At the center of Rook, the protagonist, Sophia, stands right alongside the fiercest characters in literature. Through her, Cameron provides a heroine without a savior complex nor a reckless need for adrenaline. Instead, Sophia expertly balances strength, a determination to do good in an area she calls home, intelligence, and an indestructible joy of feeling free and finding adventure. The delightful witty exchanges between herself and René offer cheeky laughs amidst all the seriousness, and the romantic chemistry from them nearly burns the pages.
Serious issues surround even minor areas of the novel, revealing a story that never tries to tackle an enormous problem but offers opportunities for discussion should readers choose to engage. From Sophia’s father, whose mind is not what it once was, to heavy incarceration rates to choosing officials, there is a wealth of complexity in between these pages.
The world building and voice of the story shine just as strongly as the characters and the themes. The fascinating idea of the future, with influences from The Scarlet Pimpernel, will have readers reflecting on history and the dynamics of humanity over long periods of time. The third person narrative, focusing on various characters, helps the reader see the book’s setting from a variety of viewpoints that ultimately conveys how interwoven lives can become, even in a city.
With a top notch story of politics, the future, and freedom, Rook would be well placed on immediate purchase lists. Readers who have read previous Sharon Cameron works and readers new to the author will find strong characters, a sizzling romance, adventure, and above all, powerful writing.