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The Rook: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Daniel O'Malley
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (420 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $6.01 (38%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

"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 Chequy 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 the Chequy 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 ever could have imagined.

Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, THE ROOK is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Utterly convincing and engrossing---totally thought-through and frequently hilarious. The writing is confident and fully fledged. Even this aging, jaded, attention-deficit-disordered critic was blown away." (TIME Lev Grossman)

"The pace never lets up in this entertaining high-action read....A near-perfect supernatural thriller....Something unexpected happens on almost every page. Don't start this book unless you've got lots of time, because you won't want to put it down. It's that good." (Library Journal David Keymer)

"Adroitly straddles the thin line between fantasy, thriller, and spoof....O'Malley is a nimble writer, effortlessly leaping back and forth between comedy and action. There's plenty of room here for a sequel that readers will no doubt begin clamoring for before they've even finished this book." (Booklist David Pitt)

"Impressive....Dry wit, surprising reversals of fortune, and a clever if offbeat plot make this a winner." (Publishers Weekly)

"O'Malley's narrative is peppered with sly humor, referential social commentary, and the ironic, double-layered self-awareness that will have genre fans believing Buffy the Vampire Slayer has joined Ghostbusters." (Kirkus)

About the Author

Dan O'Malley graduated from Michigan State University and earned a Master's Degree in medieval history from Ohio State University. He then returned to his childhoom home, Australia. He now works for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, writing press releases for government investigations of plane crashes and runaway boats.

Product Details

  • File Size: 949 KB
  • Print Length: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (January 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004QX07EG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,483 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little x-men, dash of buffy, and a whole lotta awesome January 8, 2012
Format:Hardcover
I picked this book up on a whim while at the bookstore. Just seemed really interesting. Once I started reading I didn't want to put it down. There is just enough humor to keep it from feeling overly stuffy and just enough intrigue to keep it from being overly fluffy. The idea of a secret spy agency that is designed to monitor the world's supernatural goings-on is not a new one, but the author takes it and makes it his own. There are definite parts of the book/plot that remind me of xmen, buffy the vampire slayer, xfiles, harry potter - but at the same time not in a bad way. The book melds all those together very well. It's a good read from start to finish. I look forward to reading more from this author!
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58 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shut Up and Take My Money! April 20, 2012
Format:Hardcover
About once a week I get really excited about a new novel I'm reading, declaring that it might just be the best book I've read all year. Ask my friends, they'll resignedly confirm this. In keeping with tradition, 80 pages into The Rook by Daniel O'Malley my excitement was running full bore. "You have to buy this book! It is so freaking awesome!" I would say. Their reply: finish the book, write a review, and then tell us to buy it. Yeah well I've finished the book, this is me writing the review, and at the very end I'm going to tell you to buy it.

If you look up reviews or descriptions of The Rook you are bound to come away with a quite the impression. I've seen comparisons made to X-Men, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ghostbusters, Monty Python, Men in Black, The Maltese Falcon, and The Bourne Identity. I would agree with those comparisons and hazard to throw in a few comparisons of my own. The Rook also blends the supernatural and the mundane like Lev Grossman's The Magicians, and may even be considered reminiscent of some of the creepier episodes of Doctor Who. So yeah, that is a lot to take in. It sounds like this O'Malley guy took a sci-fi/fantasy buffet and crammed it all in a blender. Fortunately the result isn't some hideous fictional slop, but a genre-bending supernatural spy thriller smoothie.

Myfanwy Thomas opens her eyes and she is not who she was. Surrounding her are dead men wearing suits and latex gloves. She is aching from a serious beating and soaked to the bone from the rain. In her pocket is a letter from her body's previous occupant warning her of an imminent threat to her life. She is given two options: run away and live in comfort or find out who has betrayed her and given her a wicked case of amnesia.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
When I think of The Rook the first word that comes to mind is 'fun.' Great fun actually. But to simply say that The Rook is 'fun' would be facile on my part. The Rook is a terrific read for a lot of reasons.

Foremost The Rook is very well written. The mystery of why Myfanwy Thomas is without her memory and who did what to whom is hard to crack. As soon as I'd thought I'd figured it out, the story proved me wrong. Not because of authorial plot shenanigans, but because the unraveling of the mystery was very well handled. I really enjoyed how this is done with new Myfanwy being aided by information left behind by old Myfanwy. Myfanwy is a wonderful character. She's trying to figure out how to do her job as Rook and racing against time to find who in the Chequy harmed her and why. The Rook is not a short read (nearly 500 pages), but I barely noticed the length.

The Chequy is itself amazing. It's a fantastical governmental agency. Think FBI/CIA rolled into one that handles supernatural threats. Yes, other supernatural agencies exist in literature, but none quite like the Chequy. How the Chequy functions is explained well, but never bogs down the story. I really enjoyed seeing how the Chequy works, how threats are handled, and meeting the people with whom Myfanwy works, despite that fact that one of them wants her erased. Mr. O'Malley's scrupulous attention to detail creates a believable, if somewhat unusual, governmental agency.

The upper echelon of the Chequy are fascinating characters themselves. Because Myfanwy is trying to figure out which of them might be after her, we get to know each of them well. I certainly enjoyed learning about them and their powers... and trying to figure out who did it and why.

Mr.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book makes me angry February 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you're actually reading a review of a book then I imagine you've been in this situation before. You turn the last page (swipe the last location, whatever) of a fantastic book and then it hits you.

It's over.

That book that so completely swallowed you whole has ended and there's no more. No more exciting revelations. No more interesting characters. No more wondering what's on the next page because there is no next page.

And then the anger sets in. Anger because you know, no matter what, the next book you read can't possibly be this good. You'll likely pick up something tepid or boring or uninteresting, at least by comparison to what you just finished. And you're angry because all books should be this fun but they aren't, they just aren't.

The Rook is one of those books. So if the brief description available on the page or other reviews hasn't swayed you, then at least you can be warned that reading this may ruin other book reading for a while.

At least until the sequel comes out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars so a great surprise. Well written with great
Not the usual kind of genre I go for, so a great surprise. Well written with great characters
Published 15 hours ago by kellie
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Best reading on a long flight in ages. Great characters, conjuring up all sorts of images and deeds in my mind.
Published 4 days ago by William B Werlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best books I've read in a long while, absolutely brilliant!
Published 5 days ago by QueenKris
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed every second
This book was so enjoyable. It was like reading about the X-men, Batman, and Superman all at the same time, while a huge mystery unfolds around the protagonist. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Mel's a Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars She is a rich and multi-layered combination of very standard female...
Every once in a while you come across a book that just utterly delights you from the beginning to the end. The Rook did this for me. Read more
Published 17 days ago by SephiPiderWitch
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool from beginning to end
Cool world, good humor, fun action, great use of supernatural (and often just plain weird) powers. The type of book that leaves me hoping for a sequel or at least looking up the... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Cacy
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my favorite books! It was one of those stories that ...
This is one of my favorite books! It was one of those stories that you just wish was more so it didn't have to end.
Published 22 days ago by Hallie
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastically original and witty...
This book instantly jumped onto my list of books that I read at least annually. It's clever, fantastically original, and just flat out funny. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Ryan Graham
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable dalliance
An enjoyable romp, but missing some of the nuance of other Urban fantasy.
Published 23 days ago by Justin W.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great quick read.
Loved this book. The story was fantastic.
Published 26 days ago by cpsadp
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