Monday, November 12, 2012
The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
Imagine waking up not knowing who you are. You are in a park, surrounded by dead people. Then you find the letters in your pockets, letters from the person you don't remember being. That is the situation faced by Myfanwy (The name frightened me at first, but they tell you that it rhymes with Tiffany. I don't think I would have known how to pronounce it otherwise, in my head) Thomas in The Rook.
As it turns out, Myfanwy is part of a secret English organization called the Chequy (It's French, so "shek-eh;" pronunciation is very important to me) that protects the country from the supernatural threats to its security. Myfawny is one of the youngest rooks in the organization, having moved through the ranks because of her fantastic administrative skills. The old Myfanwy is also rather timid and shy, and she doesn't command much respect in the Chequy. Despite having a potentially great power, she never uses it and doesn't know how to access it. She is known for staying about the office and filling out paperwork, and needing a bag for when she becomes sick during medical examinations.
It turns out that amnesia is just the solution Myfanwy needs, and the new Rook Thomas isn't playing the quiet little mouse. Someone inside the organization caused her amnesia, someone who may attack her again when she finds out the truth.
I highly enjoyed this book. It's sort of a British X-Men story. The letters that Rook Thomas wrote for herself are a good technique for the exposition that is required for the story. And because I suck at ending these things, I'm just going to include the book trailer here: