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The Rook by Daniel O'Malley REVIEW

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Egalley thanks to Little Brown & Co

Synopsis from Goodreads
"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.

 Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US |  The Book Depository US/UK

* * *
 What a clever, clever book! Without any doubts it's going to be one of the most memorable reads of this year for me the likes of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Night Circus.

In short, if you like Men in Black and Hellboy, this is British version of it, and a delightful at that, with self-deprecating humour and snarky personal assistants.

Myfanwy Thomas (pronounced like Tiffany with M) loses all her memories in a botched attempt of assassination. She is a high-ranking member of The Chequy, a super secret organisation which has been controlling and suppressing supernatural occurrences in Britain for centuries. Myfanwy before the amnesia left her new self thorough letters and descriptions of her life because her loss of memories was prophesied, but now this new strange woman has to pick up the pieces and lead day to day domestic operations of Chequy, because the alternative is death. Nobody leaves Chequy alive, it's just not an option. 

Oh, and she needs to find the traitor who tried to kill her. No biggie. Just a day of work in the office. 

What I found fascinating were the different characters belonging to The Chequy. You see, they don't work much with sophisticated weaponry, it's more like their bodies are the weapons. Myfanwy for example can manipulate biological responses of any body close to her, her counterpart, Gestalt has one powerful brain shared between four bodies who can work simultaneously in different parts of the world, another member of the organisation can walk through dreams of random people, and yet another has an affinity to metal...

...and it gets even more fascinating when you start reading about the big threat to The Chequy - The Grafters, who work with genetic modifications.

The old Myfanwy is an essential pencil pusher, a bureaucrat and a damn good administrator, but new Myfanwy has to take on a much more active role in the field, and it's so much fun, peeps! None of the other characters are there to be just props, they are alive, very interesting and have fascinating personalities.

I really want to spill all the beans here, but I don't want to spoil all your fun, so just READ IT. Highly recommended, hilarious and extremely clever.

* * *
Что за книга! Мама дорогая, это просто гениально, смешно и чрезвычайно занимательно!
Без сомнения, одна из лучших книг этого года для меня.

Мифани Томас одна из важных шишек чрезвычайно секретной организации, держащей под контролем паранормальные явления в Великобритании вот уже многие века, и она просыпается с полной амнезией, стоя под дождём в парке, окружённая телами людей в латексных перчатках.

В кармане её жакета два письма адресованные ею для неё же. Теперь новой Мифани предстоит следуя письмам старой Мифани (амнезия которой была предсказана) узнать кто предатель в организации, пытающийся её убить, как руководить всеми домашними операциями той же организации и не выдать, что она потеряла память... Ну в общем обычный день в офисе для женщины, которая может управлять биологическими функциями любого организма, находящегося рядом с нею, и партнёр которой обладает одним мозгом между четырьмя телами, которые могут функционировать одновременно в различных точках мира...

Очень умно написанная, смешная и увлекательная книга. чередующая письма Мифани и её жизнь после амнезии, а также попытки разоблачить огромный заговор внутри самой организации.

Что мне очень понравилось, это то, что старая Мифани - обычный бюрократ, великолепный администратор и трусиха в боевых ситуациях, которую по большей части настоящие агенты игнорируют.  Однако новая Мифани лишена страхов и предрассудков своей предыдущей копии, и смотреть как она ломает все устоявшиеся мнения о себе - это сплошное веселье.

В общем, я постаралась важной информации вам не выдать и саму книгу рекомендую чрезвычайно. Она шикарна!



Cassandra (The Book and Movie Dimension blogger) said...

Seen this one on the Fantasy Nibbles blog.
Sounds really good.
Nice review.

Mel said...

Ooo, I like the sound of this! I think I will have to add this to my wishlist...esepcially as you loved it so much! :)

WhimsicalWillow said...

This sounded interesting! I just wish it wasn't paranormal!

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Cassandra, Mel, i really hopr you read this book! I's really good!
WhimsicalWillow, it's not PNR or UF in the traditional sense, the closest thing it comes to is Men in Black or even X-men, so I hope you read it.

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