O'Malley, Daniel. The Rook

"The body you are wearing used to be mine."  So begins the letter that Myfanwy Thomas finds after opening her eyes in the middle of a public park surrounded by dead bodies and with no memory of who she is or what has just happened.  Her former self, it turns out, knew the amnesia was coming and prepared carefully, giving her future amnesiac personality two choices: To begin a brand-new life, far from England, under an assumed identity; or to take up the life and persona of Myfanwy Thomas and figure out who betrayed her and caused the amnesia.  Myfanwy (it rhymes with “Tiffany”) chooses the latter, and, via reams of letters and notes left for her by her former self, discovers that she is a Rook, a high-ranking executive in the Checquy Group, a secret supernatural agency policing the British empire and keeping it safe from super- and paranormal threats.  She also discovers that, despite her job and her own paranormal abilities, the former Myfanwy Thomas was actually a pretty boring person with a pretty boring life.  Keeping her amnesia secret proves to be difficult when she realizes that she’s a much more forceful personality than the one which formerly inhabited her body.  Meanwhile, at least one other member of the Checquy’s ruling body knows about her altered circumstances because Myfanwy was betrayed from within the organization, making it impossible for her to trust any of her compatriots—and whoever attacked Myfanwy won’t stop there. The safety and security of all of Britain is under threat and only the new Myfanwy can stop it.

Debut author O’Malley takes the concept of a secret supernatural government agency and makes it entirely his own, with a witty and unique spin on the superhumans among us. An appealing main character and liberal doses of genuine humor further enliven this already thrilling supernatural suspense story. Sequels are to be hoped for!

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