The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

It’s been a while since I posted a new book in my Favorite First Lines series but but I have a great one for you this month.

The Rook

Dear You,

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 dead bodies – all wearing latex gloves. With no memory of who she is or how she got there, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.  Inside cover of The Rook

Editorial Reviews

“Utterly convincing and engrossing—totally thought-through and frequently
hilarious. The writing is confident and fully fledged. Even this aging, jaded,
attention-deficit-disordered critic was blown away.” (TIME
Lev Grossman)

“The pace never lets up in this entertaining
high-action read….A near-perfect supernatural thriller….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
David Keymer)

“Adroitly straddles the thin
line between fantasy, thriller, and spoof….O’Malley is a nimble writer,
effortlessly leaping back and forth between comedy and action. There’s plenty of
room here for a sequel that readers will no doubt begin clamoring for before
they’ve even finished this book.” (Booklist David

“Impressive….Dry wit, surprising reversals of fortune,
and a clever if offbeat plot make this a winner.” (Publishers

“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) –This text refers to the Hardcover

I had a lot of fun with Daniel O’Malley’s The Rook and really enjoyed my time spent in this highly imaginative world.  If any of you have read it I would love to talk about your impressions. If this post leads you to add it to your “to be read” pile please let me know!

This is the sixth book featured in my Favorite First Lines series.  Previous months include The Secret History, The Magicians, The Shadow of the Wind, The Iron Hunt, The Night Circus and The Name of the Wind.  If you would like to see the full posts please follow this link.

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5 thoughts on “The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

  1. At your suggestion last summer I read this while laid-up after foot surgery and a year later I still think about it! I hope, hope, hope there will be a sequel. The scene when they first discover the source of the purpose mold spores has stuck with me the most. Which scene sticks with you?


    1. The purpose of the mold spores was a big moment for me too but I think the first thing that caught my attention was the author’s way with dialogue. I really had fun with his dry sense of humor, even during the darker scenes.
      Yes, there will be a sequel. 🙂 It is finished and with the editors now!


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