Monday, May 11, 2015

Rook by Sharon Cameron

2 "You Had Me at Hello, but Lost Me Right After That" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -

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 modern day twist and reimagining of the original play and adventure novel, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy and for all of you kiddo’s out there scratching your heads, asking “The Scarlet Pimper-what??” The only thing I can say is, “Go look it up and stop making feel so old!”

Though Rook is set in a time period that takes place in the not too distant future, the world that we are actually immersed into and the actions of the characters read more reminiscent of the Victorian and Regency Era time periods. Rather than the typical scientific and technological advances that most author’s incorporate into a futuristic set piece, Ms. Cameron actually sets the world as taking several steps backwards in those areas and puts a slightly different spin on futuristic ideas. The theory itself was quite interesting and provided a different depiction from the norm, but it still took my mind a moment or two to accustom itself to having guillotine-style public executions, horse drawn carriages and engagement balls, all in the same sentence with Nintendo controllers and DVDs. It was almost like watching a historic time period drama on television and noticing a plane fly through the air in the back ground or a watch on someone’s wrist, not because it’s supposed to be there, but rather the editor just didn’t catch it. It was a little weird, but I did enjoy the concept.

Unfortunately though, Rook failed in its execution for me and I was left feeling unimpressed and cheated by the time I got to the end. This book did manage to trick me though, for about the first 50% and I was pretty sure that I loved it, until the storyline started becoming so convoluted and drawn out and the writing so sloppy, that I just started skimming through the pages just to get to the end. Our main heroine, Sophia, who started off and is supposed to be a bold, cunning and smart character, ended up really being just an immature, not so smart and unlikable character to me….actually all the characters did. It was almost like all the characters who I found myself really enjoying in the beginning half of the book, decided mid-story to take a big, heaping shot of stupid and the resulting last half of the book suffered because of it. I’m not too sure what happened with the writing either. The once interesting and readable story, turned rather choppy in its delivery and the ever increasing POV changes towards the end gave me reader’s whiplash.

Overall, no, this isn’t going to be a book that I recommend. It was a valiant effort and an interesting take on a classic story, but that is about where my positive feelings about it end. As for the other ratings and reviews of this book, I’m not surprised to find my opinion to be in the minority, but I am surprised by the amount of readers who are fans of The Scarlet Pimpernel, that said that they enjoyed this one. As a huge fan of the original myself, I found that I was rather disappointed, but I’m pretty interested to see what other fans think. 

Happy reading, until next time...

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