Friday, November 25, 2011

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Release Date: 2nd January, 2012

Publisher: HarperCollins Australia

Pages: 496pgs

The Story

"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, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of Checquy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she could ever could have imagined.

The Review

A big thanks to HarperCollins Australia on netGalley for accepting my request in reading this book early!

Hearing about this book online I thought it was going to be a winner and judging by the plot itself it sounded like a really, really great read for thrill-seekers like me. And it had an awesome title that intrigued me also. Unfortunately for my high expectations and the praise the book has been receiving over the last few months, I didn't connect well to this book as much as I wanted to.

Australian author, Daniel O'Malley, delivers a debut novel that's quite entertaining in its own right and I'm sure a lot of readers will love the premise. Even though the book might have not been for me, but readers will still love the elements inside this book. THE ROOK is a supernatural detective thriller about a young woman whom finds herself alone - in the rain no less - and in the middle of a park. Left with her is a letter and whilst opening to read it, the letter simply states things like "Dear You" and "Sincerely, Me." That alone will probably peak your interest in the storyline.

In this particular letter, it informs this young unknown woman that she now inhabits the body of a person named Myfanwy Alice Thomas (strange name, yes). Then there's a second letter that gives the character a choice - to either flee London to take up an entirely new and carefree life or - to go ahead and identify the person responsible for her current memory loss. If that's not confusing enough, this young woman also learns that she is a "Rook", one of the many leaders of a top-secret government organization that protects the public from supernatural threats. Think Bourne Identity meets a hint of X-men.

With that being said, I enjoyed the novel to a certain extent. There's a lot of twists and turns to keep you wanting more and there are many great mysteries on the rise. However, I found some concepts of the book could've been developed a little bit more and perhaps could've been less confusing. Because I admit, I got a little confused towards the first half of the book and I was a 'little' frustrated. Same goes with the characters. All of them were intriguing enough much like the storyline, but I couldn't connect to them like other readers of THE ROOK whom gave high ratings in their reviews. But please don't let me stop you! Engaging with its dry wit and some clever plotting along the way, THE ROOK will definitely entertain readers and it's a great start to this Australian author's writing career.

The Rating

3 1/2 / 5 stars


  1. It's a shame this didn't quite WOW you like you were expecting going into it, but still good to hear that you enjoyed parts of it. The plot definitely intrigues me! And I sort of love the idea of government organisations dealing with supernatural stuff.

    Great review, Erin!

  2. Thanks Brodie. Hope you enjoy the book when it's released. :)

  3. Sorry this didn't live up to your expectations! The premise sounded great but I can understand why you didn't love it - I think it would confused me quite a bit! Glad you enjoyed some parts of it though. Thanks for the review :).

  4. Aww, sorry this one didn't amaze you like you were hoping for! It definitely does sound interesting - this is the first I'm hearing of it. I think I might have had a similar reaction to you - just reading the summary kind of makes my head spin a bit :P I'm not really good with that kind of stuff though. Great review! :)

  5. Liz: Maybe I'm one of those readers that won't enjoy the book on a whole. Still a great read!

    Sonia: It was a pity because I was looking forward to this book. It was a 'little' confusing but it was a great read nonetheless . . . just didn't AMAZE me in the way I wanted it to.

  6. The synopsis does sound really interesting. Sometimes I wonder whether too much hype over a book might ultimately be part of the reason we're disappointed over some books...? I do like the fact that an Australian author is using the Welsh name Myfanwy though :)

  7. Hannah: I agree. I think too much hype will leave readers disappointed.

  8. Bit of spy thriller with some sci-fi monsters and supernatural occurrences. Really this book bridges the gap between a bunch of genres and there is plenty to keep you entertained. A good read and I grabbed it on the Kindle for a very reasonable price.

    Dwayne Johnston (Pocket Knife Planet)


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