Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
or
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Hunchback Assignments [Hardcover]

Arthur Slade
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.99
Price: CDN$ 13.71 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 5.28 (28%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Friday, August 1? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover CDN $13.71  
Paperback CDN $9.49  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged CDN $24.54  
Join Amazon Student in Canada


Book Description

Aug. 28 2009

There are rumors that a hunchback infant in a gypsy freakshow has the power to transform his appearance. This comes to the attention of Mr. Socrates, a member of the shadowy Permanent Association, who decides to take the boy back to England and raise him for his own purposes. Naming him Modo, Mr. Socrates keeps the boy indoors and never lets him see his deformity, while putting him through training to be a secret agent. When Modo turns 14, his education is complete. He is handed a mirror and confronts his image for the first time, horrified. Then, he is taken to foggy, polluted London and abandoned, penniless, to test his skills.

But Modo is resourceful, and he finds a way to get by, keeping to himself… until one day, when the beautiful Octavia Milkweed knocks on his door. soon, with the help of Mr. Socrates, they find themselves uncovering a sinister plot being carried out in the very sewers beneath their feet. Will they be able to stop the mad scientist Dr. Hyde and his even more terrifying associates before they unleash their monstrous plans upon unsuspecting Londoners?

The start of a fantastic series, in the hot new genre of steampunk, The Hunchback Assignments takes readers into the sewers and alleyways of an alternative Victorian London, in an unputdownable adventure.

Visit The Hunchback Assignments web site for up-to-date news, games and information about the series.


Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed


Product Details


Product Description

Quill & Quire

London in the 19th century was a place of wondrous adventure. Secret organizations flourished, spies were everywhere, and man-monsters roamed the alleyways looking to kidnap children to aid in their nefarious schemes. At least, that’s how Arthur Slade portrays the era. And while it may not be historically accurate, that hardly matters when the results are so much fun. The Hunchback Assignments, the latest from the Governor General’s Award-winning author, is a full-steam-ahead spy thriller, complete with derring-do, a dastardly villain, and a suitably complex plot that keeps the reader one slight step behind the wily hero. Modo is a young boy blessed with the ability to temporarily alter his physiognomy at will, but cursed with a natural state as a deformed hunchback. Recruited into the ranks of the mysterious Permanent Association, Modo quickly learns that his talent is ideal for espionage. Slade’s London is an engrossing mélange of the historically precise and the ridiculously imaginative. Working within the genre of steampunk, a mode of speculative fiction that posits a world of technological invention within the trappings of the Victorian Era, Slade crafts a world in which the sad reality of children “[sifting] through the mud at low tide for coal, bits of rope, anything to sell for a penny” exists alongside fantastic armoured men powered by gyroscopes made of “steel bones, the steam pumping out of holes in narrow iron plates.” Slade ensures that the fanciful elements never overwhelm the story through his careful handling of the gallant Modo and the canny Octavia, another young ward drafted into action. Modo’s unusual predicament is handled with aplomb, and children will empathize with his role as an outsider who craves acceptance, even as they revel in an outlandish plot that ends with a promise of further tales of danger. The Hunchback Assignments is a terrific entertainment, exciting and whimsical. Slade’s novel should find ready acceptance among those young readers who crave a touch of darkness in their stories.

Review

"My review could end here and now with one word, brilliant. Arthur Slade comes up with some absolutely amazing plots and this book tops them all. A compelling read, that kept me turning the pages almost faster than I could read them. Modo is a wonderful character, one whom the reader bonds with instantly and feels compassion for, making him a superb hero. Octavia is a strong, yet feminine female hero and the two make for a dynamic pairing.

Slade's writing is as strong as ever. The book contains some quite disturbing scenes which made for a scary read at times but at others the humour is high which gives this quite dark story an even balance of light moments. I loved everything about this book and could simply gush over it. 5/5 Rating."
--Back to Books Blog (Nicola Manning) ()


Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Dec 23 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my 11 year old son who reads mostly non-fiction, he absolutely loved it and can't wait to read the rest of the series. It is well-written with an engaging plot and briskly moving storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed the book as an adult as well, no insipid story here. Great sense of mystery. Looking forward to the rest of the series. Kudos to Mr. Slade for writing a story that not only kept my son engaged, but has him wanting more.
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Read for Younger Readers July 24 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had seen this book off and on in stores for about two years and had been putting off buying it, until I finally caved in. I hadn't read a really good book for awhile, and was hopeful I might get sucked into Arthur Slade's new series. Admittedly, I might have set my expectations a bit high.

For kids, this book would be okay. The story and portrayal of the Victorian era is very vibrant, dark and realistic (steampunk machinations aside) and readers will feel sympathy and maybe a touch of pride at the deformed but resourceful Modo.

For anyone in their teens and older, though, this may be wasted. Besides Modo, there are no particularly colourful characters that catch interest, even the pretty, equally resourceful co-protagonist, Octavia Milkweed, falls rather flat. The story itself starts to lose momentum after the halfway point, and the ending and odd surprises are nothing special (or surprising, for that matter). Whatever drama Slade builds up fails to really make anything of itself come the climax, which makes us wonder why he has bothered with two sequels.

While anyone below the age of fourteen may enjoy Book One of The Hunchback Assignments, anyone above will probably be disappointed.
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
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 see his reflection. Once Modo has been trained to be one of Mr. Socrates secret agents he is sent out into the world where he uncovers a diabolical plot of the mad scientist Mr. Hyde. While investigating he meets Octavia Milkweed and together they must save the orphans of London and the city itself.

Comments: My review could end here and now with one word, brilliant. Arthur Slade comes up with some absolutely amazing plots and this book tops them all. A compelling read, that kept me turning the pages almost faster than I could read them. Modo is a wonderful character, one whom the reader bonds with instantly and feels compassion for, making him a superb hero. Octavia is a strong, yet feminine female hero and the two make for a dynamic pairing.

Slade's writing is as strong as ever. The book contains some quite disturbing scenes which made for a scary read at times but at others the humour is high which gives this quite dark story an even balance of light moments. I loved everything about this book and could simply gush over it. It's got everything you could hope for in a great read. If you like dark tales set in alternate Victorian England featuring mad scientists working with steam engines, clockworks and human bodies this will certainly be a must read for you! I can hardly wait for the next book to see what direction the series takes. The Hunchback Assignments will appeal to both boys and girls (as well as adults) equally. Recommended
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Steampunk for kids Oct. 12 2011
By Coreena TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is a fun steampunk novel for the middle school age group. There is so much adventure and imagination in this book that is is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers.

Modo is an incredibly ugly, hunchbacked young orphan who can change his appearance at will He was brought up in isolation by the mysterious Mr. Socrates to be a secret agent. I really felt for him in this book, he is so young and sheltered in so many ways, but so smart and able to fight at the same time. The scenes where he tries to come to terms with his appearance are touching and really add a human element to the book.

Modo teams up with Octavia Milkweed, a beautiful but street smart young woman who is also part of Mr. Socrates' secret organization. Mr Socrates is a shady and mysterious character who heads an ultra secret agency that is trying to protect the British Empire. Then there are the supporting characters and bad guys who also add so much to the book. The crazy Dr Hyde, is brilliant with all of his potions and clockwork mechanisms. Hakkandottir is an amazing, diabolical evil woman who kids will love to hate.

Slade throws these characters into horrifying scenarios where Modo and Octavia have to use their brains and instincts if they are to defeat the Clockwork Guild and their horrible, yet fascinating, scientific plans.

I really enjoyed the setting of Victorian London and the throwing together of the Hunchback and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde stories to create something unique and interesting. The clockwork gadgets and science aspects of the book mixed with well to create exciting action, mystery and intrigue. Then there is Slade's writing, which is sure to keep kids reading. This book will appeal to both boys and girls who have an interest in history and science, as well as those who like fast paced adventure.
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?

Look for similar items by category


Feedback