I was very excited to finally get the chance to read this sequel to The Rook, which was one of the most fun books I've read in as long as I can remember. The setting's concept is not one I see often, a covert government organization consisting of people with supernatural abilities whose job is to fight monsters. O'Malley's characters often have some very original and very creepy supernatural talents. He writes with a clever sense of humor. There is only one other author I can recall who wrote about a similar sort of secret organization, and that was Brian Lumley's Necroscope series. It's very different, and much darker, than O'Malley's world.
I was looking forward to reconnecting with Rook Thomas once again, and was surprised to find that this book, for the most part, is not from her perspective at all. Its two primary characters are Felicity, a Pawn, and Odette, a grafter. They are both likable characters that I managed to get attached to once I accepted that Myfanwy was not the main character. I liked them, but not quite as much as I liked Myfanwy.
Many of the supporting characters are what makes this book so interesting. I found Rook Gestalt in the previous book creepy and absolutely fascinating. I also really enjoy Lady Farrier, and Graaf is a very intriguing addition.
The story is pretty fast-paced. There is a great deal of action. If there was any more of it, I'd say it was too much, but he manages to ensure that there is plenty of time for character development in between life-threatening events. The characters have time to develop some of their friendships and do a little bit of introspection. The plot itself was one that I could not figure out. As twists were revealed, they were not what I expected, but they did make sense. Although I enjoyed The Rook even more than this one, I am not disappointed beyond the fact that I no longer have any more to read. I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoyed The Rook.