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The Rook: A Novel Hardcover – January 11, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (January 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316098793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316098793
  • ASIN: 0316098795
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (383 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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."—Lev Grossman, TIME

"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."—David Keymer, Library Journal

"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."—David Pitt, Booklist

"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.

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Customer Reviews

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  • "Characters" 85
  • "Writing" 82
  • "Funny" 63
  • "Suspense" 25
  • "Action" 22
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 86 people found the following review helpful By texasflower on 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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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By The Qwillery on January 12, 2012
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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54 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Nickolas X. P. Sharps VINE VOICE on 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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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By R. Garcia on 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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