Monday, April 16, 2012

"The Rook" by Daniel O'Malley

"Dear You,
"The body you are wearing used to be mine...
"You are probably aware of this next part already, since if you are reading this then you have survived several immediate threats, but you are in danger. Just because you are not me does not make you safe. Along with this body, you have inherited certain problems and responsibilities. Go find a safe place, and then open the second letter.

Myfanwy Thomas (rhymes with Tiffany) awakes in a field, in the rain, surrounded by dead people, with two letters, and no idea who she is or how she got there. Thus starts The Rook, Daniel O'Malley's offbeat, fast-paced, highly entertaining first novel, and while there are hints that it could someday be developed as a series, it happily stands alone.

One of the most popular ways to tell a story with a fantastic setting is through the eyes of an outsider. From Harry Potter to The Matrix, the reader learns that the world is not as ordinary as they thought along with the hero. My belief that the characters are as clueless as I, helps me to accept all the background information as necessary (and even interesting!) exposition rather than a pointless infodump. Perhaps my love of epistolary novels made the difference here, as I found myself wanting more bits of background from Myffanwy's former self.

Don't misread! There's plenty of action, with creepy supernatural baddies, and a wicked sense of humor. The secretive government agency that Myffanwy is a part, the Checquy, of is a bit of a cross between Torchwood and the X-Men, but ridiculously powerful and well funded. It's a fun read that's receiving positive reviews from both professional critics and average readers (Goodreads is averaging 4.18/5 for 818 ratings). I recommend it to anyone looking for an escape from the everyday world.

You can read more on Mr. O'Malley's website (there's even a book trailer) here, and join me in looking for hints of a book two:

~Sarah, Adult Services

1 comment:

  1. Great book! Thanks for the recommendation.Audiobook was excellent