The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
"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.
The Rook is what I would describe as Jason Bourne meets Men in Black meets X-Men with a touch of James Bond thrown in. It sounds like nonstop fun doesn't it? Well the beginning is very intriguing and had me turning the pages. However it became a less compelling read when the info dumps in the form of letters from the original Myfanwy (pronounced like Tiffany with an M and if you don't know what I mean by original, then you haven't read the book description) began to intrude on the present day action. I'm not sure why we had to have two missions interrupted by these letters. It was kind of aggravating to me, and just made the whole story less compelling which in turn made it seem like the book was far longer than it actually was. I didn't mind the letters themselves. They were vital to the story, but I just didn't always like where they were placed within the story.
I ended up liking Myfanwy a lot, at least the present Myfanwy. I don't think I would have liked her predecessor very much. The book was loaded with interesting characters and good action scenes, at least when they weren't interrupted. I think the book had the right amount of humor and action. Parts of it still make me giggle if I think about them.
Overall this was a fun read that was at times more compelling than others. I originally wanted to read the sequel, but now that I've found out it's a companion novel with different characters I'm not so sure.
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