"Rook" is Amazing. Here's Why.
Okay, I know I recently posted a review on Sharon Cameron's exceptionally masterful work of YA fiction, but since I was only able to scratch the surface, here's a breakdown of some of the noteworthy qualities I most admire in this novel.
1. Cameron leaps into the middle of the action, plot, and character arcs. What makes the characters so incredible is that they are already built. They have real lives and personalities that have developed over backstory we don't see, lives that we are peering into instead of lives contrived entirely for our benefit, starting on page one.
2. Strong but not overbearing female protagonist. Sophia Bellamy is a capable, crafty, quick-thinking and resourceful character, but she's not afraid or ashamed to be both strong and feminine. Unlike many female characters, she's not manufactured—she's just a really cool, really likeable gal.
3. Language diversity. The cast and plot are divided between futuristically old-fashioned England and France, and the addition of well-placed French dialogue brings a real sense of culture and richness to the world.
4. Clever/witty dialogue. Love it. Nothing more to say.
5. Perfectly integrated romance. This is one of my favourite parts. The romance develops at exactly the right speed, moving along slowly enough to be plausible, but quickly enough to satisfy this reader's romantic side, integrated with perfect, bite-size scenes that kept me reading for the next adorable exchange!
6. A love triangle that is not a love triangle. Let's be real: awkward three-person romances are irritating and frustrating and sometimes anti-climactic. Not in Rook.
7. A twist of mystery. This story keeps you guessing. Not everything is explained right away, motives are kept shrouded, and that makes the reveals all the more thrilling.
8. Smooth transitions between perspectives. I'm a writer—I notice these things. Maybe you don't, but it's a stylistic feature that Sharon Cameron did really well!
9. Just a hint of history. For the French Revolution fan out there. (*Raising hand.*)
10. No loose ends. And that's how you write a flawlessly satisfying ending.