Young FBI agent Chevie Savano arrives back in modern-day London after a time-trip to the Victorian age, to find the present very different from the one she left. Europe is being run by a Facsist movement known as the Boxites, who control their territory through intimidation and terror. Chevie’s memories come back to her in fragments, and just as she is learning about the WARP program from Professor Charles Smart, inventor of the time machine, he is killed by secret service police. Now they are after Chevie, too, but she escapes–into the past. She finds Riley, who is being pursued by futuristic soldiers, and saves him. Working together again, it is up to Chevie and Riley to find the enigmatic Colonel Clayton Box, who is intent on escalating his power, and stop him before he can launch missiles at the capitals of Europe.
The Hangman’s Revolution couldn’t follow up to the awesomeness that was The Reluctant Assassin. The disappointment was evident within the first few chapters when the plot failed to bring anything new to the table. By the middle of the book it was clear that the plot wasn’t going to be as original and intriguing as the first book. My hopes for the novel to pick up at the end were dashed by a rushed and anti-climatic conclusion. As a book, it wasn’t bad, and I probably would have enjoyed it more had it not been connected to The Reluctant Assassin. But it was, and it needed to be a heck of a lot better to come close.
When I think back on the level of depth and maturity in the first novel in comparison to what I just read, I am baffled. I am having difficulty connecting the two books in my mind because even the mood of the book was off. Nearly everything that I loved about the first book is gone, replaced by something that tried to hard to be a time traveling dystopian. There were times when hints of the first book would shine through, but they were far and few between. So I will continue this review pretending this book is a standalone because it will be easier for both of us.
The Boxite movement is not interesting in itself, as it is not all that different that different from other totalitarian regimes. Rather, it was interesting as it showed the perfect totalitarian regime, one perhaps even more powerful than the Party in 1984. Unlike the Party which relied on people hatred and a rigid societal structure, Box’s empire runs on faith which is a more powerful motivator and is military in nature. It’s aims are not absolute power, but complete efficiency. It is led by a man who knows exactly what to say and who to be to ensure his eternal influence and power.
Plot-wise, The Hangman’s Revolution is mediocre; a tad too repetitive for my taste without enough action. Expect something crazy and fun and totally unusual. A strong point for the novel was its humour which pops up when you least expect it. Jokes come from the bottom of a sewer or in the middle of some destruction of epic proportions. Figary is easily my favourite character for being a touch unexpected. The flawless dialogue includes a pleasurable dose of cockney slang, and is one of my favourite aspects of the novel.
As far as endings go, the climax of the story flashed by too quickly and didn’t deal out the expected level of tension. High stakes and emotional content? Check. Clever plot twists and memorable conclusion? Not so much. I really hope the next book is more like the first one and that the series does not slide on a downward slope.
First book in W.A.R.P.: