Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dear Book: Rook by Sharon Cameron

Dear Rook,

I was beyond excited to read you since the first time I saw the first few bloggers screaming about you showing up in their mail. Not only did your cover look beautiful, but your synopsis had me thinking all the swoony things. I mean, the main character, Sophia, is engaged to an extremely handsome young man named René, and they absolutely despise each other. All the best romances are borne from hatred (in my opinion, at least). Then I read you and René was everything I could have wished for. Smart, arrogant, a man of secrets - it was love at first sight. Oh, and he was extremely well-dressed. Yum.

When I first started you, you were wondrous. Everything was so fast-paced and ridiculously entertaining, I couldn't stop. And the Sophia-René moments were perfect. About thirty percent into you, however, and I was left wondering Wait, the book's not over yet? With things progressing so quickly between the lovely couple and a pseudo-climax out of the way, I was wondering how I would be able to stand the next three-quarters of you. It took me a while to continue reading you, but once I started up again, the rest went by pretty quickly. I've heard some complaints about you being slow-paced, but from my point of view, things still happened very quickly, especially the closer I got to the end. By that point, I was frantically flipping pages and swerving my eyes around in an attempt to keep up with the crazy fast pace of the story. I loved it.

The plot and setting of your story were unlike anything I had ever glimpsed before. I've heard of dystopia, and modern settings where customs were not unlike that of the Victorian Era, but you had a combination of both. And you took place in PARIS - I don't think it gets much better than that. Even now, I'm not exactly sure how the author came up with you, but she did, and it turned out pretty cool. Fans of RobinHood may enjoy your story, as it's filled with disguise, stealing, and even espionage. The family dynamics in you, especially those of René's family, were utterly perfect and laughter-inducing.

I'll admit, sometimes I was wondering whether I'd actually get invested in you and your characters (not including Sophia and René of course, 'cause I loved them). Sure, you were a joy to read, but once or twice I had to force myself to keep going. You were a good book, but you don't really stand out. There's nothing much unique about you aside from the intriguing setting. I like the idea of a girl moving to overthrow the "monarchy" of sorts, and the little details of the goddess and the stance against technology served to make this book interesting, but thinking back on you, I don't feel like there was much of a point. Readers of The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace (see my review here) may enjoy you - you both gave me a bit of a similar vibe.

When I saw other readers claiming that you were a disappointment, I wasn't sure what they meant. Now I can see it. I hate to say this, but you just weren't as good as I thought you'd be. I expected more, and unfortunately, I didn't get that from you. Honestly, I think I like you better when I look back and think of you as a retelling. Really, you were fun while I was reading you simply because you were different; it's just too bad you weren't what I was hoping for.

Yours truly,

Book Synopsis: 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.

Source: A copy was purchased on my Kindle.

Title: Rook
Author: Sharon Cameron
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Dystopia, Adventure, YA
Pages: 456 pages