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Book Review: The Hanged Man Rises by Sarah Naughton

The Hanged Man RisesTitle: The Hanged Man Rises
Author: Sarah Naughton
Series: Standalone
Pages: 234
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books
Date of Publication: 28th February 2013
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: When their parents are killed in a fire, Titus Adams and his little sister Hannah are left to fend for themselves in the cruel and squalid slums of Victorian London. Taking shelter with his friend and saviour, Inspector Pilbury, Titus should feel safe. But though the inspector has just caught and hung a notorious child-murderer, the murders haven't stopped. Now everyone is a suspect, even the inspector himself, and unless Titus can find a way to end the killings, he will lose all that is dear to him.
For this evil cannot be contained, even by death.

My Thoughts:
I haven't read a historical book for a while, so I was really excited to get started with The Hanged Man Rises, and it was great to read something different. It was a quick, fun read that I would definitely recommend!

The book is set in Victorian London, and I really enjoyed reading about lots of the different aspects of it. There was Titus, Stitcher and Charly, who were street urchins, and then all the inspectors and policemen at the police station, and also Lilly Kent, a medium. They all had very different roles and lifestyles but were all really interesting to read about and I haven't really done very much at school about the Victorians ever really so it was awesome to get to learn a little bit about how they would have lived, even if it was through fiction.

The plot was really great. Although at only 234 pages the book was very short, at no point did the book feel rushed or empty, like not a lot happened. There were plenty of twists and unexpected turns of events that kept me guessing, and while it was a little predictable, it didn't matter because the writing was really good and it kept the story interesting. The Hanged Man Rises also has a supernatural element which I wasn't expecting but really liked. It was written into the plot extremely well and even though I don't believe in ghosts or witchcraft or anything like that, I didn't have a problem investing myself in the story and there were even times when it got a little bit creepy.

I liked the characters too. While I think a couple of them could have been fleshed out a little more, I think that the main characters in the book were very strong. I really liked Titus- I thought his fierce loyalty and care for his sister was admirable, and I loved his determination to find whoever was killing the children, despite only being a child himself. Stitcher, Inspector Pilbury and the creepy old lady whose name I have forgotten (I'm sorry!) were all super awesome as well.

While probably more suited to the younger reader, The Hanged Man Rises would be great for all fans of historical young adult fiction, and especially if you like it with a little supernatural twist. It's great if you're looking for something a little bit different that's quick and easy to read and I would definitely recommend it!

*Huge thanks to Simon and Schuster for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel. 

Also, remember to check out this guest post from the author, where she talks about ghosts! It's really good, I promise! :)


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