26 January, 2013

Book Review - The Rook

From Goodreads: "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.

Thoughts: The first thing this book manages to do is make me feel old - not the fault of the author, but the fault of the person who recommended it to me...who I use to babysit...who just got married...whose sister has two children...making me old!
Anyway, once I'm past that I take the book on it's own merits. The premise of the book is interesting - the main character awakens in a London Park, surrounded by bodies and no idea who she is. A letter in her pocket begins with the words "The body you are wearing use to be mine." The letter then goes on to give the new owner two choices - select box number one, run away, become someone else or try and figure out who did this to them. Sensibly, Myfawny (rhymes with Tiffany) chooses option one - until events force her to choose number 2 instead.
Luckily for her, her predecessor knew what was going to happen and has left some most helpful letters plus a file detailing all she needs to know to continue living her life as an administrator for a paranormal secret service while trying to solve the mystery of who wants to kill her.
The book is well written and a very enjoyable read. A really enjoyed the clear division between new and old Myfanwy is clear and evident. Personally I think the amnesia has done her a favour. The world constructed by O'Malley is believable and fantastical - and it's nice that for once it all started in somewhere other than America! If I had one criticism it's the fact that old Myfawny seemed to have managed to include all the information new Myfawny could possibly need in her letters and file. At no point was new Myfawny left frantically scrabbling through her information only to find a hole. For me the file and letters became a bit of a plot device - almost clunky. Thankfully the use of both dropped off and the pace of the book picked up because of it.
The Rook is worth reading - some great funny parts (like the future telling duck!) and I look forward to the next in the series. Best of all, it fits into all my challenges!  Thanks to Luke for recommending it, can you go back to being 10 now? 

Challenges:  Ebook Challenge, Aussie Author Challenge, 13 in '13