So you know those books you read and fall in love with? Well that’s what happened to me after reading The Rook. I finished it back in 2012 (the same year it came out) and looked forward anxiously for the day Daniel O’Malley published a sequel. So I waited… and waited… and waited… and waited. I waited two years followed by three delays pushing back another year and a half, but it arrived, pre-ordered, on my doorstep Thursday June 16th, 2016 (two days after it had been released I might add, thanks a lot postal service). So of course I shelved the other books I was reading and dedicated my reading time exclusively to Stiletto. After waiting so long with such high expectations I began to wonder if it would be as good as I expected or if I would be let down after almost four years of waiting. I’m happy to say that Stiletto was worth every bit of the wait. That being said I would really appreciate it if Daniel O’Malley could maybe not make me wait quite as long before his next book.
The Chequey, a super secret supernatural government organization tasked with protecting the British isles from all supernatural manifestations, is now beginning negotiations to merge with one of the very groups they have tried to destroy: the Grafters. Myfanwy Thomas heads the negotiations, but her job becomes a lot harder when a series of supernatural attacks begin happening across London and threaten to disrupt the negotiations and lead the two sides into another horrific war. Working to avoid the true nature of the attacks getting out Myfanwy, with the help of a grafter and a pawn who loath each other, must figure out who is behind the attacks before events escalate to a devastating end.
These books (Stiletto and its predecessor, The Rook) are lesser-known books that deserve the spotlight. They captures the thriller, fantasy, and supernatural genres and flips them upside down so their knickers are showing. As one reviewer from Booklist says so perfectly, Stiletto “adroitly straddles the thin line between fantasy, thriller, and spoof.” In my opinion that is the perfect amount of everything wonderful.
For those who have read the first book and are excited about this sequel (which should be everyone who read the first book because it was that amazing) you may be a little concerned with the fact that Myfanwy Thomas is not the main character any more. You do get a couple scenes from her perspective, but you mostly follow two women: a young pawn and a young grafter. I was worried at first, but my concerns were quickly eased. The two new protagonists bring a great deal to the table and the book is not short in Daniel O’Malley’s dry humor that contributed so much to the first book. I’m still unable to deduce whether I like The Rook or Stiletto more, which I believe to be what every author should strive for: a sequel that’s just as good as the first book. It makes me a little more forgiving of the fact that it took him so long to write this book. But only a little.
As for downsides the only one that I can think of is the language. There is a bit of language including the frequent use of the f-word as well as others, and I understand this might be a deterrent for some. I do wish authors wouldn’t use quite so much language when writing, but there’s little I can do about that.
But if you’re comfortable with some language than I implore you to give these books a try. I honestly believe that most people would enjoy these books. I’ve recommended The Rook to several people (5 to be exact) and every one of them finished it and had nothing but positive things to say about it. So if you aren’t reading a book, make this your next book. If you are reading something I completely understand. Take your time, finish the story your reading, and then put this near the top of your reading list. You won’t regret it.