The Rook: A Novel

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The Rook: A Novel

by Daniel O'Malley

Little, Brown And Company | January 11, 2012 | Hardcover

The Rook: A Novel is rated 4.25 out of 5 by 4.
"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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 496 pages, 9.75 × 6.5 × 1.75 in

Published: January 11, 2012

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0316098795

ISBN - 13: 9780316098793

Found in: Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great world-building! I don’t think I’ve been this happy with a first-time author’s work since Lev Grossman’s The Magicians. The world-building is fantastic – a sort of Torchwood-like take on the fantastic, but with a mystery to solve at its heart. I sincerely hope that O’Malley returns to this world to give us more.
Date published: 2015-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Such fun! I want more I was absolutely taken with this book. I fell in love with the main character and the crazy world the author created. I could not put the book down. The plot was fascinating and I loved the character development. It was also hilarious, I burst out laughing quite a few times. I can't wait to read more from this author. In the meantime, I know I will be reading this book again.
Date published: 2013-10-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Debut My wife loved this, that is saying a lot as she never reads SF or Fantasy which this is a little bit of a cross. When I read it, thought I wouldn't like it just because she did, I thought it must not be as odd as I thought when I picked it up. Odder actually and I can hardly wait for the sequel!
Date published: 2013-09-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Fun Debut Pros: amazing world-building, fast-paced, tightly plotted, interesting protagonist, subtle underlying humour / Cons: some situations are hard to believe given the circumstances / "Dear You, The body you are wearing used to be mine." / When Myfanwy Thomas wakes up in the rain, surrounded by bodies wearing latex gloves, she has no idea what her name is or how to pronounce it (it rhymes with Tiffany). The two letters in her coat pocket reveal both her identity and a choice: run or stay. A second attack convinces her that running away isn't an option so she decides to impersonate Thomas, a high ranking official in a secret British government organization (the Checquy) that deals with supernatural threats. Despite copious letters left by her 'predecessor' this is no easy task, made harder by the knowledge that one of her high ranking compatriots was behind the attacks on her and a traitor to the realm. / This is not The Bourne Identity for sf/urban fantasy fans. As a Rook, Myfanwy is in charge of the workings of the Checquy officers in Britain. She has meetings with various people and makes sure the realm is secure by covering things up and reporting them to the appropriate people. Her counterpart, Rook Gestalt, usually handles the field work side of things while she does the desk work. And she's very good at desk work. As the book progresses, the action picks up as Myfanwy is forced to attend to some of the field work, something her predecessor was ill suited for, but which the new Myfanwy is surprisingly adept at. / As a character Myfanwy is fascinating. She's learning about her former self while no longer being that person. She's more direct, more assertive and less willing to leave certain things to underlings. She's also more willing to use her own special abilities. You realize after a while that she's quite different from who she used to be, making it bizarre how few people comment on the change. It also makes for several ridiculous conversations where she's fishing for information she should already know. Sometimes this is commented on in the novel, a few times it is not. / The world-building is excellent. The author gives a lot of information via letters from Thomas, but they're written with dialogue and description, so the book never feels stilted. And while many of the letters are interspersed when specific information is needed, at times the letters are used to enhance the tension, by explaining a necessary side story while the main story builds up to an action sequence. The world of the Checquy is complex, with a school for children with special abilities, a complex hierarchy of the court and pawns, 'normals' who act as servants and compatriots but who can't rise to levels of power, an American office, etc. Learning about the world is almost as much fun as trying to figure out who the traitor is. / The author is aware of how ludicrous some of the powers and emergency situations are and often makes subtle jokes. When talking about Bath we learn, "According to Thomas the city had once been a veritable hotbed of manifestations, with every sorcerer, bunyip, golem, goblin, pict, pixie, demon, thylacine, gorgon, moron, cult, scum, mummy, rummy, groke, sphinx, minx, muse, flagellant, diva, reaver, weaver, reaper, scabbarder, scabmettler,... [the list continues for several lines] ogre, cat in shoes, dog in a hat, psychic and psychotic seemingly having decided that this was the hot spot to visit." The book is surprisingly fast paced given the partial narrative writing style. There's a fair amount of tension and enough action to keep things interesting. / If you like mysteries and intricate world-building, pick this up.
Date published: 2012-08-22

– More About This Product –

The Rook: A Novel

The Rook: A Novel

by Daniel O'Malley

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 496 pages, 9.75 × 6.5 × 1.75 in

Published: January 11, 2012

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0316098795

ISBN - 13: 9780316098793

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.

About the Author

Dan O'Malley graduated from Michigan State University and earned a Master's Degree in medieval history from Ohio State University. He then returned to his childhoom home, Australia. He now works for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, writing press releases for government investigations of plane crashes and runaway boats.

Editorial Reviews

"O'Malley's narrative is peppered with sly humor, referential social commentary, and the ironic, double-layered self-awareness that will have genre fans believing Buffy the Vampire Slayer has joined Ghostbusters."-Kirkus