The RookThe Rook
Year: 2012
Author: Daniel O’Malley
Length: 1,066 minutes / 17.77 hours

One of the nice things about listening to audiobooks from my library (via the Overdrive app), is that I can pick up a book and listen to it without really knowing what it’s about other than a title and a cover. In this way, I often have no preconceived notions about the book other than first impressions. At this point, all I’m giving up to “read” the book is the time it takes me to listen to it, and I have plenty of that driving to and from work every day.

Since I had no idea what this book was really about, I was surprised at how humorous it was. If I were to combine a few, better-known series together, I’d say this is X-Men mixed with James Bond, with just a dash of Jason Bourne all blended together in Monty Python’s Flying Circus. An odd combination, I know. But somehow, it works here. The humor is markedly British, but the characters and their powers are supernatural, to say the least. Since this was merely the first in a developing series, I can’t wait to get to book #2: Stiletto.

All this being said, there were a few structural choices to this book that I often found confusing, which may just be part of listening to it in audiobook form instead of reading it. First off, the decision to have the main character afflicted with amnesia was an interesting way to essentially give the audience what the character already would have known but had conveniently forgotten. Secondly, because the letters from her former self were used as backstory, these “flashbacks” were often confusing because it was easy to lose track of which Mfwany Thomas (glad I had the audiobook for the pronunciation of this name) was “speaking” at the moment.

An interesting premise with plenty of potential in future iterations, I give The Rook 4.0 stars out of 5.

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