Rook

Rook

Book - 2015
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In the Sunken City that was once Paris the guillotine rules again, while Sophia Bellamy from the Commonwealth across the Channel Sea tries to rescue as many of the revolution's victims as she can smuggle out, and some prisoners disappear from their cells, with a red-tipped rook feather left in their place--but who is the mysterious Red Rook and where does Sophia's wealthy fianc,̌ Ren ̌Hasard, fit in?
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ♭2015
ISBN: 9780545675994
0545675995
Characteristics: 456 pages

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LPL_MiriamW Feb 19, 2016

"Rook", by Sharon Cameron is a mashup of old and new in an intriguing adventure that builds on the famous Santayana quote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Rook is set in a far future in which most of technology has failed and huge portions of human history have been lost. Sophia Bellemy masquerades as the Rook in order to sneak into the city that was once Paris and free victims of a bloody revolution who are soon to be guillotined. It’s an exciting read full of secret identities, betrayals, and complicated plots.

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hanstra
Jan 15, 2016

It started off strong and then began to ramble and go on for too long and become jumbled with perspective shifts, but somewhat came back together in the end. Generally a pretty entertaining story, with some minor drawbacks in pacing. Recommended if you have time on your hands for a longer read. Interesting premise and historical references, even if not altogether convincing.

samdog123 Nov 03, 2015

Sophia Bellamy must save her family home by marrying Rene. But, Sophia is living a double life, saving prisoners doomed to the 'Razor,' used to kill wealthy people. In a alternate future, where technology is banned, part of Paris has sunk, leaving the upper and lower cities. History repeats itself in this 'do over' of the Scarlett Pimpernel story, where the 'Rook' is the savior of the people. And the message of history repeating itself and humanity develops, is a good one.

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ADWithrow
Aug 13, 2015

So.....I really wanted to like this.....but it just wasn't for me.

None of the characters came to life for me. I DNF'd at about 30% through.

The whole thing felt forced. There was no chemistry for me between any of the characters. More to my irritation, the love triangle was far too prominent in the plot rather than focusing on the individual characters and growing the suspense. I understand that most YA books are going to have some triangle but most are done in the background rather than being front-and-center. This one just took over the whole book.

Even the villain, which will normally keep me interested, was boring for me. There was no real drama and at that 30% mark I just didn't care where this was headed or what happened to anyone.

The main character really killed this for me too. She is supposedly this awesome rebel that has enough skills to break people out of a prison but she was so stupid most of the time. You can't be an awesome revolutionary and be that dumb, be that much of a follower, all at the same time. It just doesn't line up for me and left me wondering why she was even in the book.

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nidofito
Jul 04, 2015

For some reason, every other author writing a post-apocalyptic novel is bent on insisting that we'll go back to a time when we'll be wearing corseted gowns and powdered wigs. I don't buy it and hope we can be given a little more credit than that. As such, my enjoyment took a nose dive because I refused to give in to the setting.
In addition, Sophia and René weren't that interesting to me. It was a whole lot of been there, done that.

forbesrachel Jul 01, 2015

Sophia lives two lives, in one she is a daughter of a well-off family, in the other she is the Red Rook, a thief who snatches people away from the Tombs and their fated deaths. To save her family, she is to marry the fop and incessant womanizer, René Hasard. However, just like herself, there is more to him than meets the eye. Both of them rely on subterfuge for their work, using their "chess pieces" to great effect, calling out the other's moves, and then confronting with their own. The truth is never revealed lightly, and trust comes slowly despite the burgeoning feelings they have for one another. The author plays with our hearts just as much as René's frustrating nature plays with Sophia's. She will need him though if she wishes to pull off her greatest, and most important, jailbreak ever. Between their relationship and the story, tension is a common companion. In this post-apocalyptic Paris, the lower and upper classes are once again divided. Greed corrupts and determines the fate of many, while a new religion based on the Goddess Fate drives the cruel LeBlanc to seek out the Rook. Their struggle with one anther stems from their opposing ideologies and the philosophical argument, determinism versus freewill. As for society, it has regressed to 18th century politics, fashion, and gender roles, while remnants of the past (our modern world) are hoarded secretly, a commodity of the powerful that is worth considerable sums. Many elements allude to The Scarlet Pimpernel or to France's actual history, however in this author's vision of Paris, part of it has sunk, acting as a physical symbol of the divisive nature of status. Between the interactions of its characters and the thrilling story, Rook grips us from its first page to its last.

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AnnaAreal
Mar 08, 2019

The book Rook is a science fiction book based in the future where our current civilization has been wiped out and destroyed by our satellites falling from the sky. So this new era is totally against anything technical, due to fear of the past repeating itself. They don't even use printers for newspapers or anything. This era is run with really strict law enforcement and the punishment for almost every offence is a public death by beheading, they make a real event out of them. So this anonymous rebel who calls herself the red rook (because she leaves a red tipped rook feather in cells she empties) rescues people from the prisons who are unjustly put there to await their death. The book goes into her adventures and personal life as the leader of the government is hot on her tail and trying to figure out who she is.
I would rate this book a 9/10 or give it 4.5 stars because it is overall a really clever and empowering story for women (because the standards for women also reset along with the reset of civilization) with lots of action and sword fights, which I love. And it contains a love triangle between her childhood friend and a guy she is betrothed to (but doesn't really know), which always makes an interesting side story in my opinion.
I would recommend this book to not only anyone who enjoys dystopias, but also people who enjoy medieval stories because that is what it feels like you’re reading due to society starting over with no technology. I would even recommend it to people who are really into romance because even though the love triangle is not the main thing, it is a big part of the story.

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