Take a little bit of Jasper Fforde, Joss Whedon, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, The X Files, and Sherlock. Now mix them together. What you get is The Rook, a delightful — and sometimes disgusting — tale of a kick-ass amnesiac named Myfanwy Thomas, a woman who has no memories of her life and who happens to work for a secret branch of the British government that deals with the supernatural.
I first heard about The Rook a few weeks ago, when I read narfna’s entertaining review (thanks, narfna!). I started reading, and to be honest, well, I wasn’t too impressed. The story starts out with a bang — a woman suddenly finds herself in a park, in the rain, surrounded by dead bodies all wearing rubber gloves, and has no idea where she is or WHO she is — but I just wasn’t that into it. I kept putting it aside, reading a page here and there, but not really into it.
And then. Well, then we meet Gestalt, Myfanwy’s co-worker. I’m not going to give any spoilers, but MY GOD. Gestalt is one of the most interesting and original characters I’ve ever come across. And suddenly, I was hooked. I seriously could not put this book down and stayed up way past my bedtime for two nights in a row to finish it.
The plot is crazy. Amnesiac Myfanwy finds a letter in her pocket from old Myfanwy, who knew she was going to lose her memory and prepared her new self for it. She gives new Myfanwy a choice: take all of my money and a new identity and move far, far away, but be aware that whoever did this to you could someday come after you and kill you OR take my place, take my job, take my old life, and find out who did this to us and why.
Its no secret to tell you that Myfanwy chooses option two. She decides to “become” Myfanwy Thomas, and dives headfirst into a world of monsters (both natural and created) and superpowers.
I really enjoyed this story. O’Malley is a very witty writer, and its always refreshing to read about such a kick-ass heroine. I gather that a sequel is in the works, and I’m quite OK with that.
Added bonus: Myfanwy’s sister is named Bronwyn, and that happens to be my oldest daughter’s name.