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
The Rook follows the current trend of bringing mythological monsters and fantastic forces into a modern setting, and freshens it by creating a classic British bureaucracy to deal with them. The hero is a mousy, browbeaten functionary in a top-secret government department whose members are as odd as the threats they face. Her natural talent for paperwork has gotten her into the middle of a dark conspiracy that perhaps only she can solve - if she can remember who she is, and how she came to forget.
For a first novel by a male author, the story has a distinctly feminine feel, more like fantasy chick-lit than The Pelican Brief. It's not what I usually read, and I found the different perspective at first uncomfortable, then refreshing. I believe the author's voice improves (and the performer's, strangely enough) as the book progresses, and the story therefore becomes more engaging the farther one reads into the book.
I listen to audible as I walk. Some books are entertaining, but just that. The Rook was riveting from the first word spoken. I could not wait to get out on my walk to find out what happens next. The amusing musing of the heroine had me laughing as walked down the sidewalks. Yes, I would definitely listen again.
The Rook herself was my favorite character. Her humor and unexpected way of looking at a situation kept me laughing.
Ms Susan did all the character and did them well. I even started to pick up a British accent.
The whole book moved me. It moved me about 50 miles
Great listen. Amazing plot, lovable heroine, humor and excellent writing. Great read. I sure miss my friend Rook, now that she won't walk with me.
I love to read. I also love to write.I'm a harsh critic and very, very, very rarely give five star reviews to anything. Three stars for me is an average representation of literature and not a bad review by any stretch.
I think I liked best that the author did not give us the typical paranormal sci-fi fantasy story where vampires and werewolves command the bulk of the text. Yes, there are vampires. Yes, they are powerful. But they are only a sidebar to the real story being told about Myfanwy Thomas.
I would not have drifted away from Myfanwy's POV randomly like the author did. I think her story was compelling enough to not require it. Also, some of the letters from Myfanwy to herself and designed to impart back story were just droning and seemed out of place if not wholly uncessary. The one concerning the dragon sticks out in my mind as the worst offender of this.Also, while a lot of the abilities the paranormal people had in this book were utterly believable, some of them were just too strange to accept. It made them seem too comical and hard to take seriously as characters who belonged in the story.
The way Susan Duerden ended almost all of the sentences that were not dialogue, with the slightly cadence change to her voice, made a lot of the reading sound like it was being done by Microsoft's Anna voice in a text to speach software. She didn't talk like this in dialogue portions of the narration. Don't ask me why.
Becasue you have to give round numbers of stars on audbile.com, I gave The Rook 3 out of 5 above, but really it is a 3.5 out of 5 star quality book. It's good but not great. It was definately a change of pace from what I have been reading a lot of lately.
This book was refreshing from start to finish. The performance superb, story fun and easy to listen to. Glad I read it. Would love to have more from the author, continuation of the Rook perhaps...
This has to rank in my top 5 audiobooks of all time! This book above all others allows me to experience almost exactly what the main character is experiencing. The amnesia opening allows us to discover a world with the character and with the same sense of wonder and suspicion as the character in the book. The performance choice could not have been better. I've listened to several books with Susan Duerden and I'm never dissapointed with her narration. Her voices and accent bring me into a world that feels alive and vibrant.
Yes. I found this a fun, different kind of story with a good mystery to it. There were times when things were a little bit of a stretch (well, other than the supernatural bent to it anyway). But I liked it anyway.
I liked the ending a lot. I wasn't sure who "the bad person" really was until the very end.
There could be; the story lends itself to possible sequels. But it also stands alone.
Story engaging and original.
Great voice. Did a good job with characters, except the lead. Rook Thomas comes off as a petulant school girl. Rook Thomas may be confused but she is not dumb.
I downloaded this book thinking it was another book with a similar name. This to me was just silly and got sillier by the minute. I didn't finish it.
Elizabeth George. She writes well, understands human nature and isn't ever silly.
Not sure. There was nothing wrong with the narrotors skils. The content was the problem.
All of them.
Won't make this mistake again.
former nuclear scientist
The Rook melds some of the classics: an amnesiatic woman trying to figure out who she is; a parallel supernatural world that we regular people are carefully shielded from; and a powerful spy agency that can command the queen. Then dry humor and absurd situations are stirred in. Magical!
The story itself alternates between current-day sleuthing of the above-mentioned amnesiac, who wakes up with a series of written clues and the warning to find the traitor who did that to her before she is attacked again, and the letters she wrote of her research before she was stricken. The situations are fun, the clues are subtle in the telling (partially because the parallel world is so stunning) and obvious in retrospect - everything fits together. I took some points off because the duck scene just serves to advance one plot point and because of the (illuminating) "villain explains all at the end" issue.
The narrator has a fun voice that works well when she is voicing the main character, but her narration voice sounds almost like an android; she has a particular two-part cadence, with pauses built in even where there probably aren't commas, that she uses for the entire book. It is distracting and lulling at the same time.
All in all, I sped through this book because I was so interested in what happened next. I hope there is a sequel.
Internet Ninja, Chainmaille Wizard, Atheist and all around Geek.
I am rather new to audio books at the moment but overall i enjoyed this one. The quality on a smart phone was not superb but it was loud enough and easy to understand.
Gestalt is a very unique character concept that i have not yet encountered in a sci-fy / fantasy setting.
There are a few times the characters mumble or she uses a very British accent, it would be nice if that was more distinct.
This book did have moments of making me laugh, drawing looks from my wife.
This book is quite thrilling and keeps you wanting to listen. At times it was hard to work due to the book drawing me deeply in.
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