NOVEL: The Rook
AUTHOR: Daniel O’Malley
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2012
The Rook is a little bit Harry Potter, and a bit of James Bond, and a lot of Jason Bourne, with a female lead. Myfanwy Thomas is an operative in a secret supernatural agency in London, and also an amnesiac. Can she save herself (and the rest of us) from threats inside and outside of her organization?
Well, of course she can–what else would you expect from a supernatural thriller? It’s funny, and pretty clever, and extremely, extremely weird. It’s hard, no, make that impossible, to take The Rook very seriously, with its preposterous story line and quirky protagonist (her memory loss has, fortunately, resolved much of her past trauma, although somehow her new personality has incorporated an awful lot of what feminist literary theorists call “the male gaze”). The world-building is imparted through huge data dumps (Myfanwy’s prior personality, realizing something was seriously amiss, wrote extensive letters to herself in anticipation of losing her memory).
If you can get past the overused tropes and the very-much-not-believable female perspective, and just go along for the ride, it’s a fun (and very silly) adventure. Intriguing premise, interesting characters, humor, snark, and all kinds of strange happenings kept me turning the pages, despite the novel’s flaws. Best not to give this one too much thought…this is entertaining beach reading, not immortal literature.
RATING (one to five whistles, with five being the best): 3 Whistles
HOW TO PURCHASE: Amazon
Laura LaVelle is an attorney and writer who lives in Connecticut, in a 100-year-old house, along with her husband, two daughters, and two cockatiels.
Laura can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Book Cover Image & Book Cover – Hachette Book Group
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