Friday, October 11, 2013

Review: The Bagman

The Bagman by Rachael Rippon

Publication Date: June 25th, 2013
Genre: Darker Middle Grade
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
(Received for free in exchange for an honest review)
In the midst of the Second World War, Abigail is deposited at St Winifred's Orphanage for Willful, Wayward and Wicked Children. As soon as she arrives, Abigail is warned of the Bagman and what will happen if she misbehaves. But Abigail is too busy trying to escape to listen. Her estranged twin, Tabitha, is close by and Abigail has to find her before their 16th birthdays. Besides, she doesn't believe in the Bagman.

He believes in her though. Appearing when she least expects it; he asks her to play his Game. He will give her seven wishes to be used in seven days. But the Game is not as easy as Abigail supposes, and the wishes not as nice…

Soon, Abigail is getting exactly what she wished for. And the effects are catastrophic.

If you loved 'Coraline' or 'Alice in Wonderland', then you're sure to love 'The Bagman'.

I was going to review The Bagman in August, but I just found out I accidentally marked it in for December on my calendar! My reviewing schedule runs by my calendar. *sigh* Thankfully, I caught my error yesterday while I was scrolling through the months and today I am writing a review for the book. I cannot believe I didn't realize my big mistake sooner.  The Bagman blew my mind. I would definitely recommend this to fans of middle grade or young adult lovers looking for a refreshing read. The book in unputdownable and I was sucked into the story immediately. 

I loved the author's tone in the Bagman. The writing is dark, humorous, and compulsively readable. Even the chapter titles are superb. For example, one of the first chapter names is "In Which Abigail Arrives, a Tree is Climbed, and the Incident with the Pig is not Explained." After merely reading the chapter title I knew I would love the book.

Also, I really enjoyed the dialogue. The bicker between children is entertaining and the words coming out of The Bagman's mouth sometimes caused me to shudder or become suspicious. Speaking of the Bagman, I must say he is a very intriguing character. I mean, the book is named after him. The chapters narrated by him were awesome. 

Suspense and mystery fill the pages of The Bagman. Even The Bagman himself has some mysteries to unravel. "Something was going on. And he was going to find out what." (tentatively page 60). The Bagman knows there is something different about Abigail. Why is she different?  Also we have the mystery of Abigail's fate. What does The Bagman want? Will he succeed? The little game of his seems to be pretty dangerous, and near impossible to win.

The setting, the rotten school/orphanage, and the time period, the second world war, made the novel even more unique. I always was a sucker for books set in orphanages or schools. The classes Abigail had were pretty awful but they made for an enjoyable read, although I had a lot of sympathy for Abigail. There was also plenty of "magic"! The Bagman had his tricks and supernatural powers that added to the danger, darkness, and adventure of the book.

Overall, The Bagman is an amazing read that I would highly recommend! And, oh yeah, be careful what you wish for or The Bagman with his deadly game will twist your words...  

And I will leave on that happy note! See you later, guys!

4/5 Stars

Thanks for Reading!


  1. The cover looks like its a Tim Burton film, such as The Nightmare before Christmas and the Corpse Bride.

  2. This sounds like it's similar in tone to Coraline (which I loved). It's creepy and funny - pretty much the only "scary" thing I can read (it's really sad I can only had middle grade versions of horror hahahaa)