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Review: Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley

By / June 14, 2016 / no comments

Stiletto is the second (and last it seems) in a series called The Checquy Files. I read it without having read ‘The Rook’ and I wasn’t out of the loop, in fact I didn’t even realise until I was already well into the story.

From Amazon because I don’t do summaries

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. (They literally graft weapons onto their skin and change their actual bodies to do super cool stuff [from Danica])

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.

25695756It’s was a pretty awesome book. While I would classify it as urban fantasy. It was a nice twist to the lone wizard/witch/shapeshifter. I really appreciated the fresh lift to the sub genre. It is also a whole lot more than just UF.

The character’s reactions to dealing with the decree that now the Checquy and Graters are friends are refreshingly realistic and definitely relatable. The relationships between those in power as they work together and against each other is frustrating at first and eventually satisfying, in all the right ways. O’Malley doesn’t rush the character development and it is a strength of this novel.
The world building actually functions as part of the novel with real intent from O’Malley, he has done a good job. The places the characters take us to have special significance not just to the plot but to the characters, their traditions and we can see how it fuels their motivations.
The plot is fast past, a lot happens and it is totally kick arse. The ‘magic’ is new and it works in the time and place. The setting is neatly interwoven with the action and it will probably work more for those from England than it did for me.

There were some bad bits.

O’Malley lets his bad guys explain their motivation in an info dump … so so very disappointing
There is a fair bit of downtime in between the fast past badarse parts. I think there were some parts that could have been cut without losing the essence of the story. I was so engrossed that this didn’t bother me until the end when I stopped and took looked back after the ‘end of the novel glow’ wore off.

Read Stiletto is you like:
The politics of secret organisations
When the setting feels like a character
You would like to read about weird, but a WAY less HK weird than Perdido Street Station
You live in England and like books set there
Are an Aussie and you want to contribute to the success of one of your own (who is actually writing some really fresh stuff for our beloved genre)


This book was given to me to review. It’s out NOW and the series is going to be made into a TV show!!

Happy Reading!

About the author


Danica can't spell or type correctly despite it being a pretty big component of her day job (she struggled with component and had to spell it out). She loves to read and just wants people to find books they love.Happy Reading!


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