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The Hunchback Assignments (The Hunchback Assignments #1)

3.6  ·  Rating details ·  3,124 Ratings  ·  387 Reviews

A gripping new series combines Steampunk, spying, and a fantastic Victorian London.

The mysterious Mr. Socrates rescues Modo, a child in a traveling freak show. Modo is a hunchback with an amazing ability to transform his appearance, and Mr. Socrates raises him in isolation as an agent for the Permanent Association, a spy agency behind Brittania’s efforts to rule the empire

Hardcover, 275 pages
Published 2009 by HarperCollins Canada (first published September 22nd 2007)
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May 12, 2009 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I wrote it
The first in a new series, this is the story of a hideously deformed boy with a fantastic secret, one that saves him from life as freak in a traveling show.

Modo, the young boy, is rescued from a cage in the back of a gypsy's wagon by Mr. Socrates. He is then sent to Ravenscroft, a house in the country, and spends the next thirteen years inside the house with his caretaker Mrs. Finchley, an assortment of tutors, and his training master, Tharpa. Over the years, Mr. Socrates trains him in a variety
Every summer I attend San Diego Comic Con, where I often frequent the the Random House booth, and try to get as many Advanced Reader's Copies as I possibly can; and usually, I read these books withing the month, but in this case it took me a while to get to the book. Well, I finally picked this one off my shelf and decided to read it; I could not put it down! I finished it in two days (September 22-23). The back of the book does not quite do this book justice, but gives one the main idea of the ...more
Dec 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steam-punk
Reading level: Middle Grades Plus (MG+ 6 and up)
Hardcover: 288 pages
Word Count: 63217
Main Focus Group: Boys
I haven't read much at this point in the genre of steam punk (think of H.G. Wells on steroids) but I really liked this book. Much like Alex Rider or one of the CHERUB Agents, this story revolves around a teenage boy, Modo and teenage girl, Octavia, saving the world (well in this case just London).
In this, the opening book of the series we are introduced to the main players. First is Mr. Soc
"The large carriage rattled with grotesqueries -- bones of cats and pigs strung up as wind chimes, bleached bear skulls dangling from wires, and three shrunken monkey heads mounted on posts."

This is where Modo is found as a child -- living in a cage in a traveling freak show, exhibited as "L'enfant du Monstre" for his hunchback and other heavy deformities. A mysterious benefactor, Mr. Socrates, rescues him from this life and raises him in seclusion, with only his nursemaid and an instructor for
An Odd1
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fan
"The Hunchback Assignments" are tasks performed by deformed Modo for the Victorian Empire. I see why Arthur Slade wins awards. This is a cracking scary steampunk adventure yarn, with a hint of attraction between brave and funny teens in my beloved old London.
Mr. Socrates, head of the secret Permanent Association dedicated to Britain's preservation, rescues the orphan and trains him to age 14, seeing the potential in his chameleon ability to temporarily transform his appearance. With luminous Oc
Sara Olson
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up “The Hunchback Assignments” by Arthur Slade randomly last week at the library. I was bored and feeling risky.

The book is loosely, and I mean loosely based on “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Victor Hugo. Okay, so I haven’t exactly read Hugo’s classic, but I did read the Wikipedia synopsis, and I have seen the Disney movie, so I’m basically an expert now.

The book is set in late 1800s England, and follows Modo – a shape-shifting hunchback who is raised in seclusion until he’s 14. At th
3 1/2 stars; I love the "steampunk" setting, and thought it was a really neat concept.
Dasha ~Made of bad materials, yet well put together~
I read this sssooo many years ago, and can barely remember much... Ah, but it was pretty unique and original read. And interesting, too. Ah, the memories come flooding back...
Nicola Mansfield
Nov 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Reason for Reading: Arthur Slade had a new book out and I was thrilled to find out it was the start of a series. I had been wanting him to venture out into a series.

Summary: Modo is an orphan taken in by Mr. Socrates and kept house-bound for the first thirteen years of his life where he is trained in body and mind. Modo is a hunchback with a terribly disfigured face which is so repugnant to look upon that Mr. Socrates does not allow mirrors in the house until he decides Modo is old enough to se
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What was your favourite book in this series and why. 2 8 Jul 05, 2013 04:04PM  
  • Whitechapel Gods
  • Thomas Riley
  • Heart of Veridon (The Burn Cycle, #1)
  • Mainspring (Clockwork Earth #1)
  • Unnatural History (Pax Britannia, #1)
  • Full Steam Ahead
  • Worldshaker (Worldshaker, #1)
  • The Doomsday Vault (Clockwork Empire #1)
  • The Bookman (The Bookman Histories, #1)
  • The Falling Machine (The Society of Steam, #1)
  • The Clockwork Man
  • Larklight (Larklight, #1)
  • Clockwork Heart (Clockwork Heart, #1)
  • Wild Cards and Iron Horses
  • Morlock Night
  • City of Dreams & Nightmare (City of a Hundred Rows, #1)
  • Ghosts of Manhattan (The Ghost, #1)
  • The Buntline Special (Weird West Tales, #1)
Arthur Slade was raised in the Cypress Hills of southwest Saskatchewan and began writing at an early age. He is the author of the bestselling The Hunchback Assignments series of books, Dust (which won the Governor General's award), Tribes and Jolted. He lives in Saskatoon, Canada (which really is a real place). Join his creative & somewhat clever newsletter at: what a zany newsletter!
More about Arthur Slade...

Other Books in the Series

The Hunchback Assignments (4 books)
  • The Dark Deeps (The Hunchback Assignments, #2)
  • Empire of Ruins (The Hunchback Assignments, #3)
  • Island of Doom (The Hunchback Assignments, #4)