Book Review: Rook (Bridge & Sword: Awakenings #1) by J.C. Andrijeski

Title: Rook (Bridge & Sword: Awakenings #1)
Author: J.C. Andrijeski
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

From USA TODAY bestselling author, a psychic warfare alternative history set in a gritty version of Earth. Contains strong romantic elements – a book in the Bridge & Sword World. Apocalyptic. Psychic Romance.

“You are the Bridge…”

Allie Taylor lives in a world populated by seers, a second race discovered on Earth at the beginning of the 20th Century. Psychic, hyper-sexual and enslaved by governments, corporations and wealthy humans, seers are an exotic fascination to Allie, but one she knows she’ll likely never encounter, given how rich you have to be to get near one.

Then a strange man shows up at her work — then another — and pretty soon Allie finds herself on the run from the law, labeled a terrorist and in the middle of a race war she didn’t even know existed. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious and uncommunicative Revik, Allie discovers her blood may not be as “human” as she always thought, and the world of seers might not be quite as distant as she always imagined.

When Revik tells her she’s the Bridge, a mystical being meant to usher in the evolution of humanity–or possibly its extinction–Allie must choose between the race that raised her and the one where she might truly belong.

A couple of years ago, I reviewed Rook by S.J. Andrijeski. It was one of the first books I’d received as a reviewer on this blog, so it still holds a special place in my heart. I really enjoyed it, so when the author told me she had rewritten the book now that she’s grown and matured as an author, and if I wanted to read it again and leave a review, I was thrilled to get back into the world of Rook, reacquaint myself with the characters and the setting, and enjoy this fabulous story all over again.

When rereading my original review, my main complaint then had been the complexity of the book, and the world. I feel like part of that problem has been solved now in the rewrite. The world building is clearer, and while still a complex, multi-layered world, the explanations are clearer and take less time, which means that for the reader, it takes less time to fully fall into the world and setting.

Things that were vague the first time around are now clear, and the writing has improved too. I already thought it was pretty good, but I could see improvements still. Even the characters, Allie and Revik in particular, were better laid out and outlined, and were just overall slightly more interesting than in the first book (although I already thought they were pretty intriguing back then).

One of my favorite aspects of the book is still the ser mythology and prophecies and factions, and all the lore that comes with that. This was indeed an improved version of book one. I hope I find the time soon to read the other books in the series, because when re-reading this one, I’ve come to realize just how much I’ve missed this world and these characters.

PS: The new cover looks amazing too, and I like it better than the first one.


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