A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Hangman's Revolution is the second time-travel novel in the fantastic W.A.R.P. series by the author of the bestselling Artemis Fowl books. Just as in Book 1, The Reluctant Assassin, the level of violence is best for kids already well versed in PG-13 action movies. Not only are there lots of gun deaths and explosions but also sewer rats that eat people alive and graphic fistfights. Language sticks to variations of "hell" and "damn," and plenty of drunk people wander Victorian London -- Figary the butler is drunk most of the time. Chevie and Riley continue to be equally resilient and smart main characters, making this the rare sci-fi read that will appeal both to boy and girl readers.
What's the story?
In an alternate present, 17-year-old Chevie is in big trouble with her superiors at Boxite Youth Academy. She's hearing voices and having visions of her FBI agent self from the former present trying to tell her about a Timepod, its creator Professor Charles Smart, and some boy named Riley in the past. The alternative present is a dictatorship led by "blessed" Colonel Box. Box knows about the old Chevie, too, and knows it'd be dangerous if her FBI self came roaring back and suddenly knew all about him. Box used the very same FBI Timepod with a plot to take 21st-century weapons back to Victorian England and take over the world. It'd be bad news for him if Chevie found him out. With the help of two of his Thundercats -- steroid-fed warrior women from the Boxite academy -- Colonel Box sends Chevie to Professor Smart's house with an order to kill him. Chevie's pretty sure the Thundercats are ordered to kill her next. Luckily for her, Charles Smart lives up to his name. As soon as Chevie arrives with the Thundercats, he starts secretly booting up his Timepod. But, sadly, Smart is shot and killed by one of the Thundercats before the machine is ready and ends up sending Chevie and the Thundercats into the wormhole back to Victorian London instead. But all is not lost. As Chevie's two selves combine, suddenly her mission is crystal clear. She must be the one to find Colonel Box before he launches his revolution. To do that she'll need her old friend Riley's help, especially with two merciless Thundercats on her tail.
Is it any good?
Wading through the sewers is 100 percent worth it for this book's explosive, nail-biting ending.
Readers at the end of The Reluctant Assassin (spoiler alert for Book 1) had to be wondering how the series could go on without the deliciously evil Garrick. He was such a riveting and unforgettable bad guy. But, shockingly, in THE HANGMAN'S REVOLUTION you hardly miss him. Colonel Box and Farley, the hangman of the title, are both fantastic, power-hungry bad guys. And there's so much conniving and scheming between the fanatical Thundercats and the nefarious Rams gang, Chevie and Riley have their hands full trying to save the world from some pretty awful alternate present/future.
Most of the story takes place in Victorian London, and readers will find themselves totally immersed in that world, through the rich, playful language of the characters (Figary the butler and King Otto in particular) right down to the rich, powerful smells of the city and its sewers. Yes, just as in Book 1, readers will need pretty strong stomachs (wait until you find out what "toshing" is -- ew). Worth noting for families looking for books with diverse characters: Chevie is a Native American teen who embraces her heritage.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Chevie's two selves, in the present world at the beginning of Book 2 and the end of Book 1. How and why are they at war with each other? What do you think the present Chevie in Book 3 looks like?
Will you keep reading the W.A.R.P. series? Why, or why not? Have you read any other books about time travel? How do they differ? How are they the same?
What have you learned about Victorian London in this series so far? Would you like to travel back in time, or would you prefer the sweeter-smelling present?
- Author: Eoin Colfer
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, History, Science and Nature
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
- Publication date: June 24, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 384
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: February 11, 2020
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