Early Review: Rook by Sharon Cameron


Rook by Sharon Cameron // VBC ReviewRook
Sharon Cameron
Published: April 28, 2015 (Scholastic)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

After the Great Death occurred in the Time Before and the use of technology was outlawed and punishable by death, the Red Rook becomes a form of salvation for those awaiting their turn under the Razor.

Despite the success with her nightly activities as the Red Rook, Sophia Bellamy’s daytime life could use a little help. Recently engaged, Sophia’s family needs the marriage fee in order to keep their home and land. Her fiancé, René Hasard, may look the part of a well-to-do man of the town, but it quickly becomes apparent that he has secrets of his own. When things heat up for both of Sophia’s personae, she begins to question who in her circle may be gunning for the Red Rook.

I went into reading this book knowing it was post-apocalyptic. It’s difficult to wrap your head around because while it does take place in the future, the world has regressed in all manner of living back to about the Regency era. Only when an artifact from “Ancient” times was mentioned with such reverence would I smile to myself and realize the great twist Sharon Cameron has thrown at us.

The interesting twist on society was not the only thing that drew me into the story. It was also the way Cameron wove everything together. The pace was slower but deliberate, almost like a dance. A scene would start out with one character and then another character would pick it up with a word or a phrase and move it forward from there. This means there’s no room for skimming through pages or passages, not that I wanted to. It’s a really beautifully constructed story.

Being the heroine of our story, Sophia Bellamy truly lives up to the task. She is such a sharp and cunning character–and in order to face down a megalomaniac who would put everyone under the Razor in order to be the ultimate power, she kind of has to be on her game. She relies on her closest friends and allies to aid her in getting people out of prison, but she is able to do just as well on her own. She’s a little naïve regarding those said friends and allies. René does call her out on not seeing what is right in front of her, and I would say this is the only thing that doesn’t really mesh well with being the Red Rook. One would think that the ability to read people should be par for the course for someone in her line of work. But if that is the only thing I can complain about in Sophia’s character, I think we’re pretty well off.

René makes a wonderful counter balance to Sophia. Cameron sets him up perfectly in that you’re not quite sure where he stands for the majority of the story. Regardless if he was good or bad, I loved seeing René and Sophia dance around each other. She knows he’s hiding something, but she can’t help being drawn to him. Their relationship flows nicely with the rest of the story and doesn’t ever become too overwhelming.

Rook kept me up until the wee hours of the night. I just didn’t want to put it down. It’s on my list for best of the year so far. There’s a lot in here for everyone. From fans of historicals to dystopians to mysteries I think Rook can reach many readers.

Sexual content: Kissing

One Response to “Early Review: Rook by Sharon Cameron”

  1. I’ve been looking forward to reading Rook since I heard of it and your review just got me that much more excited 🙂

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