'The Rook' by Daniel O'Malley
Published on Friday, March 7, 2014 - 2:32pm
Say this name with me: Myfanwy Thomas. The first name is mostly pronounced like Tiffany but with an M.
Know who she is? No?
Neither does she.
Upon waking up in a park, surrounded by dead people all adorned in rubber gloves, notes from her pre-amnesia self give her the option of either taking the wealth she has stockpiled and disappearing from the UK to some Caribbean island to live an idyllic life or she can choose to tackle the mystery of who obliterated her prior consciousness and seemingly wants her dead.
You see, Myfanwy works for The Checquy, Britain's secret service for the paranormal (don't worry ethnocentric Americans apparently we have our own organization called The Croatan) and one of her high-powered colleagues is the one who betrayed her. Could it be Gestalt, aptly named because 'it' lives across four different bodies with the same mind? Or maybe it's the real-life vampire who appears as if he is striving to be as sexily enigmatic as popular culture demands his type to be. Myfanwy's own powers as well seem to be changed with her new lease on life, and she'll need them to navigate a United Kingdom rife with manifestations, cults and apparently some very angry Belgians.
Daniel O'Malley's The Rook is his debut novel, and while the premise can feel just a bit stretched (every urban legend and fantasy from dragons to things we haven't even begun to think up is true) he approaches the subject matter with enough humor to keep you willing to suspend disbelief and enough suspense for you to keep turning the page. It's light reading, but you'll be dying to reach the conclusion.