Rook Song by Naomi Foyle
Rook Song is the second of Naomi Foyle’s Gaia Chronicles series, and the third of her books I’ve read, and personally I think it’s her best so far.
It follows on from the events in Astra, and finds the protagonist, Astra Ordott, carving a new life for herself under the protection of CONC (the Council Of New Continents). Gradually she overcomes the psychological scarring inflicted upon her by IMBOD and finds an occupation within the medical support units operated by CONC, which in turn gives her a chance to explore the local region while getting to know more about the peoples and cultures around her. Before long she finds herself becoming caught up in the political machinations of a number of groups and it becomes clear that one way or another she is going to have to choose a side if she wants to move forward.
There’s a lot going on in this book, but the author manages to tell the story without it getting too confusing or convoluted. The central characters all have their own voices, with every other chapter being presented from the point of view of one of those other characters. In this way we get to learn more than we would if we just followed Astra throughout, and this in turn helps us to see just how little Astra knows about what’s really going on in the world outside her home of Is-Land.
I would say without reservation that this book is worth a read, though I would add the caveat that if you haven’t already read Astra then do so before picking this one up.