The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

The Checquy Files, Book 1

Synopsis: “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.

Review: I heard a lot about this novel when it was released, and I discovered it with nominations on goodreads. So I was very curious to immerse myself in the story even if it is true that it took me some time to do it. But I had it, so I was sure I would read it. I must say now that I have finished it, I am charmed! This novel is a great discovery and I can not wait to read more!

Myfanwy opens her eyes one day without remembering anything of her life. It’s a very stressful and intense moment. Yet letters from the person she was in her pocket left her two choices, two diametrically opposed possibilities. She can go to a bank and choose a locker that will give her the opportunity to remake her life in another country and to be the one she wants or to return to her place in society, knowing that someone is after her and that she must discover her/his identity. Yet when she is attacked and that she finds herself using a power she did not even know she possesses, she knows she can not run away and needs answers.

So we follow our heroine who tries to take a place in her life even if it’s really far from simple. Fortunately for her, her old self left her many letters explaining the functioning of the organization of which she is a very important member. We alternate the chapters between letters and story, while observing how our heroine tries to adapt in this world whose decisions can have global consequences.

I really had a great time with this novel, the author offers us an amazing mix of humor, investigation, discovery and I was very eager to discover the purpose of the story. I was carried away by this first volume and I am waiting to read the second to see after such an end how things will evolve.

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