Sunday, 23 August 2015

Review : Rook by Sharon Cameron

Title: Rook

Author: Sharon Cameron

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release date: April 28th 2015

Goodreads summary: History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she. 

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.


"Have you ever though," he said after a moment, "that perhaps… all of this could have happened before? That the people of the Tome Before, no matter how weak we think them, that they were only making the mistakes of their ancestors, and that we, in turn, are only making the same mistakes as them? Technology or no? That the tome changes but people do not, and so we are never really moving forward, only around a bend? That the world only ever turns in circles. Do you think that could be so?"

I read this book as a part of the Perustopia Book Club, and I am not disappointed at all by this first choice of a book. First, I liked that it was a standalone, because there aren't so much of them out there-except in the contemporary genre, of course. In my opinion, this book was quite unique because it was a mix of a lot of good things (dystopia, history, adventure) and I'm sad I didn't hear anything about it before, more people should read it.

The Red Rook freeing prisoners made me think of a cloak and dagger novel, it led to such adventurous scenes. The plot was really interesting and well paced. I'm really happy about the world-building, the French revolution vibe felt so true to me, with the Razor being the guillotine, or even the dog being called St. Just (a friend of Robespierre!). It made me laugh that the Parisian was a language, because at some point in French history, it kinda was!

The characters were well-written, Sophia was one of this badass heroines that aren't helpless. It was really interesting that she thought of the after: what kind of life could she have, after all that adventures? It is a really important topic, because it's always hard to picture what the characters will be like when they'll be back to ordinary lives. It explains why she was so reluctant to marry René in the first place, even if it wasn't the only reason. She was also conscious of her own weaknesses, which I always like about a character-especially main characters.

For always being so assured of her own cleverness, Sophia Bellamy-she was discovering-could be extraordinarily stupid.

René was my favourite character in this novel. He wasn't at all what he seemed, everyone thought he just wanted to be the true Upper Parisian, when in fact he was just plotting as much as them. But even if he did, he always acted like a perfect gentleman, it was really entertaining.

"Do you trust me?"
"Of course not."
"Then why are you here?"
"Because you have a dagger in the inside pocket of your jacket."

I really shipped these two characters together. The romance was a part of the book, which was logical, but it wasn't overdone, because Sophia wasn't the kind of girl to dream of her prince charming.

She supposed she'd always thought of things like marriage and love as a trap, like René had said, something clever girls didn't let happen to them.

There was another love interest, who was pretty obvious but to Sophia, but he never really stood a chance, so it wasn't a love triangle. I really disliked him and I'm pretty sure the author wrote him this way on purpose, he was so possessive, overconfident on Sophia's feelings for him and wrong-like that we were supposed to like René. That was really manipulative but well done. Though, I found the way he finished pretty convenient, but I didn't care for him at all, so…

Overall, I really liked it and I'm a bit sad I didn't hear much about it when it first came out, but I think it might change a little. I was really happy to see this French revolution vibe to this book, I'm really cautious about French history usually, but here I have to congratulate the author for her job on this book. The characters were enjoyable, I developed a particular fondness for René. I will definitely read more books by this author in the future.

Rating: 4.5/5

What did you think about this book? If you haven't read it, are you interested?

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