Peg's Reviews > The Dark Deeps

The Dark Deeps by Arthur Slade
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's review
Nov 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: adventure, fantasy, young-adult, disabilities

Fourteen-year-old Modo is a disfigured, shape-shifting spy for England’s Permanent Association. In this second steampunk adventure of “The Hunchback Assignments,” Mr. Socrates sends him and slightly older Octavia to New York to track down a missing British agent as well as French spy Colette Brunet. Information garnered sends the pair to the seas near Iceland as they try to identify the sea monster mysteriously attacking ships there. When the “monster” rams their ship, Modo falls overboard and rescues himself by boarding the attacker, the mysterious Ictíneo, a submarine from the underwater utopian city Icaria, commanded by intelligent, fearless Captain Delfina Monturiol. Also onboard is another captive, the French spy Colette; Griff, an invisible agent of the Clockwork Guild who was tailing Modo, also slips aboard. Modo and Colette plot to gain their freedom; Griff tries to convince Modo he is another agent of Mr. Socrates; and all three seek to be first to inform their leaders of their discovery. When the Clockwork Guild attacks the Ictíneo, Modo and Colette join the battle to preserve what the Icarians have built. This exciting tale offers an exciting underwater world, conflicted characters, romance, and thrilling and bold undertakings. Slade’s creation of the undersea world is fascinating and thought provoking. The inclusion of a sketch of a pen and ink sketch of the Ictíneo is most helpful. Viewpoints shift seamlessly between chapters, although Octavia’s and Mr. Socrates roles are greatly diminished from Book One. Certainly themes of appearance and loyalty are explored, but let’s be clear: this is primarily a rip-roaring adventure, which can be read independently of Book One.
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