Rook by Sharon Cameron

Rook

4 out of 5 stars

I was given an ARC of this work.

I really, very much enjoyed this book. Think French Revolution meets dystopian fiction. It was so much fun to read and had a very unique character. The protagonist, Sophia Bellamy (an upper class society girl), is moonlighting as a Scarlet Pimpernel-style vigilante. Her society is split heavily along class lines, and her mission is to rescue other upper-class families that have been subjected to revolutionary violence and imprisonment. Think French Revolution/ Bastilles, but also with a concern about technology that lead to the collapse of our modern society (thus the dystopian element). The upper class are portrayed as users and builders of technology who want to oppress the lower class with their tech. The government also has no problem lying about people’s activities to confiscate their land and money.

While her awesome, vigilante side is smuggling people out of jail, Sophia’s tamer alter-ego is preparing to marry someone she has never met to save her family from financial ruin. Unfortunately, he turns out to be an annoying ass. More unfortunately, he is cousins to the head of government security who has an overly-happy trigger finger on the guillotine. She has to keep her nighttime activities hidden from her foppish but dangerous fiancé and decide whether a lifetime with him is really worth saving her father and her family’s estate.

First, love the character of Sophia. She is clever, brave, all sorts of ninja-awesome, and has some pretty darn funny dialogue. Her conversations with her fiancé Rene are really cute and clever. Her press to do the right thing, even if it will cost her personally, is admirable, but believable.

The setting and world are probably the best thing about this work. The world and culture are completely fleshed out and believable. The introduction of a weird religion around anti-technology was a neat twist, but done extremely skillfully. Sharon Cameron makes this time and place absolutely jump off of the page. I adored this world and would love it to be revisited.

There is a fairly large cast of characters that all have their hangups, and it keeps you guessing until the end if their is a traitor in their midst, and who it might be. Cameron also adds in a bit of more serious material about history repeating itself, and destiny versus free will, which is great, but overall I loved this book because it was fun. It was action-packed and I couldn’t put it down (which considering I was on vacation, is saying a lot). Please read this as I can foresee this being one of the best books that comes out this year.

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