Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

The opening scene in The Rook by Australian author Daniel O'Malley has a badly-bruised woman waking up in a London park surrounded by dead bodies, all wearing latex gloves. She has total amnesia and must rely on letters left by her former self to reconstruct her identity. Quickly, because she obviously has enemies.

Myfanwy (rhymes with "Tiffany") Thomas is a Rook, a high-ranking officer in a top secret organization tasked with maintaining British security. Someone in the organization is a traitor. Everyone has special powers, including Myfanwy. She's kind of a mash-up of James Bond, Thursday Next and Christine Lucas (from Before I Go to Sleep). Myfanwy Thomas is intelligent, resourceful and appealing. She's also dangerous.

I listened to the audiobook performed by Susan Duerden [Dreamscape: 18 hours]. Duerden does a fine job of sorting out the dialogue of the many characters. Expect lots of action, a good dose of humour, and mutants with X-men-like powers. Throw in a bit of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, too. The Rook is inventive, suspenseful and highly entertaining.

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