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Publisher's Summary

"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 Checquy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain.

She also discovers that she possesses a rare and deadly supernatural ability of her own. Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, The Rook is a richly inventive, suspenseful fantasy. An astonishing debut from a brilliant new voice.

©2012 David O'Malley (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A fun listen

I've seen this book described as M15 for wizards but I think it might be more X-Men for bureaucrats. That said, I really loved it and found it highly entertaining. Can't wait for the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Really fantastic

This is one of the best books I've ever read! And that's from someone that reads as an Olympic sport. It gripped me from the first sentence , " the body you are wearing used to be mine", till the very last. The story is very different but utterly compelling. It's a great story, extremely well read and totally captivating. I simply can't recommend it highly enough! Miss it at your peril!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Narration of an Excellent Book!

What did you like best about this story?

The story bought a new approach to both the Supernatural and the Spy genres by amalgamating them into this fantastic book. This was the first book in a while that I immediately started again for a second read!

I can't wait for the second book and hope that Katy will be narrating it.

What does Katy Carmichael bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Katy's narration of the story bought out the protagonist quirky nature in an enjoyable to fun way. There were several times onlookers would have looked at me strangely as I laughed out loud walking down the street listening to the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Read it and listen to it!

Totally absurd, smartly written, entertaining and unexpected! The narrator was GREAT! I really hope there's a next one and that is just as good as this one, because I felt a mix of sadness and anticipation when I was about to finish this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Makes bureaucracy interesting! It's a miracle!

What about Katy Carmichael’s performance did you like?

The narrator is brilliant and delivers the story in a really engaging way. She really sweeps you along in a way where you can't help but feel the same things that Myfanwy does, whether it be delighted amusement or exasperated horror at the situations she find herself in.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Very much so.

Any additional comments?

This really was an unexpected book. I was expecting an urban fantasy with cool secret agent moments, complete with combat, explosions or the supernatural equivalent, and spying. Alright, you get all that, but the other half of the book is bureaucracy, paperwork and meetings.

The story has a solid structure that delivers plot with interesting worldbuilding and character development, all done in an entertaining way. There are letters from the original Myfanwy Thomas, weaving a compelling story about a woman who kept her head down and did her job well, interspaced between the unfolding story of the new, more reckless and unpredictable Myfanwy Thomas who is still trying to find her feet in an unfamiliar and dangerous world.

Due to Myfanwy's amnesia and also the absurd circumstances that occur when a government agency deals with the supernatural, there are comedic and baffling moments, as well as suspenseful and exciting ones. There's danger around every corner, in the form of tedious meetings and supernatural threats. An unexpected delight for me were the well-executed and naturally developed friendships between women in the story, between all the action-adventure good times.

But I think what I found most compelling about the story was probably the letters. They started as an interesting plot device only to end up moving me very much by the end of the book.

So, tl;dr: A++ audiobook. Would listen again.

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  • George
  • 01-17-14

A good tale, but disappointing in places

Any additional comments?

Some reviews make out that the underlying concept of this book ventures into previously unknown territory, which is not correct - the most obvious comparison being Ben Aaronovitch's "Rivers of London series". That said, the concept is sufficiently different that there can be no accusations of copycatting.

Overall, I enjoyed listening to this book and will buy the next in the series if there are any (which I hope that there are). The reading was done well.I liked the overall plot concept and the back-story and the device of the heroine's predecessor writing her informative letters worked well.

My major criticisms are thus: First, there several what I thought to be continuity errors, which I found irritating. For example, the heroine works for a super-secret, illuminati-esque organisation that has managed to stay secret for centuries, but one character almost immediately manages to track her down in about 20 minutes. Actually, the whole plotline involving that character had me shouting at the car speakers at one point because it just seemed so unlikely (but don't let that worry you too much, it's still a good story).

Second, some of the super-natural elements of the story are just a bit silly. The main ones work ok, but some of the people or events referred to in passing are just thrown in without any real thought appearing to have been given to whether they contribute towards a believable universe.

One of the secrets of great fantasy is that although the author can invent the rules, there must be rules and the story must stick to them. An attitude of "it's my world so I can do what I like" doesn't really work. This can be a particular problem, as JK Rowling discovered, if the author is hoping to produce a series, where throw-away gimmicks in early books can come back to bite the author on the bottom in the future.

Also, the limits of the heroine's own abilities seem to ebb and flow like an unpredictable tide, which is slightly distracting.

Third, the author makes a little bit too much use of "deus ex machina". If the heroine finds herself imperilled by a giant fire-breathing moth (which she doesn't) then the next minion that comes along would just happen to have the ability to spit asbestos mothballs, etc. Remember the old James Bond films, where you just knew that every gadget given to him by Q was going to be exactly the right tool to get him out of just one sticky situation, just once? A bit like that, but in reverse.

In part, I get the feeling that the author has not quite decided upon his target audience. Some of the little things that bugged me would not really matter if the book is aimed mostly at children (who are less sophisticated or nit-picky, dependent upon your viewpoint, than I am in my 40s) but some of the concepts hinted at are quite adult.

In summary, I enjoyed the book, I will follow the series and recommend it to others - but I hope the author settles down to give a bit more attention to his world-building in the future.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • philip
  • 01-22-13

great fun

did not know what to expect from this as not my usually choice but have been totally immersed and thoroughly intrigued. The narration is superb and brings to life a book that has really cheered up a miserable cold january week.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • p1ngu
  • 03-17-16

Love the book, but the audio is less convincing

The Rook's been one of my favourite books of the last five years. Yes, it's silly and yes, the story resolves rather too conveniently, but it hangs together well and is brilliantly sardonic.

The Audible reading simply isn't as good as the book. Too many "funny" voices, and the pacing is rather pedestrian. In truth, if I wasn't already such a fan of the book, I'd have struggled to get all the way through the audio.

It's not terrible, but the book deserves better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • lynsey
  • 02-13-13

Fantastic!!

James Bond meets The X men with a splash of Harry Dresden and the wit of Bridget Jones all wrapped up in a whodunit!! All in all this fabulous work of fiction is just wonderful and even more so if you are a fan of the supernatural. If you like Jim Butcher and or you would just like to try something new then I rather suspect you will love this. The narration is everything it should be and the actress should be proud of her performance.

The book is left open, so please, please Mr O'Malley spin some more tales of Rook Thomas!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 01-22-13

Awesome Supernatural Spy Thriller set in the UK



Great audiobook, I'd just finished the rivers of london audiobooks and was looking for something new, definitely didn't let me down.



It opens at full steam and keeps it's pace, a great supernatural spy thriller which keeps you thinking... It is actually funny too when it wants to be which is a bonus. Well worth a credit, I'm looking forward to more from O'Malley.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kamilla Ege
  • 09-15-17

Waru! I'm a fan. Great story and fantastic voice

I can't wait to read everything by Daniel and I will definitely go after books read by Katy.
I'm blown away

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  • The Curator
  • 09-08-17

Good fun.

An enjoyable romp. I liked the premise and the device of letters to frame the plot. Only jarring item was the Americanisms in a book narrated by a Briton and set in Britain. What British person ever "sipped a beverage"?! Other than that it was light and well paced.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-12-17

Great fun listening

A secret British organisation for people with super powers and a girl trying to figure out who wiped her memory while keeping the office running smoothly. A fun story with more than a touch of British humour.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-01-17

Overacted accents / voices - let this down

What disappointed you about The Rook?

I don't usually write reviews; equal parts laziness and a preconception that no one will care what I think.
I was after some fantasy/thriller/conspiracy kind of vibe, after researching, this seemed like a worth while find. Plus it had a lead female which is rare in this genre.
I was excited and really wanted to love it. The story seemed to flow and speedily, revealing stuff at a pace you would see in a movie. But the narrator was jarring from the beginning. The reader instantly placed me in something akin to a bad radio 4 play for children. Apologies to the talented narrator, Katy Carmichael, but the reading sounded way too sarcastic and dishonest that it stripped the story of any serious credibility. And the accents, mildly offensive at best, I found them rather grating.
I felt that the numerous accents / over exaggerated voices were unnecessary unless the target audience were below the age of 10. Great effort but this made the story comical and silly.
I shall hopefully read it myself, but fear is that I will now hear only the ridiculous accents / voices in my mind.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Having a powerful female lead

What didn’t you like about Katy Carmichael’s performance?

Sadly most of it, the nasally voices, the accents, the tone, felt sarcastic and comical the whole time.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

It was entertaining but let down gravely by the performance.

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  • Emily Wassell
  • 06-01-17

Great

An amazing book that I love every time I read/hear. I'm glad I bought this

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  • C SIMONSEN
  • 03-03-17

Great read. nice twist.

I read this along with Veronica and Tom on the Sword and Laser podcast it has a great twist and has me going on to read the sequel. I nice look at society and beuricy

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • WenC
  • 10-22-16

Great fun and new ideas

Surprising story with unexpected laughs. It had good twists and I loved it. Just needs a love interest

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Maddi
  • 10-16-16

FAbulous narration to a story full of suspense and intrigue, with a healthy dose of humour!

This book is gripping! Daniel O'Malley cleverly introduces us to the world of the Checquy through the newly awakened Myfanwy Thomas. I could not stop listening to this book! You think everything is solved and done, then another twist comes along! I never saw the ending coming! The narrator is fabulous and I loved the voices she gave the characters, especially Chantay and the Belgians! It's thriller, mystery, fantasy, family drama and bureaucratic intrigue all in one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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