Stiletto : The Checquy Files

  • by Daniel O'Malley
  • Narrated by Moira Quirk
  • Series: The Checquy Files
  • 23 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this spirited sequel to the acclaimed The Rook, Myfanwy Thomas returns to clinch an alliance between deadly rivals and avert epic - and slimy - supernatural war.
When secret organizations are forced to merge after years of enmity and bloodshed, only one person has the fearsome powers - and the bureaucratic finesse - to get the job done. Facing her greatest challenge yet, Rook Myfanwy Thomas must broker a deal between two bitter adversaries:
The Checquy - the centuries-old covert British organization that protects society from supernatural threats, and...
The Grafters - a centuries-old supernatural threat.
But as bizarre attacks sweep London, threatening to sabotage negotiations, old hatreds flare. Surrounded by spies, only the Rook and two women who absolutely hate each other can seek out the culprits before they trigger a devastating otherworldly war.
Stiletto is a novel of preternatural diplomacy, paranoia, and snide remarks from an author who "adroitly straddles the thin line between fantasy, thriller, and spoof" (Booklist).


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A 24-hour-long novel that should be 10 hours

I loved the Rook, and was really excited to see that a sequel had finally been published. Unfortunately, Stiletto seems to suffer from second-novel disease, and, instead of the tightly-written Rook we get a meandering book in desperate need of an editor. It takes almost 8 hours for the main characters to meet, time that is filled with details like the types of medical tests being run on a character or the exhaustive childhood backstory of every random individuals mentioned in the text. So much is clearly unnecessary, that even with the engaging characters and great reading, the book really drags at points.

It is clear that O'Malley has become enamored with the world he has built, and wants to show us every detail. Unfortunately, it is not always a particularly coherent or interesting world - there are lots of odd tonal changes (characters see their friends slaughtered, then have witty banter) and lots of details going into explaining how aspects of the world works that still seem full of logical holes. For example, O'Malley writes at great length about how operatives are taken away from their parents who are led to believe their children are dead or missing, but the adult operatives are still allowed to keep their names and mingle with the general population, with only their birthdate changed. As a result, the attempts to explain how this fantasy setting fits into our own often seem belabored. Elements of the main plots run into similar problems, as the author really wants to justify that the two main groups of the novel REALLY hate each other, in ways that aren't always believable.

That being said there is still fun to be had. The characters are interesting, and the humor is still there, even if it leans a little too heavily on randomness (people being turned into chairs, or having the power to control stoats). The reading is also really excellently done.

I really wish this novel had been cut down by at least half, because there is a good story with fun characters, if you are willing to sit through a lot of filler.
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- Ethan M. "On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through"

More complex than The Rook

Instead of telling the story from the point of view of one character, Daniel O'Malley treats us to the points of view of two. Neither of them, by the way, is Myfanwy Thomas. The characters start out kind of feeling like cardboard cutouts, but they really develop greatly throughout the story into people I really wanted to keep up with. Many of our old favorite characters appear throughout the book, some more than others. Overall, I found the book to be very rewarding.

Moira Quirk of obviously a very good narrator. But I found myself missing the old characters as related by Susan Duerden, especially Myfanwy. Ms. Quirk's representation of Myfanwy was much more pedestrian, as if she were a secondary character who didn't need much fleshing out. She also changed voices and accents for just about every other established character. I found myself regretting this throughout the book.

But overall, a great story and well worth the credit.
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- Thomas Allen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-14-2016
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio