Review: The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

24 Jan

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Summary via Goodreads:

“The body you are wearing used to be mine.” So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

My Top 10 Reasons for Liking The Rook:

10) It’s a good thriller, with secret agents, characters with questionable loyalties, and multiple action sequences. Myfanwy (she explains that it rhymes with Tiffany) can really kick butt!

9) The world building was very complete, and although the basic concept isn’t at all new (people among us with special powers, and a secret branch of government to deal with the problems among them), I did feel like this was a new approach.

8) Crazy cool bad guys. Having special powers helps make more than run of the mill evildoers.

7) The setup (Myfanwy waking up unaware of who she is, and making sense of the life her body had been living) was quite clever, and I felt it pulled together through the book.

6) The method of communicating Myfanwy’s back story worked well for the characters in the book and me as a reader.

5) I loved Myfanwy and I love the person that wakes up in Myfanwy’s body, trying to figure out who she is and what happened to her. And when you have someone that starts out as a blank slate, character growth is practically guaranteed!

4) The supporting characters were a great part of the book. Myfanwy’s assistant Ingrid was so unflappable, and reminded me of someone that I used to work with. The other members of the Checquy, their American counterparts, the people Myfanwy meets outside of work… they all contribute to the book.

3) Humor that made me laugh out loud because it popped up in the most unexpected places.

2) All the pieces came together into a darn good story.

1) Superheroes, acting like adults! Complete with politics, personalities, job conflicts, and (don’t forget) butt kicking! What’s not to like?

I really enjoyed reading this book, and hope there are more to come.

Thank you to Little, Brown for sending me this book for review.


Posted by on January 24, 2012 in books, reviews


Tags: , , ,

6 responses to “Review: The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

  1. Leslie

    January 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    This sounds good. I hadn’t heard of this book and all of a sudden several reviews showed up this week.

  2. Mary

    July 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Fun review! I’ll add it to my list 🙂


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