Rook Review

Author: Sharon Cameron Publishing Date: April 28th, 2015 Genre: Young Adult, Science fiction, fantasy, romance, retellings His...

Author: Sharon Cameron
Publishing Date: April 28th, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Science fiction, fantasy, romance, retellings

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.

Before reading the book, I highly recommend reading the author's note in the back of the book. She explains her reasoning behind writing the book, and what she images happened in this world. Her ideas were so intriguing, and I loved reading them before I read the book. It made the story all the more interesting and easier to understand.

What I Liked:
There hasn't been a whole lot of hype for it, but one of my most favorite bloggers who I deeply trust and respect loved this book. Other bloggers have mentioned the book too, but there doesn't seem to be HYPE around it, which saddens me because this book is awesome. Just to mention a few things, there's:

-A PET FOX. St. Just, the family pet. It's totally normal to be sitting by the fire, or play chess and have this fox in your home sitting on your feet. It's so adorable.

-Orla. She's this hardcore, I mean business, kind of mother figure who gets the house clean and children in order. It doesn't matter how big you are, she will have everyone obeying her commands. Orla's title is Servant or Nurse Maid, but let's get real here people, Orla is boss. She knows her place, but those Bellamy children might as well be her children, and she will protect them. An excellent woman. Just look at this quote from the book, "Only Orla could arrange one’s traveling costume and bury a body in the same night, and with equal efficiency."

-THERE IS A MAZE OF BONES. A labyrinth really. I don't think this chilling place actually had a name, but it was basically a large maze of corridors, with ceilings stretching so high you can't see the top, and the walls were made of human bones. It was so delightfully creepy, and Sophia runs through them with the dark closing in on her. It was so chilling, and described in a way that made me panic along with Sophia.

-There is a lot of drama, but guess what, the characters don't stop everything to constantly hash out their emotions and get all obsessed with their romantic and emotional issues. They push the silly stuff aside and GET THEIR JOBS DONE! Like, literally this guy goes "I love you" and Sophia is like, "Dude, ain't nobody got time for this!" Bless the author for asking her characters logical and rational human beings who know how to prioritize!

-Rene Hasard. His name is supposed to have the little froofroo " ` " mark but I'm too lazy to fix it, so moving on! I have a lot to say about Rene. If you've read the book and want to fangirl, hit me up in the comments. But for those who haven't read the story, I'll keep this enormous package of enigmatic trouble contained to a much too small paragraph: He's a total bitchin babe, bro. He's this big mystery. Is he bad, is he good, is he an idiot, is he the one in control of the game, is he a dandy, is he supah manly... JUST ALL THE QUESTIONS SURROUND THIS MAN. He is described as being a tall, broad French man with red hair. I imagined him as the cartoon Beast in Beauty and The Beast when he turns into a man (because that's the only frenchie with long red hair that I know of). So in short, he's hot and mysterious, but not in a douchey way. Also he does this thing where when he's trying to prove the truth behind something he says "Tell me I am wrong." It's basically his catch phrase. He's gorgeous. Tell me I am wrong.

I ship it! (Do I mean Beauty and the Beast or Rene and Sophia?? BOTH? YOU'LL NEVER KNOW... unless you read the book. Go on. I dare you to pick up this delightful little ditty)

-The phrase "Fate against Feathers" Kind of want that for a tattoo, or painted on my wall, or on a teacup.

-Rene's entire family is a thing of humor and bad-assery. Like, Madam Hasard is stiff. Rigamortis has set in on her body and sense of joy. But at some point she giggles and it's the most adorable thing I have ever read.

-The mobs! FEAR THEM! As I read about them I got a little nervous (this author is good at making you feel the same emotions as the characters)

-LeBlanc. He is a bad guy I loved to hate. I truly did fear him. He was just so sickly quiet and evil, and obsessed with his goddess Fate. But I pictured LeBlanc as that little angry chef from Ratatouille, so while he scared me, I also couldn't take him too seriously.

-Their fascination with the diet coke bottles was hilarious. Things, from before the world went to hell, are quiet valuable. Things people in today's world wouldn't place any value on. Like coke bottles. But especially those coke bottles with that mysterious word "diet". Diet cokes are worth a fortune to people like Sophia Bellamy, but to us it's just trash, and I think that's both interesting and hilarious. Hilarious in the way that it's literally just trash. It's discarded plastic. But to them it's a thing of wonder. It makes me wonder what we value that the ancients thought was just  junk.

Things I Didn't Like-
I think it's worth mentioning that Sophia has an obsession with Rene's neck pulse. She kept noticing how she could see it beating. She kept noticing, like, all the time. But that's just my own tiny annoyance.

On to the truly bothersome stuffs! It says in the trailer and throughout the book that they need to break the historical pattern of anarchy and oppressive government. But I see no evidence of this pattern being broken. Not really. I mean the story follows the French Revolution, and the Scarlet Pimpernel (the book is actually mentioned IN this book, and I thought that was cool). I don't know if there's supposed to be long term change, but in the confines of the here and now in the story, compared to history, nothing really changes. They just start up on the good part of a continuous loop seen throughout history.

When the big twist is revealed. The who done it... I was not really shocked. Maybe it's because I had just played ultimate frisbee, ate an enchilada, and was too tired to be interested in the big reveal. My response was literally, "Wow. Didn't see that coming. Cool." With zero enthusiasm. I mean the ending was great. I liked it! Just wasn't in love with it, and I don't know what the author could have done to make me swoon for the end. Basically, I wasn't impressed, and that disappointed me because the rest of the book had been so great.

Spear. Spear is the childhood best friend, practical brother of Tom and Sophia Bellamy. Sophia has no romantic notions for Spear what so ever, and as the book goes on, Spear does not take this with grace. I honestly feel like Spear could've just not been in the story. His role could have been broken up and distributed to other characters. I felt like his only purpose for existing was to cause tension for Sophia and form the third point of the love triangle. 

Hasard talking to Spear

Overall: 3.5/5
This is a good book, but I think it'll be better executed through film. Instead of having to read the fight scenes and sluggish planning scenes, seeing them would make the story more fun. I want the BBC to turn this into a movie please! OR A MINI SERIES! But overall I was happy with this book. It made me laugh, cry, cringe, feel creeped out. The works!

Joke time. Rene is a total Hasard to Spear's health! badum tss... *and the crowd goes wild!* *alternatively there could be crickets* *crowd boos me off stage*

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