May 4, 2012

Review: The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Series: Stand-alone
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: January 11, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.
THE ROOK is a guy's book as it's filled with action,  murder-mystery and a lot of mayhem. You won't find romance and a deluge of emotions in this but the mystery will keep you in suspense  til the end as to who the person/s is behind Myfanwy's memory wipe out. Heck! I was even wondering if Myfanwy was a victim of body-snatchers or some sick experiment.

I love character interactions in my reads because it makes it doubly entertaining plus it adds a different flavor to the story. Daniel O'Malley did something a little different with this one, instead of active dialogue, there's a lot of intra-personal conversation/warning happening between the "old" Myfanwy and the "new" one through letters and dossiers. There was a little humor on how Myfanwy tried to improvise on her lack of knowledge and it is also through this flash forward style that O'Malley unfolds Myfanwy's character growth, contrasting her old meek self with her fearless new persona.

I was really enjoying the first half but as the story progress I felt there was a lot of stuff to take in. There were too many memories not directly related to the mystery she's trying to uncover, more people are being introduced and towards the end it was becoming a challenge to keep up and remember everyone, who they are and what they do. So I had to take it in stride otherwise everything will all just blend in and cause a riot in my head. I know, science fiction is a hard limit for me.

THE ROOK has a comic-book feel to it and I love Daniel's characters, they are familiar and new at the same time. Myfanwy is like a cross between Professor X and Rogue, having the ability to mind control or incapacitate you with a single touch. Gestalt is the creepy person with four bodies, then you have the Grafters, a group of maniacal scientists who grow people from scratch, skinless and dripping with viscous fluids with Belgian accents. Yuk! Plus there are vampires, ghosts, dragons and other types of beings in between.

THE ROOK should be turned into a graphic novel. Seriously.

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