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
Audible listener since the late 1990s. I mostly listen to science fiction, fantasy, history, and science.
This was unexpectedly excellent. There are so many elements that you would think would seem trite for the genre - the main character has amnesia, the setting involves modern supernatural forces, lots of funny banter, etc. - but it all comes together expertly in a way that seems very fresh. In The Rook, he amnesia concept has an interesting twist, the modern supernatural elements are unique (not many vampires or werewolves), and the humor is occasionally laugh-out-loud funny. And, as for the set-up, think Harry Dresden (but less dark and conflicted) or the Charlie Stross's Laundry series (but less satirical), and you'll get the general idea - the world is full of scary forces, and our heroine, along with a government agency, has to kill, out-maneuver, or out-think them.
The plot zips along, the writing is just excellent, and the characters are fun and compelling. This is not a particularly deep book, but it is a really well done supernatural-political-workplace drama that I can't wait to see more of. The details of the plot don't need spoiling, but I highly recommend this, especially to Dresden or Laundry fans.
The only caveat is that the reader takes a few hours to get used to, though she improves as she goes. The early part of the book seems to be read in short phrases, with odd spacings and a questioning rising note in the middle of many sentences. The accents are pleasant, though, and by half-way through you won't notice any issues, and, in any case, it doesn't undermine the book.
avid audiobook listener, sociopath, nerd.
I will definitely listen to this book more than once. From the first few minutes I was sure it would become one of my favorites.
The array of accents Susan Duerden perfectly performed was impressive, and she made each character come to life. I agree with another reviewer that the lack of a love story made this book even better. The dry, sarcastic humor kept me chuckling and the action-packed scenes were wonderfully balanced with the intermittent letters from Thomas to herself. It had a relatively complex plot that was fun to follow and twists and turns that I never would've expected.
I would recommend this to any paranormal mystery fan, especially fans of The Dresden Files. The humor is very much the same and I came to think of Thomas as the female equivalent of Dresden. I can't wait to see what Daniel O'Malley comes up with next!
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
It's sorta a spy-ops type of book, but the spies have superpowers. All sorts of superpowers. To the point where you'll be wondering why you don't find it over-the-top when, really, you should. But you won't. It is written with such a straight-face that you won't even bat an eye at a girl with leaves for hair.
The way the amnesia was dealt with was interesting and original and, at the same time, gave the author a chance to flesh out some other parts of the world by exploring events outside THIS rook Thomas' world. You get to see events from the past that aren't, technically, flashbacks.
And while the bulk of the book was spent covering supernatural material, the mystery as to who caused Thomas' memory loss (and how) was also well done and very suspenseful. I can even see the point of Bronwyn's appearance - it throws a bit of a wrench into the mix and I spent a good part of the book waiting for her appearance to "mean something".
Would I have liked the pace to be a bit faster, yes, probably... and I don't know that the last "manifestation" scene added anything to the story other than to make it a bit longer. But this might have been because by this point in the story I wanted to know who Thomas' enemy was...
I really enjoyed how the story was wrapped-up - the ending was believable and had a bit of a twist (twistedness too).
I particularly enjoyed the narrator. I found her to be very rhythmic and I loved the flow of her phrasing (almost sing-songy), seriously... I really enjoyed how it was read. And I think her male characters were excellently done too. I enjoyed it so much I'm actually going to go look for books written by this author and books read by this narrator.
I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. Actually, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to listen to it. I bought this audiobook through an Audible sale and didn’t really know what to expect (although one reviewer’s reference to Harry Dresden definitely piqued my interest). So for a few months it just sat in my library until the guilt at buying a book and not listening to it finally got to me and I decided to give it a chance. Five minutes later, I was hooked!
When Myfanwy (pronounced like Tiffany with an “M”) Thomas wakes up without any memory of who she is or how she wound up in a London park surrounded by dead men wearing suits and latex gloves, she finds two letters in her jacket pocket that were written to her by the jacket’s previous owner -- who happens to be the former owner of Myfanwy’s own body! I say “former” because we learn, through a series of subsequent letters, that Myfanwy’s memories and personality have been erased, and the person who opens Myfanwy’s eyes in that park is not the same Myfanwy who closed them moments before. Oh yeah, it also turns out that the person responsible for Myfanwy’s memory loss is one of her co-workers. But not just any co-worker: the “bad guy” is another high-ranking, supernaturally gifted person (like Myfanwy herself) working for the Chequy, a super-secret organization dedicated to protecting Queen and Country against paranormal threats (like dragons and houses made of slime).
Does this sound like the script to an extremely cheesy B-movie? Yes! But that’s because I am not as talented as Daniel O’Malley, who has managed to turn what should be a played-out-supernatural-who-dunnit into a fresh, imaginative, and FUN debut novel. For me, this book embodies the very best of escapism fiction: it’s clever, the characters are well-developed, the plot moves briskly without feeling rushed, and you can get lost in the story for hours without losing yourself to the story (which is a good thing when you have a job!)
Finally, I know others reviewers have complained about the narrator. Personally, I thought she was excellent! I would, however, recommend listening to the preview. The narrator’s voice and cadence remain consistent throughout the book, so if you enjoy the preview, there’s a good chance you will enjoy this narrator. If not? Then I would highly recommend buying this book in print, because it really is that good!
Love audiobooks! I have quirky tastes, but prefer clever humor (think Christopher Moore & Terry Pratchett). Any recommendations?
Let me say right off the bat, I am not a fan of mysteries or "whodunnits". Even so, I loved this book, and I sincerely hope the author writes a few sequels. The premise of the story was intriguing, the setting was vivid the plot kept the intrigue up right until the end. The main characters were well-written but still left some questions open, and that's a good thing, since the ending leaves room for this to become a series. The narration was great and I had no trouble keeping track of the different characters. Also, it was really nice to read a book with a female main character that does NOT involve a love story anywhere along the line.
Overall, a great read. I'd highly recommend this one, especially to women.
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? ;)
I enjoy mystery/thrillers and sometimes enjoy a little scifi mixed in with the story. This one was just the right mix. If you have seen and like the new series Alphas, you will really enjoy this book. I liked the main character right away and was drawn right in to the story within the first 5 minutes (another requirement for a really good book). I had a hard time turning it off when I was listening as the story moved right along with enough twists and turns to keep you wondering what would happen next. If you want something a little different, this one is a great choice.
Very definitely , Yes, but not to all of them- if you are a bit quirky you would be delighted. Monty Python Fans apply.
very much. I liked her emotion, her accent, the rhythm of her reading..
"She isn't who she was and she is not who they expect"...or "Beware the Green slime!"
Very original, you will recognize some things, the vampire for instance. But the Vampire history is totally new. Loved the quirky details and the monsters, also funny as all get out.
ive listened to it twice now, just because it is one of those that are so clever you enoy it more than once.
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.
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