Tawney Thursday: Rook by Sharon Cameron ~ ARC Review by Tawney

Hello everyone! 

Today is my first  post on Seeing Double in Neverland and I'm glad  to be part of such a great team! I'm excited to get started so today I'm reviewing Rook by Sharon Cameron. 

4 out of 5 Stars 

  • Rook by Sharon Cameron

    April 28, 2015

  • Hardcover, 464 pages
  • Publisher, Scholastic Press (April 28, 2015)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0545675994

Goodreads Description:

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.

Tawney's Review

Thank you Scholastic for sending a review copy of Rook! This doesn't effect my opinion in anyway as I give an honest review. 

I loved reading the Scarlet Pimpernel in high school. Rook had greatly surprised me with this fabulous new version. There's a concept of the Scarlet Pimpernel in the book but the characters are totally reversed than the original story. It's not a retelling but rather a new story.

The story is set in a dystopian future where technology no longer exists due to a technological destruction that killed many people worldwide. Now technology is outlawed and those who fund and associate with it are put to death. It's almost like the society reverted back to 17th century French Revolution with beheadings, outrageous hair and costumes. The book doesn't focus on the dystopian aspect because we only get glimpses of the past since all technology and records were destroyed. It focuses on the ROOK, a hero who saves people from being beheaded by a corrupt government, like the Scarlet Pimpernel! A red Rook feather is left as the Rook's calling card after everyone is saved. 

Our main character was Sophia, who; as brave and independent girl. As we see in the beginning, she is the Rook. I loved that she took charge and set out to help those in need. She doesn't sit around and wait for others to take action. She was a likable character who you couldn't help but root for. Sophia was a strong intelligent heroine and that was a pleasure to read. Now enter her finance, Rene. The connection between her and Rene was smoldering!

Rene was this handsomely feminine man who wasn't what he appeared to be. There's secrets and deception between Rene and Sophia that becomes agonizingly fun. Rene's retorts over everything was humorous. I loved that there wasn't a connection between him and Sophia at first. It grew as love does. There is sort of a nonchalant love triangle that wasn't really important. What was great was the romance didn't over power the story. Because the main story was Sophia trying to save those who were being beheaded, especially from the villain of the story. So let's get to him!

Our main villain Leblanc was insidious! He had this warped mind of what society should be and why people should die. He creeped me out and when it was time to fight I was all for Rene and Sophia taking him down. 

The plot was intriguing but the only thing I had against it was the pacing. It felt long winded and slow at parts. There were times I wanted to put the book down but I'm glad I trudged on. It's a great story. The characters were fantastic and the world intriguing. I felt instantly connected to Sophia and wanted to see what the outcome would be. What's also great about the book is it's a standalone. With an age of sequels and series, it was nice to have a story that wrapped up with one book.

I really loved this book, but with how I slightly struggled to read it at certain parts I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It's worth the read. I also loved Sharon's writing and description. I was immeidalty immersed into Sophia's world. I will defiantly check out Sharon's other books, The Dark Unwinding series. I'm a fan.

Check out Rook at:

                                                                                                         About the Author: Sharon was awarded the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding. When Not writing Sharon can be found thumbing dusty tomes, shooting her longbow, or indulging in her lifelong search for secret passages. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee. Visit her website.


  1. Thanks for the nice review. I loved your use of videos throughout!

  2. We are so happy that Tawney has joined our team, you can look forward to her posts every Thursday!

  3. Tawney, what a fantastic review! I've just discovered Seeing Double in Neverland, so I guess we're both new around here! It's a fantastic blog though, and it looks like I can trust you to put together thoughtful reviews too.

    I love that you mention the romance isn't overpowering. That's a big deal breaker for me in a lot of YA fiction. I think it's so much neater when love is just a single piece of a story, just as it is only a single piece of a life...important and emotional though it is. This review raises a lot of questions, which I am eager to answer when I read the book! Every book has it's slow parts, but your review definitely told me what I needed to know about the book to make a decision about reading it.

    I am loving this budding trend of post-technolgy dystopias. I feel like in some ways the massive amount of communication people have with each other now (and presumably in the future as well) hinders the plot devices and ways an author can structure a story. As much as I'm intrigued by history, I've always loved science-fiction and futuristic stories more than historical fiction, so this sounds right up my alley. I only have about half a dozen books on revolutionary France on my shelf right now...

    What great cover art too! I love that Sharon Cameron is riffing on that old theme of "those who forget history are doomed to repeat it." I'm very curious to see just how much her new revolution mirrors the first...

    Best of luck now that you're writing for SDN; I look forward to more reviews!


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