Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.
As Myfanwy battles to save herself, she encounters a person with four bodies, a woman who can enter her dreams, children transformed into deadly fighters, and an unimaginably vast conspiracy.
Suspenseful and hilarious, The Rookis an outrageously inventive debut for listeners who like their espionage with a dollop of purple slime.
©2012 Daniel O'Malley (P)2012 Hachette
I am a blind lawyer and aspiring writer, trying to read a little bit of everything but partial to sci-fi and military fiction.
I wonder sometimes who it is that selects titles for Audible's sales. I'd really like to know so I could thank them for bringing about my discovery of The Rook. I doubt I would have found it otherwise, and that'd have been a real shame, as this is a truly hilarious book with some uplifting undertones.
Imagine someone having to cope all at once with the existence of supernatural threats to humanity as well as their leadership role in an organization established to hold the line against such threats. This story could get very dark very quickly, but it doesn't, as the author and the reader enjoy themselves too much along the way. Our hero has plots to uncover, monsters to vanquish, and people to fool, all while learning who she was before her memory was lost and who she wants to be now. It all makes for a quick pace as she meets all sorts of colorful characters and risks her life to save the people of Britain, blissfully unaware of the dangers all around them.
The narration takes some getting used to, filled with an urgency suited to some events, but not to others. Eventually though, the voices of the characters shine through and allow the narrator's vocal talents to dazzle the listener, particularly with Myfanwy and other characters' spontaneous reactions to the odd events they encounter.
There are occasions when I wonder whether a book's sale price colored my opinion of its merits, not so in this case. I had far too much fun, something born out by the fact that I'll be buying the sequel as soon as it hits Audible.
First a confession. I normally shy away from female protagonists. In fantasy worlds they so often end up as either the ultra sexy master of everything caricature of femininity or a man that the author insists on referring to as "she". Myfanwy however is neither of these stereotypes. She is a highly competent and complex character that is powerful enough to be the main character of a fantasy novel, but maintains realistic human limitations as well as distinctly feminine characteristics. I know and love woman just like her and it was wonderful to read about a woman like that taking on extraordinary circumstances in a fantasy world.
I must also recognize the wonderful job done by the narrator Susan Duerden, this was one of those times when narrator and story were perfectly matched.
I loved this book...hearted it...less than three'd it...loved this book. I loved the main character, but I think the beauty of this book was the development of everyone around her. I loved her secretary, the random "pawns" she worked with, and the bad guys.
I laughed out loud several times. I would think about the story even when I wasn't listening, excited to get back to it.
The story was a blast. I hung on every word and often rewound to make sure I didn't miss a word. The ending was great.
I gave the performance only 4 stars because she had an odd lilt that I noticed occasionally, but overall it's still a rousing 5-star audiobook.
Say something about yourself!
Rook opens on a rather cliché note, amnesiac hero, who's tabla-rasa for any personal memories but retains her instincts. From the Bourne Identity beginning to an X-men like world, Daniel O' Malley dances along being trite to actually clever. Its a mish-mash of supernatural beings, shadowy government organizations and a world unseen by the public, and schools for the unique of talent. While not a book about super heros and super villains , The Rook certainly takes cues from X-Men.
Susan Duerden is one hell of a voice actor, but she fails at the narrative. Her voice switches into a repetitive cadence, strangely melodic and robotic, that sounds strangely like a high level text to speech algorithm. The words are there but the inflection is the same, regardless of content. Its strange and annoying. Early in the book, when narrative parts extend minutes, I found myself annoyed, which is unusual for me as I'm not the most demanding of listeners. Fortunately, as more characters are introduced, Susan Duerden spends less time in her repetitive robo-speak.
That said, for a rookie writer, Daniel O' Malley proves himself a worthy read. About the only complaint I had is it seemed that every character of substance was described as being "Beautiful"... how many beautiful people can occupy a single novel? ;)
This book had everything. Suspense, originality, And a Dr Who kind of kookiness.
Not sure. It was suggested to me after liking the Hunger Games but there is more humour and supernatural elements. I told my husband it was like a dr who episode told by the shopoholic.
Honestly, the first chapter was so well written I've gone back to listen to it again. But all the scenes have such a sense of place and suspense, I have no idea how he kept it up throughout the book.
When we find out how the herine lost her memory. I thought it was going to be just a simple reveal but it was quite heartbreaking.
Enjoy. I will definitely listen to this a second time. The only downside is I'll be waiting two years for the next installments.
Interesting, captivating, quirky
Accents and and she is very emotive with her voice. Does the characters well.
Suspenseful Captivating Entertaining
Rook Thomas is suck into a flesh cube and is struggling to hold on.
The story was all about Rook Thomas, but I can't wait for the follow up and hopefully we get more graphtor info
Amnesia can be deadly.
I don't right reviews normally, but this is one that was so good I had to.
I live in the Catskills and I enjoy listening to audiobooks, particularly when I am working around the farm. Fiction works best for me. Reality is overrated.
Very well done!
Both the author and the the narrator managed to pull me into a genre that generally has no appeal and it happened within the first minute or two.
The main character, Myfanwy, would, of course, be the favorite, but the author has done an incredible job with the unusual cast that inhabit this book.
Tell us about yourself!
This is a good book and I recommend it. It is well written, funny and clever and the narrator is quite pleasing to listen to.
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