Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

The Rook (2012)

by Daniel O'Malley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Checquy Files (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,010898,443 (4.14)126

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 126 mentions

English (88)  German (1)  All languages (89)
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
This is the first book in the Checquy Files series by O’Malley. The second book in this series, Stiletto, is supposed to release in Jan 2016. I enjoyed this book; is was a fun blend of secret government conspiracy and urban fantasy.

I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook is very well done. The narrator did an excellent job of giving all of the characters unique voices and portraying emotion and urgency in the narration.

Myfanwy Thomas’s first recollection is standing in the rain with a bunch of dead men in a circle around her and all the men are wearing latex gloves. Then she finds the note in her pocket which starts out “The body you are wearing used to be mine.” Myfanwy is in a body and has no memory of how she got there. The letter she finds gives her two choices: go to a safe deposit box, take the money there and run...or assume the life of Myfanwy Thomas as it was before her memory loss. After killing a bunch of people with a wave of her hand Myfanwy decides to try to find out more about her abilities and assumes Myfanwy’s old life.

Shortly after making that choice Myfanwy finds out that she holds the position of Rook (a position of top authority) in a secret government agency known as the Checquy. The Checquy polices supernatural and paranormal creatures throughout England protecting the population from things better left unknown.

As Myfanwy stumbles her way through daily duties (and enjoys her ultimate power) she is struggling to answer the top question in her mind; who tried to kill the original Myfanwy Thomas? Then when a group called the Grafters (who have long opposed the Checquy) start to threaten both life as humanity knows it and the Royal Court of the Checquy Myfanwy has to turn her attention to why the Grafters are after them and who in the Court of the Checquy is linked to the Grafters.

There are a lot of politics, administration, espionage, mystery solving and general craziness in this book as Myfanwy tries to unravel this web of deceit and lies. I love Myfanwy’s no nonsense attitude to everything; she takes the strangest of circumstances in stride and does an excellent job of mitigating the damage. She is also a bit snarky and witty as well.

I loved all the crazy characters in the story and their rather bizarre powers. The book was a lot of fun to read and you just never knew what the next page was going to hold.

The story wraps up well, although there are some loose ends that will most likely be addressed in subsequent novels. This is a different sort of urban fantasy. Think of it as urban fantasy where battles are fought with superb administration abilities and crazy personal super powers.

Overall this was a fun and different type of urban fantasy read. I enjoyed the quirky characters and witty dialogue. I also enjoyed all the strange powers our characters have and the very different anatomies of the Grafters. Myfanwy Thomas is a very unique sort of urban fantasy heroine and I found her to be refreshing and interesting to read about. I look forward to further adventures with Myfanwy and the Checquy. I recommend to those who enjoy mystery and urban fantasy stories. ( )
1 vote krau0098 | Aug 16, 2015 |
Myfanwy Thomas - the best kick-ass female character I've read in years!

Spies, sci-fi, mystery, transformation, self-discovery, humor and a delightful protagonist; The Rook has it all! I spent the weekend reading every second I could manage; Husband, family and chores completely ignored. ( )
  CC123 | Aug 10, 2015 |
I really liked this book and was disappointed that the next one wasn't coming out til next year. I like fantasy that is believable, not that it could happen in real life, but that it's not totally outrageous. This was what I thought to be an excellent fantasy book. It was well written. The fantasy part was like yeah ok. They kept it consistent throughout the whole book. It's about a woman's body Rook Thomas who gets her memory taken and someone else takes over her body. She works for The Chequey (sp). They are a group of people with special abilities. Someone within that group is a double agent and they need to figure out who. The special powers make it exciting. This was an enjoyable read but, not a light read. There is a lot of information to take in about all of the characters and the organization. Even if you think you don't like fantasy you might like this. ( )
1 vote bwhitner | Jun 29, 2015 |
Myfanwy (rhymes with Tiffany) Thomas awakens to find herself surrounded by several dead people wearing latex gloves and no idea who she is or how she got there. Not knowing what else to do she puts her hands in her pockets and pulls out a letter, which she begins to read.

"Dear You,

The body you are wearing used to be mine. The scar on the inner left thigh is there because I fell out of a tree and impaled my leg at the age of nine. The filling in the far left tooth on the top is a result of my avoiding the dentist for four years. But you probably care little about this body’s past. After all, I’m writing this letter for you to read in the future. Perhaps you are wondering why anyone would do such a thing. The answer is both simple and complicated. The simple answer is because I knew it would be necessary.

The complicated answer could take a little more time."

The Rook is the first novel by Daniel O'Malley and I was immediately hooked. Set in modern day London the story is part Jason Bourn, part X-Men and quite the page turner!

The story gives a gradual reveal as we learn about both Myfanwys through a series of letters that the "old" Myfanwy writes to the "new" Myfanwy while "new" Myfanwy tries to figure out what exactly the old her has gotten herself into. It's a brilliant set up that works seamlessly to give us history about the Checquy and insight into other characters while not hindering the mystery or any of the action. We also get a great contrast between the two Myfanwy's and it's great to see her grow into this role she's found herself in.

The breadth of supernatural powers and events O'Malley has created is amazing. From a malevolent cube of flesh to one mind that inhabits multiple bodies there are no boring, run-of-the-mill powers here!

The mystery is well thought out and the action is engaging. There is even a heavy dose of dry humour that was a pleasant surprise. I found myself laughing out loud several times.

While The Rook is a great standalone book I'm so happy O'Malley decided to continue the series. I look forward to the next book! ( )
3 vote Narilka | Jun 15, 2015 |
Myfanwy Thomas wakes up with no memory of who she is and a letter in her pocket instructing her to choose to take a bunch of money and run or stay put and try to take over the job she had before the attack of amnesia. The job? Administrator in a secret society that polices the supernatural population in Britain. She opts to stay put.

The resulting novel is humorous, inventive, and fast-paced, and focuses on Myfanwy's growth into a new person and the concept of memory just as much as on the plotty supernatural stuff. The story is also remarkable for focusing on multiple female characters and their interactions with one another, something that is often lacking in books of this genre.

Several members of my book club loved this, and a few of the women who usually don't like sci-fi/fantasy/speculative fiction said they enjoyed this much more than other things of this genre they've read. I feel like I should have enjoyed the book more than I did. I had nothing against it, no particular complaints, or bugaboos, or dislikes. I dunno. It just didn't roll my socks. ( )
1 vote lycomayflower | May 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
I became intrigued by Daniel O’Malley’s debut novel, The Rook, when Time book critic Lev Grossman raved, more than a month before the book’s release, that “this aging, jaded, attention-deficit-disordered critic was blown away.”

Indeed, The Rook is great, rattling fun, as if Neil Gaiman took Buffy the Vampire Slayer and crossed it with Torchwood.

It starts with a bang: Myfanwy Thomas awakens in a rainy London park, surrounded by a ring of dead bodies, all wearing latex gloves. She has no idea how she or the corpses got there. In fact, she doesn’t even know that she’s Myfanwy Thomas, because she is suffering from amnesia and remembers nothing about herself.

Myfanwy is a Rook, a junior-level member of the Court, an elite group of eight super-powered intelligence agents. The Court runs the Checquy Group, a British agency on Her Majesty’s Hyper-Secret Service, so powerful that it makes MI6 look lame. In fact, Myfanwy learns, “The Court answers to the highest individuals in the land only, and not always to them.”

Myfanwy discovers everything about herself from a dossier entrusted to her by “the original Myfanwy Thomas,” the person she was before she lost her memory. Her amnesia was no accident: One of her mysterious colleagues on the Court, she learns, is a traitor who wiped her memory and now wants her dead.

In the meantime, Myfanwy must step back into her own life and relearn everything about being Rook Thomas, all without anyone finding out what has happened to her. Her own life is anything but normal, because the Checquy Group is always on the lookout for monsters. One can never be too vigilant, since “Checquy statistics indicate that 15 percent of all men in hats are concealing horns.”

Thanks to the Checquy, Britons are blissfully unaware that supernatural forces constantly threaten the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. (The Checquy’s American counterpart is called the Croatoan, a little in-joke that is never explained but which students of American history will immediately get.) The worst of these threats to the U.K. are the Grafters, who come from Belgium, a mild-mannered nation that O’Malley manages to render extremely sinister.

Throughout a rip-roaring narrative, O’Malley off-handedly weaves deadpan humor. As a Rook, Myfanwy is more paper-pusher than field agent, and her job lacks glamour: “There’s a reason that there’s no TV show called CSI: Forensic Accounting.” She always gets stuck with tasks like “figuring out why the hell a two-door wardrobe in the spare room of a country house is considered to be a matter of national concern.”

But crises loom, duty calls, and Myfanwy soon finds herself using her own superpower to battle horrid Belgian monsters — at least whenever she isn’t “laboriously penning formal invitations to the members of the Court to come dine at the Rookery tonight before observing the unbelievably magical amazingness of the United Kingdom’s only oracular duck.

“Of course, I couched it all in slightly more impressive terms.”

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Daniel O'Malleyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duerden, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Het lichaam dat je draagt was ooit van mij.
For my father, Bill O'Malley, who read to me at bedtime,
and my mother, Jeanne O'Malley, who read to me the rest of the time.
First words
Dear You,
The body you are wearing used to be mine.
She stood shivering in the rain, watching the words on the letter dissolve under the downpour.
According to Thomas, the city had once been a veritable hotbed of manifestations, with every sorcerer, bunyip, golem, goblin, pict, pixie, demon, thylacine, gorgon, moron, cult, scum, mummy, rummy, groke, sphinx, minx, muse, flagellant, diva, reaver, weaver, reaper, scabbarder, scabmettler, dwarf, midget, little person, leprechaun, marshwiggle, totem, soothsayer, truthsayer, hatter, hattifattener, imp, panwere, mothman, shaman, flukeman, warlock, morlock, poltergeist, zeitgeist, elemental, banshee, manshee, lycanthrope, lichenthrope, sprite, wighte, aufwader, harpy, silkie, kelpie, klepto, specter, mutant, cyborg, blrog, troll ogre, cat in shoes, dog in a hat, psychic, and psychotic seemingly having decided that THIS was the hot spot to visit.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
"Dear You:
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 dead bodies — all wearing latex gloves. With no memory of who she is or how she got there, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and escape those who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in the Checquy, a secret government agency that protects the world against supernatural threats — from sentient fungus to stampeding ectoplasm — while keeping the populace in the dark. But now there is a mole on the inside, and this person wants Myfanwy dead.

In her quest to save herself and unmask the traitor, Myfanwy will encounter 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 have imagined. And she must learn to harness her own rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability.

Suspenseful and hilarious — "Harry Potter meets Ghostbusters meets War of the WorldsThe Rook is an outrageously inventive debut novel for readers who like their espionage with a dollop of purple slime, or their supernatural thrillers with an agenda and a pencil skirt.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316098795, Hardcover)

"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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:17 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A high-ranking member of a secret organization that battles supernatural forces wakes up in a London park with no memory, no idea who she is, and with a letter that provides instructions to help her uncover a far-reaching conspiracy.

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
329 wanted2 pay1 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.14)
0.5 1
1 7
1.5 1
2 8
2.5 5
3 31
3.5 27
4 134
4.5 34
5 129

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 98,994,883 books! | Top bar: Always visible