I found reading this book frustrating. I enjoyed it, and then I’d slam into a sentence or phrase that reminded me the author is a man. I have no inherent problem with male authors and I know men can write women, but this author seems to have had a hard time letting go of the male gaze. It did impact my enjoyment and lowered my star rating. Also lowering my rating were the endless letter/info dumps.
I’ve read some other CBR reviews of The Rook, and I seem to be out of step with the crowd on this one. I feel like I’m an outlier not a few books right now. I couldn’t finish Red Rising, and I don’t love The Rook.
I loved the premise, and I could understand and appreciate what O’Malley was doing with the letters from Mifawny Version 1, but I ended up skimming a lot of them. The story would get going and then bam! letter/info dump. There was a lot of exposition and back story all through the novel. I didn’t like it.
I complained earlier about the author imposing the male gaze on his main character. When Myfawny gets to a hotel after waking up, not knowing who she is, she looks at herself naked in the mirror.
Her body was not particularly fit-looking but seemed blessedly free of cellulite. Shaved legs. A conservative and recent bikini wax. More bruises had risen to the surface, but they didn’t conceal the fact that she was not possessed of an especially sexy body. I think I could do better, she thought. I won’t be able to hit the level of Hot, but I might be able to manage Cute. If I have a big enough budget. Or at least some makeup to work with.
Really? You’re going to worry about your “hotness”? Underneath all the memories and experiences that were stripped from your brain, what’s left are the teachings of Cosmo? It didn’t happen often, but every once in a while, Myfawny would channel the author’s male gaze and it would rip me out of the story and piss me off.
Everyone else seems to have liked The Rook, so maybe you should read their reviews instead. Just click on the tag with either the author’s name or the title, and it will take you to other, more positive reviews.