I’ve heard so many wonderful things about The Rook. So many people are reading it and loving it, and I was excited to read and love it too. What I’m going to say next is in no way a reflection of this book. I know that’s odd to say, since this is a review, but trust me this is only a reflection of ME.
What reviewing has taught me about myself is that my emotional investment in a book is directly connected to the characters and the character relationships. Not too long ago I did a book tag and one of the questions was whether I was character or plot driven. I answered that I’m definitely character driven. I can love a book with very little plot if the characters and their relationships soar. On the other hand a book can have an amazing plot, but if I don’t feel the characters in my heart I’ll probably only be lukewarm. When it comes to The Rook, unfortunately I’ve only been lukewarm.
The Rook has a brilliant plot, and the world is immense and well thought out, but (and spoiler here, probably) Myfanwy has no familial, friendly, or romantic connections to anyone. She doesn’t even have a connection to herself. That’s all actually part of that well thought out plot. “Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self.” It’s right there in the synopsis. I guess I just thought that more time would be spent on building connections, and I admit that at 55% (where I am right now) there’s been a start, but it’s just been too long without. I don’t feel invested.
So, basically I’m blowing out my breath in a exasperation… I’ve been reading this for so long, trying hard to force a connection. Wanting it. Sadly, it’s not the first time this has happened to me. For some reason there are a handful of really beloved books that don’t hit me the way they should, and unfortunately The Rook is one of those books. Except that I refuse to give up forever. I’m just going to set it aside for now. Maybe it’s just December? Maybe December is too hard for this book? December is busier at work, and busier at home. It’s the holidays. My mind isn’t completely here. For all the reasons I keep running through my head, I’m going to come back to you Myfanwy. I promise.