The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
This story starts with a woman waking up in a public park surrounded by dead bodies wearing latex gloves. There is a letter in her jacket pocket that says "The body you are wearing used to be mine." And so Myfanwy Thomas learns that she is a high-ranking member of the Chequey, the supernatural branch of the British Government, has potentially deadly super powers, and is being hunted by one of her own colleagues. She is given the choice to resume the life of the previous Myfanwy Thomas, whose memories were eradicated in some unknown way, or to escape and build a new life for herself. Both choices have their own separate kinds of risks but the new Myfanwy decides to see who is trying to take her down and what she knows that could make her a possible target for any of her co-workers. She has to dig through a past she doesn't remember, socialize with the very people who could be hunting her down, and figure out how to run a super-secret supernatural organization that covers up any supernatural incidents without catching the attention of the public. All the while, a guild of alchemists from Belgium are trying to sneak their genetically engineered mutants into the United Kingdom and Myfanwy and the rest of the Chequey think that it may be another try at global domination. Full of crime and mythical creatures, magic and secret government conspiracies, this book leaves you guessing until the very end. Even as the characters are introduced you have to wonder which one is trying to get the protagonist out of the way and all the while you are left wondering why anybody would want her out of the way anyways.
Something about this book that struck me as interesting was how well the author, Daniel O'Malley blended the make believe world of this secret organization into the everyday life that all of the rest of the world was living. I really liked how seamlessly he fused the two worlds and made it so that the characters had to keep stepping between fantasy and reality. It was also a wonderful read because each of the characters was so deep and so well developed and the reader was always left wondering who could be responsible for the things that Myfanwy was uncovering. The author also waited until the very end to reveal who the villains were and included an even bigger twist that left the book open for the opportunity of a sequel, which i find very exciting because I really enjoyed the book and the way it was written.
I would recommend this book to anybody 13 and up. It was actually a kind of slow read but not because it was boring. Let me make this crystal clear: it was a wonderful amazing suspenseful story and never got boring. Some of the scenes tend to be a little on the graphically violent side, but it was a really good book and one of the best books I read in ages. I read most of it over vacation and when I really sat down it was very easy to become engrossed because the reader becomes as obsessed as the main character with finding out who she really is and what is going on in her mind and with the multitudes of secret organizations she deals with on a daily basis. So good. For all those who want a supernatural novel blended with a psychological thriller, this would be the book for you. SO good. Im sorry it's over now.