Book Review: Eoin Colfer’s The Hangman’s Revolution

Posted September 7, 2014 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Eoin Colfer’s The Hangman’s RevolutionThe Hangman's Revolution on June 24, 2014 and has 376 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

two-stars

Second in the W.A.R.P. science fiction series for middle grade readers. Set in London, it involves time travel.

You don’t stand a hope of understanding this mess without having read The Reluctant Assassin, 1.

My Take

Do NOT miss the “Might Have Been” chapter. Without it, you’ll be even more confused.

It’s not just a trip back in time, it’s a trip into the slimy, vicious underworld of Victorian England with its cant and outlook. And Colfer does very well at setting this scene. He certainly makes Otto stand out *eye roll*, and you’ll be laughing your head off in between wondering what is going on.

To get an idea of how bad Box’s War is, imagine the Communist takeover of Russia only it spreads throughout the world with the same type of massacres, the same sort of manifesto, and the killing of anything fun or beautiful. The only country that has held out are the French. Yeah, who knew?

Colfer really swings wide on this, making the bad guys so amazingly bad and full of clichés. The professor’s kitchen defies description. For good reason, although he does have the most appalling luck as he keeps dying. I am curious as to why the Thundercats don’t try to stop the professor.

It’s an intricate plan that requires betrayal, daring, and luck with a cast of colorful characters on both sides. It’s chases, attacks, and the roar of cannon. It’s also a time of disappointment for Lunka. What she was indoctrinated to believe is not what she expected and another hero appears for her.

I did not, however, buy into Boxite Chevie at the end. How stupid can she be? After all that’s happened, why haven’t the two Chevies merged? Why didn’t Boxite Chevie question Traitor Chevie? Of course, Vallicose is pretty much of an idiot as well. This ending was where it fell down for me.

It’s certainly full of action, craziness, and yanks you back and forth all over the place. And probably worth reading if only to be prepared when The Forever Man comes out in June 2015.

The Story

Unfortunately, Colonel Box came up with his own ideas for the time tunnel, and Chevie’s appearance in Victorian London has sped those plans up. A very bad thing as history originally had flooded Box out and washed his plans away. Now…well, now he has every chance of succeeding as young Chevie finds out when she awakens to her life as a Boxite cadet and her own growing insanity.

Not to worry though, she’s so out of step with the current Boxite regime that they plan to execute her. Unless…she can go back and stop the Blessed Colonel and prevent the world’s destruction.

Or let the madness overtake her and let the world spiral down.

The Characters

Chevron Savano is a young FBI consultant who got caught up in Box’s and Smart’s opposing plans in The Reluctant Assassin. Traitor Chevie is the original Chevie starting to reassert herself. Just last night, she was merged with this Chevie through a time paradox. DeeDee Woollen was the Boxite Chevie’s best friend until she was executed.

Victorian London, 1899
Young Riley was a magician/assassin’s assistant in Victorian London who sought to escape his master, the conjurer/murderer-for-hire Albert Garrick. Now he’s the Great Savano, and Riley has inherited Garrick’s Orient Theatre. Tom is the half-brother for whom Riley has been searching. Bob Winkle, a.k.a., Bob the Beak, is the young grifter Riley rescued. The Trips are Bob’s brothers who are finally getting decent food and learning.

King Otto Malarkey, a.k.a., Commodore Pierce, is king of the Rams, the premier London street gang, with a hair obsession, and is demanding tribute, unreasonable tribute from Riley. The rest of the Rams’ inner circle includes Pooley; Barnabus “Inhumane” Malarkey, Otto’s younger brother; Noble; and, Jeeves. Farley is posing as the Rams’ tattooist. As Pierce, Otto moved into Tibor Charismo‘s house on Grosvenor Square. Mick Figary is his Irish mother’s son, who works for Commodore Pierce as a butler, and is as duplicitous as Otto. The Hidey-Hole is the Rams’ headquarters. Pig Boy wants to make more of himself.

Colonel Clayton Box was part of W.A.R.P. until his megalomania set him down the path of changing history and the opportunity to make the world more efficient. Major Anton Farley was also known as The Hangman, and he was beatified by the Blessed Colonel himself.

His men include Sergeant “Rosy” Rosenbaum, a.k.a., the Evangelist, and Corporal Sonny Aldridge.

Box life in the modern alternate timeline
Sister Clover Vallicose and Sister Lunka Witmeyer are a couple of Thundercats, silent assassins in charge of party security who are working as guards at the academy. Vallicose is a True Believer, rabidly so, while Lunka is simply out for herself. Director Waldo Gunn is in charge of the academy. He’s a hero of Box’s War and a master assassin.

In the modern original timeline
Luis Chavez was young Box’s companion. Too bad he didn’t know Box was a psychopath. Clayton Sr. loves what a sharpshooter his son is. His mother, Nancy, is thrilled when Box Jr. leaves.

It’s all Professor Charles Smart‘s fault, for he’s the one who stabilized the time tunnel to Victorian London. Felix is the professor’s son.

The Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (W.A.R.P.) was established shortly after by the FBI as a place to stash witnesses. In the past. Emergence Day is the day Box’s revolution began. Jax are slang for Jacques, French spies. Homodermy is a type of taxidermy that specializes in humans.

The Cover and Title

The cover is deep with deep explosive reds through to a splash of yellow and down into the blacks that create the London skyline and Big Ben as the bomb explodes.

The title refers to the day the Colonel Box began The Hangman’s Revolution.

two-stars

Leave a Reply