MI5 for wizards….
That is what the cover says and so naturally I snatched it up. Despite it not being accurate, I am very glad I did. MI5 is correct. And boy is an excellent organisation. The Checquy are incredible! If a supernatural MI5 doesn’t exist then they should create one and model it on this. But anyway… Lets start with what I’m actually going on about shall I?
We meet Mythanwy Thomas who has just woken up in a park surrounded by dead gloved men. And with no idea how she got here. Complete amnesia. Luckily, the previous Mythanwy knew this was coming and ensured that she left letters for Thomas in order to understand and navigate her way, not only through her job at the organisation but also trying to find out who did this to her. There is a spy in the top orders of the Checquy (the supernatural MI5) who did this to her and will continue to try to kill Thomas. Luckily, she is prepared. Not to mention, she has an awesome super power which is control people by touching them. You try pointing a gun at her? She will make you point it on yourself. VERY COOL. Mythanwy Thomas is a Rook and is one of the highest roles of the organisation yet she never does fieldwork. She is the queen of admin and is the organiser of life and missions. So when normal meek Mythanwy is replaced with a strong-willed and confident Thomas, things begin to get interesting…
Espionage, super powers, crazy creatures, spies, guns and the highest of secret government operations are a recipe for a fantastic novel. O’Malley creates a complete world underneath our own in the very heart of London. I love the main character. I think that she is awesome! She is a badass and I love the response people have to her when she actually starts to boss them about and demand respect as opposed to what she used to be. No one knows about the amnesia yet they can all tell she has come into her own.
I really enjoyed the different relationships between everyone and it was really funny at times. The letters from the old Mythanwy to the new where so insightful. I really enjoyed hearing stories about what the Checquy had encountered and how they dealt with things (told through Mythanwy’s letters). It was very well done.
A lot happened throughout the book which was great to read but I think that perhaps it was a little too much. It distracted from the real story. The ending was disappointing as well. It was all too calm and civil for my taste and due to what I think may happen in the second book, I’m not sure I will jump to read it. I may have to revisit but I would love for the next book to be from a different perspective of a different agent. Now THAT would be awesome.
Tiny thing though: they are in London, the main character is English… Why are there mentions of ‘the holidays’ and pop tarts for breakfast? They are just a couple of examples… it shattered the world view a little for me but didn’t take away from the whole package.
So all in all. Great characters, great relationships, great action, great bad-ass-ness (yes, I just created that word), great book. If you love everything supernatural with super-powers then this is for you!
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley