The Rook by Daniel O’Malley – A Review

Urban Fantasy.  Back when this genre was just getting started with the likes of the Dresden files, I avoided it like the plague.  Most of the books I had seen in the genre all talked about “the main character and their sexy sidekick”.  It still happens now in fact.  I have no idea why they do this.

But The Rook is different.

The Rook is the story of Myfanwy Thomas (Pronounced Miffany), a wonderful lady who wakes up a park with no memory of who she is, surrounded by dead bodies of men with rubber gloves on their hands.  From there she embarks on an adventure to discover who she is and why people apparently tried to murder her.

Eventually she discovers she is a Rook, an officer in a government organization called the Checquy, and that like every officer in that organization she has a special ability.  In her case, she can control a person’s central nervous system by touch.

The world of The Rook is fantastic, and while I personally am not a huge fan of Amnesia stories in general, this one pulls it off quite well.  It had turned out that the original Myfanwy prior to having her memory wiped was a meticulous planner as well as a bit of a doormat.  This plays into how the story is told, through a combination of letters from Old Myfanwy to the new one (who is much less a Doormat now), that assist in trying to navigate life in the Chequey while also tracking down the person who tried to kill her.

I have no real complaints with the book either.  As a first outing its fantastic, and I personally cannot wait for the sequel, Stiletto.

Oh and I must mention the humor.  Several times the book had me laughing wholeheartedly.  One quote I will always remember is “This Duck tells me nothing!”.  Another one is “You may want to rethink the cardigan.  The flowers on the pocket detract from your menace”.

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