Kristin (MyBookishWays Reviews)'s Reviews > The Hunchback Assignments

The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade
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's review
Sep 13, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-fantasy, for-thomas, for-review
Read in February, 2011

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At the tender age of one, Modo is rescued from a traveling freak show by the mysterious Mr. Socrates, who takes him in and raises him to be well read and knowledgeable in the fighting arts. Deformed and never knowing his mother and father, Modo comes to rely on Mr. Socrates, the kindly housekeeper, Mrs. Finchley, and his fighting instructor, Tharpa, who was also taken in as a child by Mr. Socrates. At age 14, Modo is taken into London (his first time outside of his rooms), and given his first “assignment”: to survive on his own. Mr. Socrates assures Modo that he will find him when the time is right, and, terrified, Modo sets out alone. Six months later, after discovering he has a talent for finding lost things, he sets himself up in a modest room upstairs from a pub and begins taking on clients under the name Mr. Wellington. Modo has another talent too. He can transform himself, for hours at a time, into someone completely different , escaping from the hunchback and hideous countenance that has haunted him his whole life. When he meets the beautiful and mysterious Octavia Milkweed, also an agent for Mr. Socrates, he’s drawn into a shadowy world of conspiracy, kidnapping, and murder.

This was just a delightful steampunk adventure! Combining elements of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Hunchback Assignments takes its readers on a romp through a gaslit London full of treachery, secret societies, evil scientists, and clockwork monstrosities. Modo is an endearing character, and Octavia is a spunky delight as our heroine and Modo’s crush. If you like your adventures with 19th century flair and Dickensien touches, you’ll love this book. In The Hunchback Assignments, Arthur Slade has created a world that I’ll look forward to returning to time and time again!
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