Sharon Cameron’s “Rook” is a futuristic dystopian fantasy novel that almost retells “The Scarlet Pimpernel”. It also asks the question, could what has already happened happen again?
There were a lot of layers to this novel which made it interesting and hard to put down. However, with so many layers, there was a danger that they wouldn’t all pay off.
Retelling “The Scarlet Pimpernel”, now called the Rook, with a female protagonist was interesting and I thought was refreshing take on the classic. Sophia Bellamy, the Rook, was an interesting character as wasn’t written to pander to male or female readers. This was greatly appreciated. Cameron did a good job framing this story around a female character that is dynamic enough to attract both male and female readers avoiding the labeling the book as a book specifically for one gender.
The one drawback I had was the love triangle that develops between Sophia, Rene, and Spear. Rene is the new guy who’s dashing and daring. Spear was raised with Sophia and thinks he is what Sophia needs. Personally, I don’t like love triangles. Especially when it comes to a book lead by a female character. It feels like she can’t tell her story because she’s constantly balancing these two guys. In this case both men seemed to be constantly getting in her way and saving her at the time.
I liked the broad spectrum of male and female characters. I just feel that they somewhat collapsed into predictable roles. Is this because it’s for young adults and they tend to avoid books that challenge gender stereotypes? I don’t know the answer. Maybe that’s a good thing?
Overall this is an entertaining read. I haven’t decided if I’ll put in my classroom library. I might and see what the students think.