Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review: Rook: Allie's War Book 1

Title: Rook: Allie's War #1
Author: JC Andrijeski
Reading Level: Adult

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Futuristic
Theme: Seers, Alternate Earth
Binding: ebook
Length: 400+ pgs
Published: White Sun Press; First Edition 25 March 2011
My Rating:

Synopsis: Twenty-eight-year-old San Francisco native, Allie Taylor, at least thought she was human. Against a gritty and original backdrop of a modern-day Earth populated by a second race of beings, Allie finds out she's a member of an enslaved yet deeply powerful race, whose members believe her to be their most venerated leader, come to end the reign of humanity. With her guide, Revik, a mysterious and deadly seer who acts as her bodyguard and teacher, Allie will come to grips with who she really is, or end up a slave like the rest of her kind...or worse, betray the very people she always thought of as her own.

My Review: JC Andrijeski has taken me on one hell of a ride with her first book in an ongoing series called Rook: Allie's War #1. I have so much to say but am trying to find the words to express how I feel about this story. So let's start with the positives.

First and foremost, Rook: Allie's War #1 is set in a completely fresh, wholly unique world. Andrijeski doesn't take any shortcuts-- the world building is intricate and complex. Not only are we introduced to an alternate Earth where the physical reside, there is a whole world where the non-physical roam, a place where seers --who are enslaved by humans on earth-- can roam freely. The book is filled with original mythology, prophecies, myths, spiritual and physical canons, etc. While there are things going on in this book that are completely unfamiliar, I can see the influence of particular regions and cultures such as India, Egypt, etc. For some reason a movie called Immortal (2006) kept popping up in my head as I was reading Rook: Allie's War #1. Every time the pyramid was mentioned in the book, I kept imagining the floating pyramid in the movie (You can read the synopsis and see the dvd cover art for the movie Immortal HERE).

The story's main characters are well rounded and 3 dimensional. Oftentimes you get a book that has one or the other, a great story, not so great characters, or interesting characters but a mediocre story. That's why I think this book is fully loaded. A great example would be Revik. He has so much back story, everything from his previous life to his ongoing drama with the main villain Terian.

Speaking of villain, let me not forget to mention how creepy Terian is! The fact that he can change bodies when the one he currently is in is damaged...*shudders*

And since we are still on characters, I just have to say Allie and Revik are quite a match! The sexual tension is scorching-- I had to fan myself during one of the scenes near the end of the novel when they are in the backseat of the car and they have a really hot makeout session that nearly gets out of control! >=)

JC Andrijeski is a solid writer. I like that she didn't keep the whole story in Allie's perspective. First person narration can get boring-- I personally like 3rd person, especially when different characters get their turn to tell their side of the story. Andrijeski did a great job with changing up on the point-of-view and narrative form. I at first thought it would be too confusing to jump from Allie's 1st person narration then to Revik's 3rd person, but somehow the author makes it work and keeps it consistent the whole way through the story. What a show off! :)

Now that I have talked about the positives, I want to share some of the drawbacks of Rook: Allie's War #1. The following are not flat out negatives-- I just think there are a few things that could have made this book a smoother read.

I hate to say this because I know some readers detest glossaries in the front of some books, but I believe with the magnitude of this 400+ series opener, a list of key terms would have been a big help. This new world and mythology that Andrijeski creates is SO different from anything that is out there. There are no other books or movies to compare it to; this is not a story about vampires or angels, something familiar we can grasp onto. And that is a good thing, trust me, I'm not complaining about it's uniqueness! But I will admit, there was so much going on and so many new words and phrases being introduced that I had a bit of a hard time keeping up with the terminology. Some sort of reference page to flip back to would have worked wonders!

My other issue is the length of some parts. The scene near the beginning where Revik tries to rescue Allie from Terian, Allie being handcuffed to the car, Allie trying to escape-- I just felt it was way too long. There were some parts that could have been cut down a bit to make the story move along, but again, that is just my personal opinion.

Lastly (these are minor as this could be my own fault) there were a few things that either weren't explained or maybe I missed. Why does Allie get nauseous every time she is around or near Revik? Was it ever explained how Revik and Allie ended up "married"?

I give Rook: Allie's War #1 a 4 out of 5 star rating for its originality, complicated yet fascinating world building and mythology, strong character development, and unique writing style. A glossary of key terms and shortening a few scenes that seemed to go on for pages would have, in my opinion, made the story a little easier to keep up with. Overall, this was a great read and I thank JC Andrijeski for allowing me to read Rook: Allie's War #1 for an honest review. I look forward to seeing how Revik and Allie's relationship develops in the next book in the series called Shield: Allie's War #2!


  1. This sounds like a really cool book! Thanks for the great review! I have to check this book out!

  2. I haven't heard of this one yet, it sounds really interesting!

    Great review Mia!

  3. I have to check this one out!!
    The author contacted me about reviewing one of her other books The Slave Girl Chronicles which is next up on my reading list, I'm glag to hear such positive things about he writing. I love your blog!!!!!!! I'm following via GFC and Networked blogs I also grabbed your button for my "Awesome Blogs" page on my blog :)

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Did you enter my giveaway? If not here's the link:

    - Kimberly @

    1. Kimberly, you are awesome! I was looking around on your blog some more. That is such a great idea about having an "awesome blogs" page! I am fairly new at the blog universe. I started my blog back in 2009 but it was pitiful and I barely knew what I was doing. Then right around Christmas I decided I needed a new look and so with the help of another blogger and doing lots of research, I got my blog to what it is today! But I am still learning-- heck, I JUST made my blog button today!

      I definitely want to show off and support my fellow bloggers, so I will have to figure out a way to add some fellow blogger buttons on my page without it getting too congested. I love projects!

      Anyway, thanks again and I will be checking back on your blog quite often!

      Best Wishes,

  4. Thanks for the great review Mia. This sounds like it has everything I would like in it. Great cover art!

    1. Thank you! Glad the review was helpful! Happy Friday!


  5. Hi Mia,

    Great review and new follower as well! :)