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The Hunchback Assignments Hardcover – Aug 28 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Trophy Canada (Aug. 28 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554683548
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554683543
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #278,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Nom DePlume on 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.
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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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Manning-Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 4 2009
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
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By Coreena TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Oct. 12 2011
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.
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