The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
Read for the July (GIANT) list of picks for the She-Geeks Book Group
Overall Score (out of 5): 3
Let me start by saying- this is my kind of book and I don't know how I missed hearing about it before. I'm so glad the group picked this one for July.
Here's what rocks about The Rook. The premise is genius. A secret agency of officers with titles and jobs based on a chess board (hence, our agent, The "Rook") who hunt down and hide the existence of supernatural creatures. Many of those who work for the agency has special powers, although some mundanes work for them too. Like a gang, once someone works for the agency they are in for life. There is no putting in your two weeks.
So, the idea is that Myfanwy Thomas (one of the Rooks) is a meek accountant in the agency who also has the power to manipulate people's bodies. She should be dangerous, but instead she is in danger.
When she wakes up, she is someone new and that new Myfanwy has to figure out 1. Who wiped out the memory of the original Myfanwy 2. Who has a vendetta against her and 3. How can the new Myfanwy pretend to be the old Myfanwy until she can solve the mystery.
Sounds great, right.
And for about a 100 pages, it is.
Then the tangents begin. Suddenly we have plots within plots, side plots, flashbacks (via letters the old Myfanwy wrote the new Myfanwy), and new characters that HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ORIGINAL PLOT. We have an American from a sister agency visit. We have a sister come out of the woodwork.
Somewhere along the line, the new Myfanwy has nothing in common with the old one and I liked the new one so much more. The problem is, that is the main plot line so we have to dance back across the tangents to get back to the mystery we were supposed to be solving in the first place and by the time we get there we have a much much bigger evil on the horizon and both the evil and the mystery get tied up in such a way that the reader feels like they've been cheated.
What this book needed was an editor with a supernatural sized red pen. For real.
Had Shanty and Bronwyn been cut from the book (eliminating about 100 pages of nonsense) the story would have felt tighter. Also, if we could have remained on the mystery more and the Grafters in another novel, that would have been more focused.
Also, the cover is terrible. It tells you nothing about the book you are about to pick up. It's too subtle. If I am going to read a book about purple slime invading nutjobs, I would expect a more imaginative cover.
I didn't hate this book. In fact, there were times when the storytelling hit it's mark and I was in a complete trance. What worked for me was the scenes when the agency reacted to problems. More of that please.
O'Malley would do well with fans of Jasper Fforde.
2011 ya scavenger hunt 2012 2012 DAC Alice series Angelfire angels Anna Dressed In Blood april henry article share banned books Best of 2011 boardwalk book blogger holiday swap 2010 book challenges book club books challenge challenges cheap and easy Cherie Priest child abuse memoir Choker Christmas ornaments comic books craft craft program crafting crafts diorama divergent doctor who Doctor Who Crafts easy programs EOTW fiction family event library programs gifts giveaway winner gnome craft goals goodreads Halloween IMM Its monday Its monday (2) Its monday (4) library library program library programs Lock in science fiction and fantasy Lord of the Flies middle grade book challenge Middle Grade books middle grade dystopian middle grade fiction Minecraft crafts mockingjay Moore oatmeal canister crafts Origami Yoda Peep-a-Palooza 2 Peeps revenant reviews sandcastle crafts she-geeks sophmore reading challenge St. Patricks Day storytime summer 2013 Summer reading survival teen book club teen craft teen lock in teen programs trivia well read WOW YA books Young Adult books
Here are some pix from my Alice in Wonderland Tea Party! This craft was open to 4 to 9 year- olds and it was a blast. T...
Whoo hoo! Time for some lucky, Irish fun. One lucky, lucky person will win a $25 gift card to Amazon to spend on whatever your little heart...
I have had an insane amount of fun this summer, but I always try to do something for Shark Week. This year I called it Shark Lab and we a...
I am so glad summer is over. To celebrate, we had a scarecrow craft at a neighboring library branch that is a little short staffed at the...
My daughter and I found these awesome plastic ornaments at Walmart for .84 each. We grabbed three and both said (at the same time) Doctor...
I just had to post about our Doctor Who Anniversary Party at the library. We made it all ages and this is one of those times when I reall...
Last summer I was eavesdropping on some of the ten to twelve year-olds at a craft program and they were talking about Gravity Falls. That ni...
Tonight's storytime followed the same format I use for all of my day storytimes as I have temporarily suspended my idea of doing story...
This craft was so awesome, it deserved its own post, but I did not actually get around to it until now (hangs head in shame). However,...
Well, I have just been a reading fool. I got the list for my YA Lit class a little early and started pounding it out. I will review some of...
Powered by Blogger.