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The Rookby Daniel O'Malley
Synopses & Reviews
"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.
"At the start of Australian author O'Malley's impressive debut, a supernatural detective thriller distinguished by its adept use of humor, an unknown woman reads a letter that opens 'Dear You' and closes 'Sincerely, Me.' The letter informs the woman that she now inhabits the body of Myfanwy Alice Thomas. A second letter from Thomas gives her body's new mental occupant a choice — either flee London to take up a new, carefree life of affluence, or pretend that she is in fact Thomas in order to identify the person responsible for her memory loss. If the situation isn't confusing enough, the 'new' Thomas finds herself in the middle of a park in a heavy rain; scattered on the ground are motionless bodies wearing latex gloves. After making the more interesting choice, she learns that Thomas is a 'Rook,' one of the leaders of a super-secret government organization that protects an unknowing public from a wide variety of paranormal threats. While the 'old' Thomas has left detailed explanations about people and things for her successor, the 'new' Thomas still must struggle to mask her complete ignorance about some of her major responsibilities. Dry wit, surprising reversals of fortune, and a clever if offbeat plot make this a winner. Dr. Who fans will find a lot to like." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Utterly convincing and engrossing — totally thought-through and frequently hilarious....Even this aging, jaded, attention-deficit-disordered critic was blown away." Time
"Myfanwy (rhymes with 'Tiffany') Thomas wakes up in a London park surrounded by dead men, all wearing latex gloves. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. She finds two letters in the pocket of her jacket from her body's former owner. The first tells her the body is now hers and warns of danger. Myfanwy is a Rook, a high-level operative in a clandestine security force charged with protecting Britain from supernatural forces, and there's a mole in the organization who's trying to kill her. Possessed of her own supernatural powers, underestimated until now, Myfanwy proves unexpectedly resourceful and is soon kicking butt with the best of them. The pace never lets up in this entertaining high-action read. The ending is a letdown, but that's a small flaw in a great thriller. VERDICT First-time novelist O'Malley has fashioned a near-perfect supernatural thriller. The heroine is appealing, the villains all monsters or freaks, and something unexpected happens on almost every page. Don't start this book unless you've got lots of time, because you won't want to put it down. It's that good." Library Journal
"O'Malley's narrative is peppered with sly humor, referential social commentary and the ironic, double-layered self-awareness that will have genre fans believing Buffy the Vampire Slayer has joined Ghostbusters." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Dan O'Malley graduated from Michigan State University and earned a Master's Degree in medieval history from Ohio State University. He then returned to his childhood home, Australia. He now works for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, writing press releases for government investigations of plane crashes and runaway boats.
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