Friday, 18 May 2012

The Hunchback Assignments

(The Hunchback Assignments #1)
YA Novel by Arthur Slade

What if Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame worked as a secret agent for a mysterious man protecting the interests of Victorian England? This rollicking Steampunk adventure answers that question, while sweeping through a fast paced series of excitement and adventure.

Modo is an ugly hunchbacked child, rescued by Mr. Socrates from a freak show, due to his amazing ability to shape shift. Brought up in a remote country house, teenage Modo is without warning flung out into the dangerous world of London to fend for himself, a test from Mr. Socrates. There he meets the skilled and beautiful Octavia Milkweed, another agent of Socrates, and must take on another secret society, this one bent on world domination.

The story is enjoyable, although a little fast paced for me, running constantly from one action scene to another. I couldn't help but feel I would have collapsed from exhaustion long before. The final thing that has to be battled feels a little farfetched and needlessly complex, created more for shock inpact than actual feasibility.

There is another literary inspired character, in the form of Mr Hyde, an evil doctor who creates dangerous potions, which is another interesting literary change up.

A good adventure, and definitely worth a read. This would probably be a good one to get the teenage boys reading.

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