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The Rook

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Rook (2012) Daniel O’Malley

I spent what felt like an entire day starting a book, then putting it aside because THAT was not what I was in the mood for. Or what I thought I might want to read I don’t have as an ebook. Whine whine whine.

So I opened up Calibre and read the descriptions of several books, sent them to my kindle and then randomly opened this one.

Then I didn’t look up again until it was time to go to bed.

So how to describe this book? How about with the first couple paragraphs.

Dear You,

The body you are wearing used to be mine. The scar on the inner left thigh is there because I fell out of a tree and impaled my leg at the age of nine. The filling in the far left tooth on the top is a result of my avoiding the dentist for four years. But you probably care little about this body’s past. After all, I’m writing this letter for you to read in the future. Perhaps you are wondering why anyone would do such a thing. The answer is both simple and complicated. The simple answer is because I knew it would be necessary.

The complicated answer could take a little more time.

Do you know the name of the body you are in? It’s Myfanwy. Myfanwy Alice Thomas. I would say that it’s my name, but you’ve got the body now, so I suppose you’ll be using it.

Myfanwy Thomas comes to herself surrounded by a group of bodies, all wearing gloves. But she doesn’t know who she is, or much of anything else. But she finds letters she wrote, because apparently her past self knew this was coming.

I really enjoyed The Rook. It’s a spy thriller if the spy was a forensic accountant.

Tracking the missing money was actually kind of fun, especially compared to all those records of corporate credit card transactions that I had to wade through. That shit was just tedious. There’s a reason that there’s no TV show called CSI: Forensic Accounting.

In a world where people with special abilities exist.

(T)he most effective psychics are the ones who never realize they’re psychic and instead manage to live excellent lives by consistently making the right decisions. Their powers effectively guide them through the shoals of life without their knowing.

There is a lot of exposition in this story, because the past Myfanwy left lots and lots of letters (and binders) for her future self, in the hopes that the future self would be able to find out who stole her memory and protect herself.

Some readers apparently disliked it, but I quite enjoyed it. And as Myfanwy slowly learned about her past and pretended to be herself until she became herself, it was often amusing.

Take the history of how the secret agency ended up becoming a part of the United States.

Over a cup of untaxed tea, Martha and Shadrach hammered out the details of the Croatoan’s absorption into the government. The negotiations were terrifying in their complexity, and the supernatural community still disputes who was the shrewder negotiator. Regardless, when George Washington arrived home, he found himself in possession of a covert supernatural agency.

And some other bits about recovering from amnesia.

She’d found a battery-powered item in the drawer of the bedside table but was somewhat wary of using it. Admittedly, it is mine. And it’s only ever been used on my body. But not by me. This is an aspect of amnesia that people don’t normally talk about.

If you don’t like epistolary stories, then this is REALLY not for you. But I quite loved it, and look forward to when the next book goes on sale or someone gives it to my for my birthday. :)
Rating: 9/10

Published by Little, Brown and Company

Categories: 9/10, British, Mystery, Supernatural     Comments (0)    



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