Wednesday 11 June 2014

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Starting out with a whopper of a premise (person wakes up without memories, surrounded by dead bodies, and has instructions from her own former self about what to do), The Rook is a novel that's not afraid to entertain.

A tongue-in-cheek tone, plenty of action scenes, and a world full of superpowers, secret organisations, hijinx and adventures. It's very light reading, thin on worthiness, big themes, and even characterisation. (Even by the end of the book, many of the characters and names seemed quite interchangeable to me).

It's not even very good at convincing anyone of its setting: it may nominally take place in London (and the rest of Britain), but it never feels as if the author has actually set foot in the city (or the island). The plot has a tendency to get a little lost among big setpiece action scenes, and some of the side plots are pure distractions with little purpose.

It reads like a comic book / action movie.

But it also reads like fun. A damn big shedload of fun. I'd recommend it for a light-hearted diversion.

Rating: 4/5

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