The Rook: A Novel Audiobook [Free Download by Trial]

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The Rook: A Novel

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Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization and this person wants her dead.



  • The Rook: A Novel opens with a rather clichéd premise, featuring an amnesiac protagonist who has no personal memories but possesses strong instincts. Starting off reminiscent of the Bourne Identity and later venturing into a world similar to X-Men, Daniel O'Malley manages to balance between being predictable and genuinely clever. The book is a blend of supernatural beings, secretive government organizations, hidden realms, and schools for those with unique abilities. While The Rook is not solely focused on super heroes and villains, it certainly draws inspiration from X-Men. The voice acting by Susan Duerden is exceptional, but her performance falls short in the narrative sections. Her tone becomes monotonous, with a strangely melodic and robotic quality that almost sounds like a sophisticated text-to-speech program. While the words are there, the lack of variation in inflection becomes monotonous and frustrating. Particularly in the early parts of the book, where narrative passages are lengthy, I found myself annoyed, which is unusual for me as I am not a demanding listener. Thankfully, as more characters are introduced, Duerden spends less time in her repetitive robotic style. That being said, as a debut author, Daniel O'Malley proves himself to be a worthwhile read. My only complaint is that it seemed like every significant character was described as being "beautiful"... how many attractive people can there possibly be in a single novel? ;)
  • I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book. At first, I was hesitant to even give it a listen, but I bought it during a sale and decided to give it a shot. It sat untouched in my library for a while until I finally felt guilty enough to start it. And let me tell you, within five minutes, I was completely hooked! The story follows Myfanwy Thomas, who wakes up in a London park with no memory of who she is or how she ended up there. She discovers two letters in her jacket pocket, written by the previous owner of the jacket, who also happens to have been the previous inhabitant of Myfanwy's body. Through these letters, she learns that her memories and personality have been erased, and the person who opens her eyes in the park is not the same person who closed them. As if that's not enough, she also discovers that her memory loss was orchestrated by one of her own co-workers, who is a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy. This organization is dedicated to protecting the country from paranormal threats like dragons and slime-covered houses. Now, I know this may sound like the plot of a cheesy B-movie, but Daniel O'Malley's talent truly shines through in this fresh and imaginative debut novel. It manages to take what could have been a cliché supernatural mystery and turn it into a clever and fun escapism fiction. The characters are well-developed, the plot moves at a brisk pace without feeling rushed, and it's the kind of book that can make you lose track of time while still keeping you grounded in reality (which is always a plus when you have responsibilities). Some reviewers have complained about the narrator, but personally, I thought she was excellent! I would suggest listening to the preview to see if her voice and cadence are to your liking. If they are, then there's a good chance you'll enjoy her narration throughout the entire book. If not, I highly recommend getting a physical copy because this book is definitely worth it!
  • This book is a delightful combination of Harry Potter, James Bond, and British wit. While the ending could have been stronger, the plot has potential for a sequel. The narrator exhibits great versatility with various voices, but regrettably, they chose to make the main character's voice extremely irritating, and read the story without any intonation. I strongly suggest listening to a sample beforehand, as it can be as grating as nails on a chalkboard.