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review 2017-06-06 02:35
Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley - My Thoughts
Stiletto - Daniel O'Malley

Sad to say that I didn't enjoy Book 2 as much as I enjoyed Book 1, The Rook.  I can put it down to too much infodumping and backstory and not enough story set in current times with the current action.  As well as there not being enough of Myfanwy Thomas, the lead character from Book 1.

The main focus of this book is really twofold, two main characters.  First we have Pawn Felicity Clements, the Checquy soldier/bodyguard who is set to 'babysit' the Grafter girl, Odette Leliefeld.  One of the best things about the story is the relationship between the two young women.  I wanted more of that.  Originally they dislike (hate?) each other, filled with distrust and suspicion but gradually, over time and adventures, that changes and they become friends, even close friends.  I actually liked both of them quite a bit but felt that I would much rather be in 'their' story than reading back over their pasts - mostly Odette's.

Myfanwy is around, she's the boss and she's the one trying to broker the deal between The Checquy and the Grafters to join forces and fight the big, horror bad guys.  She sees things very pragmatically and clearly and knows what has to be done.  I liked how both young women seemed to look to her as a type of role model even though she's really only about 5 or so years older than they are.

The plot was windy and twisty and involved a splinter group of the Grafters and even some monsters popping up from God knows where.  I would have preferred more thought be given to this part of the book than the set up and world-building (really infodump backstory filler author masturbation, if you ask me) and that would have made it hang together better and kept me turning the pages far past the time I should have been asleep.

So... good book, good read, but not as good as I was hoping or expecting.

Oh, I have to say, the artist who did the cover art, one Lindsey Andrews did a STELLAR job!  In my ereader this cover looks as if there's a big crack in my screen!  I kept doing double takes when I'd catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye.  Big kudos!!

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review 2016-08-21 05:30
The Checquy Files - Book 1...
The Rook - Daniel O'Malley,Susan Duerden

Synopsis:

"'The body you are wearing used to be mine.' So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

 

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Checquy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

 

In her quest to uncover which member of the Checquy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined."

 

Review:

This is a remarkable work of urban fantasy! Definitely one of my top favorites of 2016. The characters & plot are both so ingenious. They're absolutely incredible & O'Malley incorporates humor with such an ease that it comes off not only very funny but very natural. 

 

The audio narrator, Susan Duerdon, is also fantastic! Her performance made a 5 star book even better. I really can't recommend it enough - add it to your TBR, you won't be disappointed! 

 

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text 2016-08-19 06:49
Reading progress update: I've listened 4%.
Stiletto: A Novel - Daniel O'Malley,Hachette Audio,Moira Quirk

Damn I hate when they change narrators in the middle of a series! Ughh! Not that I don't like Moira Quirk. She seems to be good too but Susan Duerdon's voices and accents had just started growing on me. Now I have to readjust my perception of all of the characters! : (

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text 2016-08-16 17:38
Reading progress update: I've listened to 100%.
The Rook - Daniel O'Malley,Susan Duerden

I have another top favorite for 2016 - this was fantastic!

 

Review to come...

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review 2015-06-29 16:07
The Rook by Daniel O'Malley - My Thoughts
The Rook - Daniel O'Malley

On Her Majesty's Supernatural Secret Service is the tagline for this first novel from Daniel O'Malley and that's exactly what it is.  What a fun read this was!

 

This was a guts buy from the get go.  I saw it in a list of first books on a book blog, I think and was intrigued by the blurb so I added it to my 'to buy' list about a year ago.  I don't recall any type of review or even comment on it, but I do remember that this was the part that hooked me...

 

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain.  

 

One of the things that makes this book stand out is that it's filled with humour and a healthy dose of irreverence.  It has some real laugh out loud scenes which is like a breath of fresh air.  Sometimes though, I thought the author got carried away and there was one scene in a very tense part of the book where the humour got fairly slapstick and if it had been toned down just a bit I think the scene would have worked a lot better.  

 

There are also info-dumps... OMG, are there info-dumps!  But you know what?  They work for the most part because they're presented as letters of instruction from the former Myfanwy to the one in the story.  There were one or two that I found a bit too long and tedious and wondered exactly what they were bringing to the narrative.  For those two reasons, I rated The Rook as 4 stars instead of 4.5.  

 

The characters are fun and if they're sometimes a bit over the top, I refer you to the tagline once again.  Same thing with the plot.  But it does all hang together, it all works, and that's what matters to me.  This was a book I was looking forward to continue reading whenever I had to put it down.  There's a second book coming in 2016  (Stiletto), but really, The Rook does stand well enough on its own.  

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