout of the conspiracy of Gemma and the Control rooms.

For a book that treads a fine line between moral and immoral, and that takes a good look at capital punishment, it did not come across as  “preachy” nor does it force the reader into choosing sides. The conspiracy surrounding “second chances” for former inmates, culminates in a shock that anyone would find appealing. On one hand you have Evalyn, the stories primary narrator, forced into an act by a third party that scarred her life forever, and on the other you have Casey, forced into an act equally scarring but out of passion. Then you have Valerie, the uncertain factor. The fully developed characterization and the dialogue between the three protagonists are thought provoking and brutally honest.

It’s this honesty in the writing that propels the book from the trials at the beginning to the shocking closure – which nicely sets up the next novel in the series – that kept me captivated and reading. It at times seemed so vivid and lively, and the next, immoral and violent, all the while keeping the main theme in balance, that it made me pick up the first book.

Witty, sensual, and proactive are the three main literary ingredients that make this book palatable to even the most discerning taste. Written in such a fashion to elicit gut responses from the reader twisting the way they view an event. It seamlessly wavers in the informative pieces and bolts out the action and desperate measures the characters have to take. The characters stay true to their motives and change due to events in the novel. These days, with so many series racking up the count of book numbers, it’s very easy to overlook character growth, but this novel was an exception to the rule.

Fans of the classic Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, or the movie V for Vendetta, or Phillip K. Dick’s Minority Report (whether on the big screen or off the shelf), conspiracy buffs and science fiction aficionados will find that this is a hard-hitting novel that will no doubt endear readers to the series and hopefully provoke some thought.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*