ARC Review ~ Rook

Author: Sharon Cameron
Series: N/A
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Apocalyptic
Page Length:  464 Pages
Publication Date: April 28th, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: ARC via publisher (thanks Scholastic!)

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.

Rook is a very hard book to review for me. I have so many conflicting thoughts. The premise was fantastic, yet the execution was subpar. 

In a world where technology is seen as the ruin of humanity, society has reverted back to the age before technology. France is experiencing the French Revolution again while Great Britain is re-establishing British decorum and costume. Unjustly imprisoned people are being rescued from the Paris prisons by the mysterious Red Rook. The search for the Red Rook comes to Great Britain and the Bellamy family, an unsuspecting family on the brink of economic ruin.

The plot of the story and the setting are both wildly innovative and astounding. The premise is unique, and it brings about a very real problem to ask ourselves. Are we too reliant on technology? I loved seeing Cameron's take on the French Revolution again. Being a bit of a history junkie, I was in heaven!

The characters are all charming and endearing in their own ways. I loved René and his dashing manner. He and his family are quirky and funny. Sophia was hard to relate to. I felt she was dull in comparison to the other characters. I didn't understand her actions or motives half the time, and she felt so unemotional sometimes. The other characters in this book are strong and balance out the cast quite well.

My biggest concern with this book was the slow pace and wordiness which heavily affected my rating and enjoyability. I felt that Cameron took a round-about way to say everything! She could have used half the words to say the same thing and still make it sound nice. There was just an onslaught of nothingness description and inner thoughts. This book was so slow moving; there were long stretches of uneventful scenes interspersed with more engaging moments. I had to urge myself to continue reading. It took me nearly three weeks to read this book. There are little stylistic devices that Cameron employed which were fantastic. Besides that though, too much and too long.

Overall this book had an interesting premise yet failed to execute it in a timely manner.


  1. Eeh, slow books are not my jam currently:P Great review:)

  2. Aww sorry you didn't love this, I get a bit bored with books that have too much description so I'll keep that in mind if I pick this up! Lovely review! :)

  3. Ah, I hate when that happens! Sometimes a book's premise is AWESOME and then the execution falls short. I'm glad you still enjoyed some of the elements though. The idea really does sound interesting, but I think I'll stay away from it after your review, because those points would probably get on my nerves too.

  4. Bummer this didn't quite work out for you Rachel! I've heard about the slow pace of this one, so I'm not sure how much I'd enjoy it. I'm finding slower paced books and I are NOT friends. Which sucks, because you liked the premise, history, and characters!

  5. I've heard that this book is really wordy, Rachel. I can't say that that makes me want to read it. I do love the sound of the characters, but I'm convinced that I'll be bored with how lengthy the book is.
    I'm sorry this didn't entirely work out for you. :(
    Lovely review!

  6. I was really looking forward to reading this one...but by the looks of it, I don't think I will be. I remember Faye's review on Goodreads being both hilarious and full of her disappointment with Rook. Also, does it have a brother kidnapping plot? Damn this looks like An Ember in the Ashes all over again ;P Thanks for the heads up, Rachel :)

    Rhea @ Rhea's Neon Journal

  7. Ah, I am someone who doesn't really like slow paced books because I end up bored pretty quickly. Although I do like the idea of this novel and the idea of a revolution (I have to agree, I do think history repeats itself somewhat) I don't think this one is for me. Nonetheless, great review!

    Check out my review and giveaway:

  8. Ah, sorry it wasn't the perfect read you were hoping for, Rach! I'm glad you enjoyed the characters (mostly) and that you loved the historical tweaks here and there. I'm not sure if this is my kind of book, but I'm still glad that you found some good things in it to enjoy it to soke extent. Great review, love!

  9. I felt very similarly, Rachel. I really liked the characters, banter, and romance, but the book was waaaaay too long. It could have been cut by at least 100 pages. :/


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