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The Rook (2012)

de Daniel O'Malley

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: The Checquy Files (1)

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2,7351924,581 (4.1)238
A high-ranking member of a secret organization that battles supernatural forces wakes up in a London park with no memory, no idea who she is, and with a letter that provides instructions to help her uncover a far-reaching conspiracy.
Afegit fa poc perArina6000, Ms.LibraryCat, biblioteca privada, amykpugh
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» Mira també 238 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 192 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Clever book, with a fast paced plot. There were a few details about the female characters that made me notice the book was written by a man, but nevertheless I appreciated that the author included a large cast of interesting women. ( )
  bangerlm | Jan 18, 2023 |
I had no idea what to expect when I started this book. A friend read it, didn't tell me anything about it, and I didn't read the blurb before I dove in. I didn't even look very closely at the cover, which would have given me some clues. I did later see that someone had compared it to X-Men meets X-Files and that seems about right.

I was hooked from beginning to end and am a little sad to say goodbye to some of the characters. I've heard the second book in the series isn't like the first - still good, but pretty different - and I don't think I'm ready to tackle that one just yet.

One thing I didn't expect was to laugh as much as I did. What a great story and a great main character. I certainly recommend this one to anyone who enjoys political intrigue and science fiction.

Oh, and the narrator did a great job on the many different voices. Her inflections during narration, though, kept pulling me out of the story. Not too badly but enough to think repeatedly, "please change that!" I understand that she doesn't do the second book so I'll be interested to know how I like the new narrator once I get around to it. ( )
  amcheri | Jan 5, 2023 |
4.5 stars - I love this book. It's just so much fun to listen to. Enjoyed it just as much the 2nd time around. ( )
  amcheri | Jan 5, 2023 |
I didn't care for the main character's awkwardness at first, and when I realized a large part of the narrative was epistolary, I almost put the book down (thinking it would be just a expositiony crutch). So glad I kept on reading! Grew to love the protagonist (who becomes a lot less awkward quite quickly) and while "secret organization for the supernatural" isn't a new trope, the way O'Malley weaves the memory loss plot and conspiracies was fresh and a ton of fun. ( )
  ajhackwith | Jan 3, 2023 |
4.5 stars, but I rounded up because it was so fun and imaginative. The idea of a supernatural secret service had instant appeal for me, and this book had been recommended by a couple of friends. The dry humor and silliness that permeated the book was a delightful surprise and had me laughing out loud all the way through. This would have been perfect on audio with Stephen Fry as the reader. I actually started this on audio, but the reader (who was not Stephen Fry) made me tense, so I switched to the book.

The two versions of Myfanwy were distinctly characterized and both likeable, and I loved the character of Ingrid. With so many people dropping like flies, I was glad she was spared I hope to see more of Alrich and Eckhart in the next book.

The ending was a little drawn out, with more time spent explaining than I liked, hence the 1/2 star downgrade. But there was still so much humor and cleverness, it didn't bother me too much.

Highly recommended. Looking forward to the next installment. It will be interesting to see what he does now that there are no more letters to intersperse with the present-day narrative . ( )
  Harks | Dec 17, 2022 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 192 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I became intrigued by Daniel O’Malley’s debut novel, The Rook, when Time book critic Lev Grossman raved, more than a month before the book’s release, that “this aging, jaded, attention-deficit-disordered critic was blown away.”

Indeed, The Rook is great, rattling fun, as if Neil Gaiman took Buffy the Vampire Slayer and crossed it with Torchwood.

It starts with a bang: Myfanwy Thomas awakens in a rainy London park, surrounded by a ring of dead bodies, all wearing latex gloves. She has no idea how she or the corpses got there. In fact, she doesn’t even know that she’s Myfanwy Thomas, because she is suffering from amnesia and remembers nothing about herself.

Myfanwy is a Rook, a junior-level member of the Court, an elite group of eight super-powered intelligence agents. The Court runs the Checquy Group, a British agency on Her Majesty’s Hyper-Secret Service, so powerful that it makes MI6 look lame. In fact, Myfanwy learns, “The Court answers to the highest individuals in the land only, and not always to them.”

Myfanwy discovers everything about herself from a dossier entrusted to her by “the original Myfanwy Thomas,” the person she was before she lost her memory. Her amnesia was no accident: One of her mysterious colleagues on the Court, she learns, is a traitor who wiped her memory and now wants her dead.

In the meantime, Myfanwy must step back into her own life and relearn everything about being Rook Thomas, all without anyone finding out what has happened to her. Her own life is anything but normal, because the Checquy Group is always on the lookout for monsters. One can never be too vigilant, since “Checquy statistics indicate that 15 percent of all men in hats are concealing horns.”

Thanks to the Checquy, Britons are blissfully unaware that supernatural forces constantly threaten the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. (The Checquy’s American counterpart is called the Croatoan, a little in-joke that is never explained but which students of American history will immediately get.) The worst of these threats to the U.K. are the Grafters, who come from Belgium, a mild-mannered nation that O’Malley manages to render extremely sinister.

Throughout a rip-roaring narrative, O’Malley off-handedly weaves deadpan humor. As a Rook, Myfanwy is more paper-pusher than field agent, and her job lacks glamour: “There’s a reason that there’s no TV show called CSI: Forensic Accounting.” She always gets stuck with tasks like “figuring out why the hell a two-door wardrobe in the spare room of a country house is considered to be a matter of national concern.”

But crises loom, duty calls, and Myfanwy soon finds herself using her own superpower to battle horrid Belgian monsters — at least whenever she isn’t “laboriously penning formal invitations to the members of the Court to come dine at the Rookery tonight before observing the unbelievably magical amazingness of the United Kingdom’s only oracular duck.

“Of course, I couched it all in slightly more impressive terms.”
 

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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Daniel O'Malleyautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Duerden, SusanNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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For my father, Bill O'Malley, who read to me at bedtime,
and my mother, Jeanne O'Malley, who read to me the rest of the time.
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According to Thomas, the city had once been a veritable hotbed of manifestations, with every sorcerer, bunyip, golem, goblin, pict, pixie, demon, thylacine, gorgon, moron, cult, scum, mummy, rummy, groke, sphinx, minx, muse, flagellant, diva, reaver, weaver, reaper, scabbarder, scabmettler, dwarf, midget, little person, leprechaun, marshwiggle, totem, soothsayer, truthsayer, hatter, hattifattener, imp, panwere, mothman, shaman, flukeman, warlock, morlock, poltergeist, zeitgeist, elemental, banshee, manshee, lycanthrope, lichenthrope, sprite, wighte, aufwader, harpy, silkie, kelpie, klepto, specter, mutant, cyborg, blrog, troll ogre, cat in shoes, dog in a hat, psychic, and psychotic seemingly having decided that THIS was the hot spot to visit.
Thus, while other members of the organization attain high positions through their remarkable accomplishments in the field, I became a member of the Court simply through my work in the bureaucracy.

Does that sound lame? I'm very, very good. There's not a formal timeline for ascending to the Court. In fact, most people never get in. I am the youngest person in the current Court. I got there after ten years of working in administration. The next-youngest got in after sixteen years of highly dangerous fieldwork. That's how good an administrator I am.
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A high-ranking member of a secret organization that battles supernatural forces wakes up in a London park with no memory, no idea who she is, and with a letter that provides instructions to help her uncover a far-reaching conspiracy.

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