Yesterday I was telling a friend of mine about the imminent release of The Stiletto – book #2 in The Checquy Files – since he was the one that made me read book #1 in the first place, it seemed fit.
So, for today’s Lost in Time, I’m sharing you with what I thought about The Rook, 4 years ago.
Each time I think in reviewing The Rook, I’ll start wringing my hands without knowing where to start and end up giving up. Seriously, I have the draft post since the day I finished it, totally blank but for the title… It just stays there… taunting me…daring me to write.
The conflict of ideas that the book causes me is such that as hard as I try, I can’t seem to come out with some kind of line of thinking to form a decent text. Even now, I’m here putting words out aka stalling big time whilst brain tries (and fails spectacularly) to keep ideas straight. Only solution is to improvise and see what comes out. Who knows, maybe something readable. Whatever the case is, today is the day.
The Plot: Myfawny Thomas, the new one, wakes up in the middle of nowhere, during a downpour, looking like a victim of a severe case of domestic violence. She also can’t remember who she is, she is surrounded by dead people, each single one of them wearing latex gloves and has two numbered envelopes on her coat pocket.
The number one envelope contains a letter that has, hands down, the best first line I ever encountered on a book:
The body you are wearing used to be mine”
From this point forward we discover Myfawny suffered a complete erasure of her memories and also belongs to a secret organization of special talent people – a mix between M6 and X-Men – where she answers by the title of The Rook, and that the attempt to her person came from the high command of said organization (2 Rooks, 2 Knights, 2 Bishops, the King and the Queen).
That means she has two choices 1)Run away, build a new identity and begin a new life from scratch – an easy task since she can’t remember a single fact of whom she is or 2)Assume her old life, discover who the traitor is and why on earth she was chosen as a target.
What I think of it: A true page turner. There wasn’t a single moment where I felt the need to stop or wanted to take a break. Nope, not here. The book engages us till the last page, and each chapter brings more questions than answers. The way the story and the main character’s personality, before and after losing her memory, is told totally sucks us in. Even if sometimes the “Dear You” moments appearing in the middle of a dramatic scene makes me want to punch or kick something – specially if the letter in question looks like not adding up to the moment in display at the moment.
I really liked that the main character seemed to be so lacking on the I-am-a-specialized-secret-agent department. It makes the story real. The old Myfawny had elite training from an early age. The new one only has the instincts and the folder containing every single aspect of her life, careful compiled by the old self when she realized she would be erased.
And yes, the book was a big conspiracy theory inside another one. A little too much than I use to like, it made me suspect of everything and everybody, but it also kept my interest till the very end, that was satisfying and still kept enough lose ends for a sequel. That, even if I don’t rush in as soon as it gets out, I’m definitely planning on reading it.
As a curiosity fact, The Rook is set in the UK, has American slang and habits and was written by an Australian author. A nice mix.
Highly pimped out by a friend with a lot of “you have to read it!”, “have you read it yet?” and “start reading it NOW!” moments.
Read as a BOM @ NBRC.