The Rook by Daniel O’MalleyThe Rook by Daniel O'Malley
Narrator: Susan Duerden
Series: The Checquy Files #1
Published by Hachette Audio on March 1, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Mystery
Length: 17 hrs, 51 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

As Myfanwy battles to save herself, she encounters a person with four bodies, a woman who can enter her dreams, children transformed into deadly fighters, and an unimaginably vast conspiracy.

Loved this book! Granted it’s not perfect – there’s a fair amount of info-dumping made palatable by the whole amnesia bit. It’s kind of a paranormal, sci-fi-ish spy thriller, with a dollop or two of humor.

As the blurb says, Myfanwy wakes up with no memory  surrounded by dead bodies. She is guided back into her life as one of the heads of a secret paranormal agency by letters she wrote to herself, having known she would lose her memory thanks to the warnings of a variety of psychics, including a duck. So she fakes her way, but also discovers she has an AWESOME power that the old her barely made use of. She’s a character to root for, the underdog due to her amnesia and that people underestimate her and never truly respected the old her. Oh and she’s facing an enemy who has been waiting for revenge on England for centuries and has all kinds of yucky, nasty and dangerous things/people/fungi at their command.

The agency is full of inter-office politics, jockeying for position/power, uncomfortable Christmas parties.Oh, and someone she works with probably wants her dead, or at least out of the way, but the old Myfanwy never figured out who, so the new Myfanwy can’t be sure who to trust. Some of the supporting characters could use a little more development,but with such a large cast, that’s probably to be expected.

The plot moved quickly, except for when the letters bogged it down. I personally enjoyed the format, but I could see where it might annoy some people. I listened to the audio and really enjoyed the narrator’s reading. She nailed Myfanwy’s new personality for me, especially the sarcastic and amusing comments.

The mystery of who stole Myfanwy’s memory and why was well-done. I was surprised, but the whodunnit made sense given the clues. I’m looking forward to listening to the second in the series.

About Daniel O’Malley

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.


  • I’ve read about this book on several blogs recently though never the audio version.

    A book that seems to be being well received. Given that its part one of a series and not a book that screams ‘read me’ to me I’ll think I’ll pass … though never say never.

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