Candace Burton's Reviews > The Rook

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
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's review
Aug 01, 12

really liked it

Well that was outstanding. It's not often I read a book sort of at random without knowing anything about it in advance, nor is it often that one can find a debut novel so completely well-formed and enjoyable to read. Imagine, if you can, that someone has put a Jason Bourne book, a Terry Pratchett novel, and a hefty pinch of PG Wodehouse in a cocktail shaker and decanted you THIS. Sounds impossible, yes? So does the world of Myfanwy Thomas and her Chequy colleagues, at a secret British agency whose major tasks are the preservation and management of supernaturally-powered persons for the preservation and management of the country. The book begins with Myfanwy having lost her memory and going through an amazing series of events in an attempt to figure out how, why, and when she lost it, and how she might get it back. Which she doesn't, exactly. Instead, she starts a new life as her old self, complete with impossible power, otherworldly friends and foes, and a very upright secretary who will make you think you're having tea with James Bond's beloved M. If that's not intriguing, there's O'Malley's rather startlingly enjoyable writing style, his wry humor, and his amazing ability to keep you guessing just enough that you can't quite put The Rook down.

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