Home / Book Review / Scarlet Pimpernel-esque Dystopia | Book Review: Rook by Sharon Cameron

Scarlet Pimpernel-esque Dystopia | Book Review: Rook by Sharon Cameron

Sharon Cameron knows how to create characters I love, and she’s done it again in Rook.

Book Review: Rook by Sharon Cameron

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Rook by sharon cameron book review

Title & Author: Rook by Sharon Cameron

Genre: Young Adult Fiction – Dystopia

Release Date: April 28, 2015

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Scholastic

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“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.”

For Fans of Detailed Stories

Rook was of instant interest to me because I adored Sharon Cameron’s Dark Unwinding series.

This book is very different from her past steampunk series. Rook is set a futuristic world where technology today is considered forbidden relics and big cities like Paris are a shell of what they were Before.

The book felt more like a strange historical book than a dystopian novel, and I kind of loved that. Also, you won’t be able to tell from the description, but Rook totally incorporates a Scarlet Pimpernel flair.

What Rook excelled at was the characters. Sophia is determined and willing to play the part of a silly boy-obsessed girl in order to play out her hidden agendas. I also fell absolutely in love with Rene. Characters who are both less and more than what the seem are so exciting and unpredictable.

Ok, now for some real talk. This book was so long and very much drawn out. In order to finish Rook, I skipped a lot of details and scenes that were dragging.

It pains me to say it because the rest of the story is so good, but I honestly think a lot of readers may struggle to finish the story if they’d don’t skim. This was really the biggest draw back to the story, so if you think you get past this aspect, you’re good to go.

BONUS: Rook is a standalone story. It’s crazy how rare this is now. I found it very refreshing.


Rook is a Scarlet Pimpernel-esque dystopia that pulled me in with its incredible characters who I connected with instantly. The stretched out plot and occasional need for skimming is worth it but necessary to know going in. Rook is ideal for readers with patience who desire a quality standalone read.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Missie

    I am glad that I read this review before get the book. It sounds like one I still want to check out but it is better knowing what I am getting myself into
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  • Tawney Bland

    I felt the same way about the book! I just did a review on the exact same problem…the plot. I loved the book once I trudged through the long winded parts.

  • I read this book based on your recommendation and LOVED it. Glad I listened to you because the reviews on Amazon were mixed.