Rook by Sharon Cameron

Rook by Sharon Cameron is a dystopian novel intermixed with romance, adventure, and suspense. Set eight-hundred years in the future, the Sunken City (formerly known as Paris) is in the midst of a revolution. Anyone who opposes the regime is put to the Razor, creating an endless stream of death and suffering. As they await their execution, prisoners are kept underground in the Tomb, their heads shaved and their bodies starved. Despite the heavy guard, prisoners have suddenly been disappearing from their cells, replaced by a black rook feather tipped in red. The people have a new champion: a mysterious thief known as the Red Rook.


Sophia Bellamy and her brother, Tom, are running out of time. To keep their aging father out of debtor’s prison and their estate from being taken by Parliament, they begrudgingly accept a marriage proposal from the son of a wealthy businesswoman, an insufferable man named René Hasard. The man in charge of the hunt for the Red Rook, LeBlanc, just so happens to be a cousin of René’s and is, therefore, a guest at their engagement party. As LeBlanc begins pushing the Bellamy family for information, Sophia realizes that the Parisian government is planning a mass execution in order to quell the rising rebellion. It’s time for the Red Rook to take action.

In the meantime, Sophia and René discover they have more in common than they originally thought. But is René secretly in league with his cousin or can he be trusted as an ally? As they grow closer, Sophia’s childhood friend, Spear, begins to feel threatened and lashes out at every opportunity.

the good

  • A strong, independent heroine who takes charge and can hold her own in even the most dangerous situation.
  • An eye-catching plot.
  • An interesting look at what the future may hold.
  • Easy to understand wording – nothing too simple or too complex.

the bad

  • A very long book (almost 500 pages).
    • Some parts seem to stretch on forever and could easily be taken out without affecting the storyline.
    • Throws a lot of information at the reader all at once.
    • Slow paced and generally uneventful.
    • Should be split into at least two books.
    • Nothing significant happens until the last quarter of the book.
  • Cliché love triangle.
    • In fact, the entire romance subplot is cliché.
  • Though suspenseful, the storyline is very predictable.
  • The reason why ancient society was destroyed, why the government is executing so many citizens, and their overall goal is never explained.

my rating

Rook is a dark, depressing book with an easily predictable plot. There’s no question that Sophia is the Rook from the very first page and that her grand plan is to storm the underground prisons. From there, readers are forced to wade through a boring, generic romance (with the age-old love triangle thrown in) and chapter after chapter of people trying to talk Sophia out of it. The Sunken City’s liberation was…decent. It wasn’t totally lackluster, but it wasn’t exciting either.

I rate Rook 2 out of 5 stars.