The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I positively adore the Peter Grant books, placing Ben Aaronovitch onto my favourite author list. After finishing Foxglove Summer, I started my countdown to The Hanging Tree. I needed more; I needed to find out what came next for the series.
I’m going to be completely honest by saying The Hanging Tree is my least favourite book in the series. Rivers of London was a riot, a five star read that pulled me into the series and left me wanting more. Moon Over Soho was a wonderful second book, not quite a five star rating but a solid four stars that left me even more intrigued about the story. Whispers Under Ground was my least favourite of the first three books, but it was still a good four star read. Broken Homes was a mind-blowing read, an easy five star read that earned the title of my favourite book in the series thus far. Foxglove Summer was decent enough, a four star rating due to some of the information received. If the truth is to be known, it wasn’t quite a solid four-star rating. There were moments in Foxglove Summer where I considered rating lower – but I couldn’t, not when I considered the book as a whole. With The Hanging Tree, the situation is reversed. There were moments in this one where I considered rating up, giving four stars, but in the end I couldn’t.
To be blunt, I was quite disappointed with this one. It is a very important book for information being revealed – information pertaining to characters, the main storyline, the world, and lots of other goodies being thrown in – but the story failed to grab me. In truth, it felt like this book was a filler book.
It took about a third of the book – if not more – before I was engaged enough to feel as though something was happening, and even then I wasn’t pulled into the story in the way I had hoped to be. I kept waiting for something big to happen, but it never really seemed to. Even the big reveals that took place within this book felt anticlimactic due to the overall story of this book feeling rather bland.
For me, if I’m completely honest, a lot of the book felt forced. Big information needed to be shared, and it felt as though the book was based around that rather than slipping the big information into a solid book. The humour felt forced, the characters felt overly repetitive, and things seemed to be lacking in all that made the prior books so wonderful.
I’m hoping this is just a blip in the bigger picture. Now that some of the big information is out, I’m hoping we’ll return to the solid ways of the prior books. After all, this is one of my favourite series and it pained me to give this book a three star rating – I really am hoping the next one is better.
Despite my disappointment with this book as a whole, I am still super excited to see where the rest of the series takes us. There are so many questions we need answering, and I cannot wait to find out what comes next.
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