Author: Sharon Cameron
Publication: April 28th, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Format: Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Genre: Dystopian, Retelling
Read: May 2015
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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.
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
Just amazing. It is full of adventure and action. There’s so much intrigue, you never really know what’s going to happen and it’s all so incredibly intricate. There are so many twists and turns that you somehow get whiplash while reading, I swear. But I think the greatest part of this book are the intersecting plots. There are a few going on at once that you don’t think have anything to do with each other, but trust me, they do.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Loved this so much, it’s so intricate and poetic. There’s a lot of moments that are heart wrenching and dramatic and others that are just completely hilarious. No matter what is going on, the style pulls it off beautifully. From funny to crazy to suspenseful to action packed, everything is just amazingly described. And the world is incredibly interesting, modern day London but with olden customs. There are quite a few POV’s in this story so we get a 360 view of everything that is going on. The only thing that I would caution of with this book is that the pace is extremely slow. If you can handle that, I promise you won’t regret it.
Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Excellent. All of them. Every single one of the characters in this book is amazing. They’re complex and interesting and intriguing. They’re crazy or loopy or sly or love drunk and it’s all just freaking wonderful! Sophia, our main character, is one of my all time favorite female protagonists. She’s sassy and strong and brave. She doesn’t take crap from anyone, even if she has to defend herself on the sly because of her status. She’s funny and smart, incredibly so. She’s cunning in a very secretive way so people don’t really realize it until she’s pulled one over on them. And she’s also so selfless which rounds out her personality in a really great and genuine way. René, our love interest, is just fantastic. He’s the perfect witty comeback to Sophia’s sassy verbal jab. He’s very funny and charming sort of in the way that makes you think he’s a little stupid and totally unobservant but also mischievous. He’s strong and smart and I just love the dynamic he brings to the story. I know I mentioned this above but all of the characters are amazing and they all play an important part to move the story along even those that seem incredibly minor.
I felt like this book was more of a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities instead of The Scarlet Pimpernel but whatever it was, I loved it.
The plot of this book is amazing. At first, there seems to be a few plots happening at the same time and you have no idea how they connect but then, they do! It’s absolutely glorious. First plot line, the Red Rook. He or she, whoever is it, is taking prisoners from the prison cells of the Sunken City (Paris) before they’re put to death by the blade (guillotine). No one knows how he moves in and out and everyone wants to catch him so he won’t be able to save anyone from their deaths. Second plot line, Sophia and René’s engagement. It’s an arranged one, they don’t meet each other until their engagement party and there’s an instant dislike between them. Sophia thinks he’s stupid, vapid and shallow and I’m pretty sure he thought she was a little stuck up. Third plot line, the guy in charge of putting everyone to death in the Sunken City. His name is LeBlanc and he’s insane. That’s all you need to know cause if I said any more you wouldn’t believe me. In the most extraordinary way, all these plot lines combine to make an incredibly story happen. It still blows me away.
I don’t usually make a point to talk in specifics about the setting and world building of a story, I usually just throw it in when talking about the plot. But I have to talk about the one in this book. This story takes place super far into the future after technology destroyed the earth. Many people died because they could not live without technology, they had no idea how to survive without the help of gadgets, so now anything that has to do with that is outlawed in the Sunken City and anyone found to associate or support technology is put to death by the blade. Society decided to revert back to 17th century living, the customs, the styles, the way they speak, everything. So it’s basically like you’re back in time, but history is how we used to live. There are even scenes where there are parts of gadgets found that we know what they are used for and they do not. I think it’s absolutely ingenious and clever to do that. It gave the story such an interesting twist and you can totally imagine Paris and London as they are described specially the former. It’s absolutely destroyed so you can really capture the modern day city in ruins.
Sophia is amazing. I think she might be one of my all time favorite female protagonists. She has the general personality of a normal girl, she still worries about appearances and her family heritage. She is affected emotionally by different things and she cares very deeply for the people around her. But at the same time, the sass just pores out of her uncontrollably sometimes. She has a giant taste for adventure and she tries crazy things that other girls in her life probably would not. Her character development is insane, starting from her personality and the relationships she has to her motives and actions in the story. I wish there was more than a stand alone because I could not get enough from her and her point of view.
René is such a hilarious dude. He plays so many different characters throughout the novel that at first you don’t really know which one is the real him but as Sophia gets to know him, so does the reader and that person is wonderful and crafty and witty and just fucking awesome. Tom, Sophia’s brother, is such a wonderful support for her. Their relationship is so beautiful and so genuine. All the supporting characters are amazing and they all play a part in the story and help move it along in some way. They were all complex and well developed and I loved every single one of them.
So that’s it for this review! Let me know your thoughts on my thoughts haha. Please if you haven’t already, check out this book! It’s awesomee. See you on my next post!