Image courtesy of Amazon.com
by Sharon Cameron
A rook is a crow, a black bird known for its cleverness. A rook is also a term for a swindler or a cheat. It is also a pawn in the strategic game of chess. In Cameron's latest novel, it is all of the above.
It is hundreds of years after the demise of the world as we know it. Technology killed the people of the 'Time Before' and now the world is forced to live without. No electricity, no machines, no internet. Paris has fallen in on itself and now people live in the bottom and up the sides of the City of Light. Governed by a sadistic ruler, those who do not comply are sent to the guillotine. The prison is stained with the blood of innocents, but lately, there have been secret missions to free these prisoners. Known as the Rook, someone has been sneaking prisoners out, right under the noses of the guards leaving only a red streaked feather behind.
Sophie has seen plenty of heartache in her young life, but none so much as the prospect of marrying Rene Hasard, a dashing "daughter stealer", arranged by her father to save their family estate and their family honor. Sophie is willing to make the sacrifice to save her family, but her fiance is not all that he seems. How much is Sophie willing to sacrifice not just for her family, but for the lives of all the innocent people being sent to their deaths in the Sunken City?
Cameron has written a complex and faced-paced novel that will leave you breathless. Once you think you have it all figured out, she will lead you onto a different path. I could not put this book down, every chapter ended with a cliffhanger, and I found myself saying, "one more chapter" until I was finished! I enjoyed the characters, the story and found it refreshing that it didn't end as a set up for a series, it was just over, although I would love to read about Sophie and Rene's further adventures!
I would recommend this book for middle school and high school libraries and for anyone who loves a good story. And now I'm off to bury a Diet Coke bottle in the backyard! Enjoy!