Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Rook

The Rook
Daniel O'Malley

The Rook (The Checquy Files, #1)

Genre: Fantasy

Summary (from the publisher):  "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.

Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, THE ROOK is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.

Review: The first thing I thought is that Becky would never pick this book up because she would hate the cover!  I have to say, the cover didn't do much for me either, but I picked it up anyway because the main character's name is Myfanwy, and I used to know a girl with that very unusual Welsh name in high school.  The beginning of the story was a little confusing, since the main character wakes up with amnesia and has no idea what is going on, but I quickly became immersed in her story and soon couldn't put the book down.  The story is written from the amnesiac Myfanwy's perspective, interspersed with letters written to her from the original Myfanwy, which gives an interesting perspective from two very different characters who are actually the same person -- it sounds confusing, but it actually works really well in this story!  I kept trying to think what other books it reminded me of, and while it has some similarities to The Night Circus mixed with The Bourne Identity, it's probably most like Men In Black, but with a female protagonist and a British sense of humor.  It's well written and well edited, full of action and also funny, and all-in-all just a really fun read.  (But Becky, I think Brian would like this more than you.)

Rating: 4.5 stars

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