Book Review: The Rook (Excellent)

This book took me by surprise. I fell in love with it, and was disappointed to realize that the next book is still on its way toward publication. However, do not be dismayed, it was a great read on its own. I am not even sure how I came about reading this book. I had it on a list of “To Read” at the library, and I reserved it, a week of reading, and it was wonderful.

    The Rook is a fiction novel written by an Australian author, Daniel O’Malley.

Several aspects drew me into this book, which will help you determine if this is a book for you. I have recently discovered I am an Anglophile, I love English books. This book travels the UK in an interesting and fun adventure.

    Another aspect I am always drawn to is Mystery. The inside cover of this book hooked me immediately.

    “”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.”

    Finally, Secret Service. I did not actually read the tagline at the top of the book for awhile into the book, but the title, as you can see in the picture above reads: On Her Majesty’s Supernatural Secret Service: The Rook. I have been into the Mi6 intrigue in recent movies, and am finding myself drawn increasingly to books with this aspect.

The supernatural bit wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was well done. With a world of “Teen Paranormal Romance” and such garbage, it can be hard to find a good book with a fantasy element. This book was excellent in that regard. I was never taken out of the book by the weird, supernatural, or vampires. The language, characters, and action kept me fully engaged and did not require crass techniques to keep the reader stimulated.

    Because I am into English Mysteries involving the Secret Service, this was a wonderful find for me. If I was only into one of these, however, it would have been just as enjoyable. I thought that it was a book a great many people of different reading styles could enjoy.

It was also wonderful to read an adult book without extreme violence or lust being thrown in my face. I often read from Teen and Young Adult because I am wary of the content of adult fiction, but this one was very appropriate, and I would recommend it to 7th grade and older as the perfect alternative to Twilight, and as higher reading level than Harry Potter. As a young student my siblings and I had a great deal of difficulty in finding books to challenge and entertain us because we were excellent readers. This is one of those books for students who have already read “everything” as well as for the parents and adults who want a good, solid, fun read.

I don’t want to give anything away about the plot because I highly recommend that you go get this book from your library and read it yourself. Have fun! I sure did.


The facts about the book.

Title:
The Rook

Author: Daniel O’Malley

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Publisher: Back Bay Books

Publication
Date: October 16, 2012

# Pages: 512

Price: Library: FREE

Kindle: $4

Paperback: $13

ISBN: 978-0316098809

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Weekly Goals

Last Week’s Goals:

Family

  1. Family Date
  2. Begin Reading 1st Marriage Book
    (I started This Momentary Marriage, by John Piper. It was a recommendation from several friends, and I am very excited to have started it. I am looking forward to reading it through March.)
  3. Photography Date with Louis to Look at Lebanon Pictures
    (It turned out that there were no Lebanon pictures Louis had not already shown me, but Sunday night we sat down and looked through all the pictures I took while he was away and discussed styles we liked and wanted to have. I won’t babble too much about it, but it was a great mini-date!)

Education

  1. Choose Pictures for Arabic Picture Books to Make
    (This is an ongoing process, but Louis and I going through pictures gave us some for the beginning, and he began filing them appropriately.)
  2. Study Arabic at least Once
  3. Bind Davy’s Books

This category was a little disappointing to look at near the end of the week because it was basically untouched. We still did homeschool, but with Daddy coming home, Ash Wednesday, and the other events throughout the week, on top of my utter exhaustion from being pregnant, Arabic and Davy’s books got pushed to the side again. This week I will need to scale back the expectations on myself because I am so exhausted.

Ministry

  1. Take time in the Morning to do 1 Samuel Study
    (Because of nightmares and several early morning runs to the bathroom from which I could not get back to sleep, I made excellent progress back toward morning devotional time. I was able to do the next chapter of 1 Samuel in the morning without much distraction.)
  2. Bible Reading Plan (I did about 75% of my readings for the week, which I think is pretty good. I knew it would be hard to continue the habit with Louis home because I had been reading at night. Now that he is home I want to spend time with him after Davy goes to sleep, so I often stay up with him and then pass out reading, or just skip it entirely. However, I did get caught up in the story of Joseph, so I read a huge chunk beyond my planned reading in Genesis. That was fun, and my plan for this week will just be a fresh start. No guilt.)
  3. Visit Friends
  4. Write Blog Post for Lisses to Lebanon

Personal

  1. Write Review of Rook
  2. Begin Reading a Fun Book
    (I started and finished another book which I will hopefully review this week.)
  3. Take Me Time (I really didn’t do this this week. I think that I am starting to get grouchy due to it, also. I need to focus in on this this week a little better and let Louis have Davy time on his own without me having to be there. I am hovering too much this week, next week I want to be more stable.)

This week was actually pretty well accomplished considering how exhausted I got near the end of it, and Davy and Louis starting to get sick! Yay God for reflection time to realize how much was accomplished!

This Week’s Goals:

Family

  1. Begin Hospital Bag for Kyrie & Mommy
  2. Write Love Notes to Louis & Kyrie
  3. Keep Reading This Momentary Marriage

Education

  1. Bind Davy’s Books
  2. Choose Pictures for Arabic Picture Books
  3. Reestablish Potty Routines

Ministry

  1. Write Lisses to Lebanon blog post.
  2. Find a morning to study next chapter of 1 Samuel
  3. Bible Reading Plan

Personal

  1. Me Time: Make hairbows, cross stitch, or read.
  2. Write Review of The Girl in the Steel Corset
  3. Write Review of The Rook
  4. Library Trip

This Week’s Bible Reading Plan

Monday

Epistle = 2 John

Gospel = Acts 6-10

Poetry / Prophets = Proverbs 4

Old Testament = Genesis 48

Tuesday

Epistle = 3 John

Gospel = Acts 11-15

Poetry / Prophets = Proverbs 5

Old Testament = Genesis 49

Wednesday

Epistle = Revelation

Gospel = Acts 16-20

Poetry/Prophets = Proverbs 6

Old Testament = Genesis 50

Thursday

Epistle = Finish Revelation

Gospel = Acts 21-25

Poetry/ Prophets = Proverbs 7

Old Testament = Deuteronomy 1

Friday

Epistle = 1 Thessalonians

Gospel = Acts 26-28

Poetry / Prophets = Proverbs 8

Old Testament = Deuteronomy 2

Saturday

Gospel = Matthew 1-5

Epistle = 2 Thessalonians

Poetry / Prophets = Proverbs 9

Old Testament = Deuteronomy 3

This Week’s Bible Reading Plan

Monday

Epistle = 2 Timothy

Gospel = Mark 7-11

Poetry/Prophets = Psalms 34-38

Old Testament = Genesis 34

Tuesday

Epistle = Jude

Gospel = Mark 12-16

Poetry/Prophets = Psalms 39-41

Old Testament = Genesis 35

Wednesday

Epistle = 1 John

Gospel = Acts 1-5

Poetry/Prophets = Proverbs 1

Old Testament = Genesis 36

Thursday

Epistle = 2 John

Gospel = Acts 6-10

Poetry/Prophets = Proverbs 2

Old Testament = Genesis 37

Friday

Epistle = 3 John

Gospel = Acts 11-15

Poetry/Prophets = Proverbs 3

Old Testament = Genesis 38

Saturday

Epistle = Revelation

Gospel = Acts 16-20

Poetry/Prophets = Proverbs 4

Old Testament = Genesis 39

Sunday

Epistle = Finish Revelation

Gospel = Acts 21-25

Poetry/ Prophets = Proverbs 5

Old Testament = Genesis 40

Weekly Goals

Last Week’s Goals:

  1. Get an idea of the Expectations I have for When to Put Davy in Preschool
    (I think I will post a little of my thoughts from this experience in a separate post, but it was good to go visit a preschool for a few hours in America to know where my head is. Davy did very well for being way too young for an American preschool. The added bonus was getting to see my sister at work, which was fun! I am glad she has a job she loves.)
  2. Finish up 2015 Goals to Post to Blog (Finally! The goals are posted, and from now on I will use those categories to fill out my Weekly Goals.)
  3. Pick Up Louis at the Airport
    (So happy to have Louis home!)
  4. Spend Time With Daddy! (Even though Daddy and Mommy were both probably way too tired, we went to Schnepf Farms to support Grandma Karen (my mom) and see her art at the sale going on, and we got to see the farm with Davy. It was so fun!)
  5. Spend Time With Hubby! (Louis and I got to have a Valentine’s Date and go for a drive, dinner, and a movie.)

This Week’s Goals:

Family

  1. Family Date
  2. Begin Reading 1st Marriage Book
  3. Photography Date with Louis to Look at Lebanon Pictures

Education

  1. Choose Pictures for Arabic Picture Books to Make
  2. Study Arabic at least Once
  3. Bind Davy’s Books

Ministry

  1. Take time in the Morning to do 1 Samuel Study
  2. Bible Reading Plan
  3. Visit Friends
  4. Write Blog Post for Lisses to Lebanon

Personal

  1. Write Review of Rook
  2. Begin Reading a Fun Book
  3. Take Me Time

My Goals for 2015

Well, it has been over a month of preparing for this post. Here are my goals broken down into their categories:

Family

    1. Family
      1. Walks: Two to Three Times a Week
    2. Marriage
      1. Read 6 Marriage Books This Year
      2. Encourage Louis’ Photography: Monthly
      3. Play Killer Bunnies: Twice a Month (When We Return to Lebanon)
      4. Make At Least 3 New Music Mixes Together
      5. Read 1 Book Together
    3. Kids
      1. Organize Clothing: Monthly
      2. Write Love Notes: Monthly
    4. Kyrie
      1. Nursing
      2. Headbands
        1. Create them
        2. Wear them
    5. David
      1. Improve Routines (ex. Teeth Brushed)
        1. Use abcjesuslovesme.com past self-care skills and manners
        2. Toilet Training: Daily
        3. Teeth Brushed: Daily

Education

    1. Homeschooling
      1. Crafts: Twice a Week
    2. Arabic
      1. Homework/Practical Sentences: Weekly
      2. Pimsleur CD’s: Twice a Week
      3. Study Plan: Make Weekly Project Goals
      4. Make Arabic Books for Davy and Kyrie: Before We Head Back to Lebanon

       Ministry

      1. Bible
        1. Morning Quiet Time: (Work Back Up To Full Quiet Time in Morning When We Return to Lebanon)
        2. MemVerse: 4 Times a Week
        3. Listen to 12 Online Sermons
        4. Read 6 Good Quality Christian Books
        5. Make a Digital Prayer Binder & Gratitude Journal & Write in Them Daily
        6. Read Entire Bible
          1. Read Entire New Testament 10 Times Through (Basically Once a Month & Giving Myself 2 Months Slack for Kyrie and the Move Back to Lebanon)
        7. Do 2 In-Depth Bible Studies: One Topical, One Book
        8. Attend Bible Study: Monthly
        9. Increase Giving
      2. Fellowship & Grouping
        1. Find an Arabic Church in Lebanon
        2. Attend Church: At Least Twice a Month Focus on Fellowship More
        3. Invite More People Over & Visit More People: Aim for Once a Month

  1. Lisses to Lebanon Blog
    1. Posts Planned
    2. Two Posts Per Month (Hopefully, one written by Louis each month at least)

Personal

    1. Mommy Book Blog
      1. Read 24 Books for Fun
      2. Post my Book Studies
      3. Post Weekly Goals
      4. Post Something Every Week
      5. Get Blogs Organized and Usable
        Budget
        1. This category has some goals, but I am not going to be sharing them on this blog, so you will just see the four main Categories in the coming weeks.

Weekly Goals

Last Week’s Goals:

  1. Finish up 2015 Goals to Post to Blog (I think about this at all the wrong times. With packing up and going to Mesa and then getting ready to go to Flagstaff, I just never really sat on my computer to get anything done. I need to just set aside the time to do this because I know God is leading my Goals.)
  2. Bind Davy’s Books from the Last Two Units (I brought the books to Mesa with me, but that was as far as I got.)
  3. Rewrite Budget (This was actually a very relieving task. I still have a little bit of budgeting to get to for the future, but our basic budget is done. This helped me feel much more equipped to get back to fundraising for our remaining budget. I also kept keeping this low priority in my mind because I was dreading it so much, but in reality it was the most important task because now it will be done before Louis comes home. That removes stress from him, which is a great Valentine’s Present.)
  4. Begin making Weekly Goals that include the 2015 goals (I use my Daily Goals Excel Calendar every day, but I have not really put the Big Goals into the Calendar, so the beginning of a habit is there. Now I just need to follow through.)
  5. Blog Cleanup: Edit Scheduled Posts, Add Appropriate Widgets, and Move Posts (I honestly never even thought about this goal again until I checked how a blog post looked and realized I hadn’t done this.)

This Week’s Goals:

  1. Get an idea of the Expectations I have for When to Put Davy in Preschool
  2. Finish up 2015 Goals to Post to Blog
  3. Pick Up Louis at the Airport
  4. Spend Time With Daddy!
  5. Spend Time With Hubby!

Last week was an example of poor prioritizing. I kept shifting goals that had not been accomplished down to the next week, and I ended up with goals that I doubt I ever had any intention of accomplishing. The first goal also affected all the other goals that didn’t get done, so it was also unrealistic to expect those goals to happen. I think I just threw goals down on a page without really knowing how my week would look. My goals should have been more along the lines of the traveling we would be doing last week and this week.

This week I know that I will just be counting the hours until Louis is back with us. So, I am planning three whole Goals around seeing him. That seems more reasonable. He arrives on Friday!!!