Well, it’s Friday again, dear readers! Time for your weekly dose of literature and liquor. Say aah.
This week’s selection is a fast-paced novel which is at once hilarious and suspenseful. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley was first brought to my attention by the other half of Team Nerd Cactus (you know her as C). Her description of it was “X-Men meets Monty Python’s humor”. And that’s exactly what it is. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read if you find the weird, wild, and utterly silly to be to your tastes. Well-written, high-action, and frequently funny you will fall under its spell by the end of Myfanwy’s first letter.
The novel opens with decidedly mysterious circumstances; a bruised woman standing in the rain, surrounded by dead bodies and no recollection of who she is. Things get strange when a letter in her pocket explains that the “previous owner of the body” was warned that something terrible would happen, resulting in amnesia. This is the central conflict of the novel; a main character with no recollection of herself trying to conduct herself through daily life via the instructions of her predecessor while trying to figure out who caused the amnesia and why. Now, if you aren’t intrigued by that, you’re hopeless…
Added to the genius of watching a character literally recreate herself you have the supernatural dimension of the story. That’s right, I said supernatural. You see, our heroine, Myfanwy (rhymes with Tiffany) Thomas is a Rook (a high ranking official) working for the Checquy (a sort of secret service of the supernatural). In her work as a Rook she discovers/masters her own supernatural talents and meets a person with four bodies, a woman who can enter her dreams, and a vampire. She also fights the largest supernatural threat in history, the Belgians…. Look, you’re really going to have to read this one for yourself, because I hate giving away too much information and this read is full of twists and turns and honest-to-goodness belly laughs. So go grab a copy and get to it!
As for the pairing: Myfanwy partakes in very little alcohol throughout the course of the novel because she has a rather low tolerance. In one memorable scene, however, she does indulge in an Apple-tini. Which is a perfect pairing for The Rook in itself. Vibrant, quirky, and flavorful ,an Apple-tini has the same qualities as O’Malley’s story. So go on and have a belt, my friends. It’s the weekend and you deserve it.
See you tomorrow for some Shakespeare Saturday!