HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
Loading...

The Rook (2012)

by Daniel O'Malley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Checquy Files (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2921106,071 (4.12)147
  1. 40
    Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (Rubbah)
  2. 10
    The Incrementalists by Steven Brust (TomWaitsTables)
  3. 10
    The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer (TomWaitsTables)
  4. 21
    The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross (crimeminister)
  5. 10
    London Falling by Paul Cornell (pwaites)
    pwaites: An urban fantasy mystery taking place in London.
  6. 10
    Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor (majkia)
  7. 43
    Soulless by Gail Carriger (crimeminister)
  8. 00
    Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Same kind of quirky humour and style
  9. 00
    Yesterday's Hero by Jonathan Wood (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Both books are about British secret agencies protecting humans from supernatural threat and both are laugh out loud funny.
  10. 00
    Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone (pwaites)
    pwaites: Urban fantasy with a strong female lead and no romance.
  11. 00
    The Portable Door by Tom Holt (hoddybook)
  12. 11
    The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (TomWaitsTables)
Loading...

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 147 mentions

English (108)  German (1)  All languages (109)
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
Myfanwy Thomas is a high-ranking official in a secret government organisation, called the Checquy Group, that deals with supernatural threats to the British realm. However, when she wakes up soaking wet in a rain sodden London park surrounded by dead bodies she doesn't realise this. Her memory is gone. So it seems like a godsend when she finds a letter purportedly written by herself that explains a little of her current circumstances and advice on what to do next. Myfanwy is also offered a choice by her former self: Live a brand new life as a completely different person in a different part of the world or adopt her old life and try and find out who betrayed her and put her in her current predicament and seek revenge for what they did to her. Two lockboxes are being held for her at a bank and all she has to do is choose which way she wants to proceed with the rest of her life. Myfanwy's resolve for a new life is suddenly revoked when she is attacked in a supposedly secure location of the bank vault and after somehow managing to survive she changes her mind and decides to see what she can accomplish and find out why her life is in such peril.

The idea of using letters from the old self to the new offers up an interesting way of providing infodumps not just for the character but the reader as well. It's also how we get to know the old Myfanwy as well. A shy, quiet person who is very reluctant to exercise her full powers and much to her teacher's disappointment never reached her full potential. Myfanwy 2.0 is not quite so reluctant to explore her gifts and can't wait for any opportunity try them out (a discussion group could use this for a nature vs. nurture debate I'm sure). There’s also a fine bunch of characters that surround Myfanwy and each has a variety of different powers to utilise in their positions within the Checquy. There’s plenty of humour along the way with one particular set piece providing much hilarity (except for the duck). It’s a very good effort for a first novel and I look forward to the next instalment. ( )
  AHS-Wolfy | Jul 2, 2016 |
This book was kind of amazing.

My only issue was that the story was leading up to a confrontation (which we got) but the resolution happened off-page. There was conflict at the end of the chapter. And the next scene was the aftermath of a event we didn't see. It just felt like something was missing. I even flipped back to see if I skipped a page by mistake.

But that aside, the story was fab. ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
Excellent; hard to put down.Highly recommend.
( )
  GeetuM | Jun 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (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
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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.
Thus, while other members of the organization attain high positions through their remarkable accomplishments in the field, I became a member of the Court simply through my work in the bureaucracy.

Does that sound lame? I'm very, very good. There's not a formal timeline for ascending to the Court. In fact, most people never get in. I am the youngest person in the current Court. I got there after ten years of working in administration. The next-youngest got in after sixteen years of highly dangerous fieldwork. That's how good an administrator I am.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original 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
356 wanted2 pay2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.12)
0.5 1
1 9
1.5 2
2 9
2.5 6
3 43
3.5 32
4 180
4.5 39
5 161

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

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 | 107,450,195 books! | Top bar: Always visible