The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I just finished The Rook and I began to worry about writing a review that would due the rating I plan to give this book some justice. I started making notes about my impressions before I was even a quarter through the book. It made such an impression on me that I went to find the author's website so that I could follow him on Twitter. I started feeding my thoughts into Goodreads as I got through different parts of the book, which is something I never do. I typically post Twitter updates but this seemed easier so that it would note the percentage I was at on my Kindle Fire when I made my note. I stopped reading yesterday and became concerned that I would not get to see more of this intriguing story after I finished the book. I jumped on the Internet and went to Daniel O’Malley’s website and saw that he has plans to do more stories in the Chequy world. As I finished posting an update early yesterday on Goodreads I caught a glimpse of the overall ratings of the book and thought impossible. We all read something and get vastly different impressions of what we read. Some things work for us and some things don’t. The beginning of this book did move so fast and have such a convoluted beginning that I had to re-read some parts. When I caught on to how things worked I knew I was one of the people for whom this book worked very much.
The Rook was one of those books that I knew I wanted to read and was watching for at least a month before its release date. I was drawn to it just from reading the synopsis and kept hoping for it to be released early. I bought and downloaded it first thing the morning it was released and made the mistake of taking a peek at it before starting work. It was a mistake because I was so totally enthralled that I wanted to send an email that I was leaving for the day and go find a good cup of coffee and a quiet, comfortable place to read for hours. I did tear myself from the book until that night and was really happy that I did not have to teach at the university that night.
This book has something for just about everyone. If you want a mystery, it is there. If you love action, the fight scenes with cool supernatural powers are there. If you like a bit of horror or gore, there is a bit of that too. It is not for romance readers, though there are a couple of irons in the fire that might prove interesting. One of the great things about this book that I wanted to mention separately was the author’s humor. I finally used the highlight feature of my Kindle Fire because there were several parts in this book that literally made me laugh out loud. A great example was when Myfanwy and her assistant Ingrid left a very important meeting and Myfanwy was still feeling things out from the memory loss. She asked Ingrid her impressions from the meeting and the scene went something like this. “Yes, I want to hear your thoughts on what we jus t saw”, Myfanwy said enthusiastically. “Did you think I brought you along for kicks? That was a classic date, with snacks and a show, and now I expect you to deliver the goods”. There are so many more humorous situations throughout the book.
Let’s take a look at the characters. Our heroine with the oddly pronounced Welsh name Myfanwy is pretty much the kind to whom most of us can relate. She is thrown into her world in the most terrorizing circumstances, with no memory and surrounded by dead bodies. We follow the person that Myfanwy becomes in her new life as she learns about her important position in a secret organization. She doesn’t just jump in and suddenly know how her powers work and kick butt in the name of justice. She has serious growing pains as she is thrown into situation after situation where she has to learn not only who she is becoming, but she also has to learn who Myfanwy was before things unfolded. Ingrid is a bit of a wild card because she is the person closest to Myfanwy as her executive assistant. There is an intricate system in place in the Chequy that utilizes some of the nomenclature of the game of chess. One of the characters that came in towards the end that I really liked was L’il Pawn Alan (No this is not his name or title. He is Pawn Alan but his stature and personality earned him this nickname in Myfanwy’s head) who, like Myfanwy, turns out to be more than meets the eye.
I can say that this book was a wonderful experience and I definitely look forward to more work from Daniel O’Malley despite him being an MSU graduate when Michigan is clearly the best!
Review can also be seen at LadyTechiesBookMusings.Blogspot.com
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