Daniel O'Malley is an exceptional storyteller. I give the man credit for that. His creativity carried me through 18 hours of audiobook listening (this and the enjoyable voice of the narrator) and I felt wonderfully entertained for the most part of it. But that's it. If you expect an adventure from a novel containing a multitude of charcters with extra-special-superpowers then "The Rook" is not for you. It is a succession of anecdotes. If you peel away the layers of (albeit well told) details, there's not much of a plot left. "The Rook" tells the story of a conspiracy in the ranks of a secret goverment agency and that's it. To do so it draws on a huge personal of very special characters, which is entertaining if you happen to enjoy the audiobook version (the narrator is able to produce a million voices, just lovely!). But I really couldn't picture myself reading the actual printed book. Because it is quite a volume and it has this awful lot of information that doesn't add to the progress of the story at all. I expected adventure, suspense and a larger than life secret to be discovered - only to be let down at the end. Because the end is a 1 1/2 hour giant snooze-fest that doesn't make any sense, but instead makes you wonder why you endured * ALL THOSE FUCKING DETAILS * if they haven't got anything to do with it.
The "purple" binder the heroine receives from the previous owner of her body at the beginning is the most shameless excuse for blatant info-dropping I EVER came across in a book. O'Malley just doesn't know the difference between necessary details and senseless blabbering. There are parts where things keep happening and these parts are actually suspenseful, but as it turns out they, too, are not important at all for the outcome of the book. They are just entertaining. You could omit any of those passages without damaging the story.
There's no epic showdown, no big ass revelation, just plain old telling what happend sometime in the past and let to this. And for whatever reason this makes the ultimate threat we have been promised for umpteen pages go away... Really? Does that little chit chat at the end make up for the piles of dead bodies the story produced? Hell no! Did anyone grab the bad guys by the nuts and nailed them to the Tower walls as they deserved? NO! We're not given the least bit of satisfaction, we're just being told how some of them got caught and trialed.
Well, needless to say I feel cheated. This story severely lacks DEPTH. Read this for the fun of it, but do not expect it to make much sense.