Saturday 3 April 2010

The Hunchback Assignments - Arthur Slade

The Hunchback Assignments
Arthur Slade
Hunchback Assignments Book 1
Harper Collins (Browse Inside)
ISBN 9781554683543

This book is like a cross between a William Gibson Novel, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and the Matrix. Modo is a secret agent; he was raised almost from birth by Mr. Socrates who is a member of a secret agency within, or on top of, the British Government. Their goal is to protect all things British and to make the world in its own image. But unlike Neo's ability to shape his reality, Modo can shape himself. He can change his looks and appearance and Mr. Socrates believes this gift will make him an excellent agent. Therefore he invests years in his upbringing and training in all the skills he will require.

The story is classed as SteamPunk. It takes a historic setting, time and place and adds in technology they did not have at the time. Kind of an alternate reality storyline. Once the adventure begins the story is a race to the climax. Modo meets another agent of Socrates, a beautiful young woman named Octavia Milkweed and together they must discover the truth around missing children - a missing grandson of the queen and strange stories of feral children with incredible strength, and bolts coming out of their shoulders. Their enemies are a mysterious Clockwork Guild and their mad scientist Dr. Hyde.

This story was great fun to read. After the first few chapters about Modo's upbringing, it races through to a great battle. The story is compelling and Modo, with his abilities and his difficulties, is a charming protagonist. It is another great novel by Governor General Award-winning Canadian author, Arthur Slade. We can only hope it will be the first in a series, for upon finishing the book you are left wanting more and wondering what will happen between Modo and Octavia.

Books by Arthur Slade:
The Dragonfly's Journey (1996)

John Diefenbaker: an Appointment with Destiny (2000)
Dust (2001)
Tribes (2002)
Monsterology (2005)
Villainology (2005)
Megiddo's Shadow (2006)
Jolted (2008)
Shades: 17 Startling Stories (2011)

Flickers (2016)
Crimson (2018)
Death by Airship (2019)
Mr. Universe (2021)

Hunchback Assignments Series:
aka Modo Mission Clockwork Series:
The Hunchback Assignments (2009)
The Dark Deeps (2010)
Empire of Ruins (2011)
Island of Doom (2012)

Modo Embers End - Graphic Novel (2014)

The Northern Frights Series
Draugr (1997)
The Haunting of Drang Island (1998)
The Loki Wolf (2000)

Northern Frights Reprint Editions:
Draugr (2020)
Drang (2020)
Loki Wolf (2020)

The Canadian Chills Series
Return of the Grudstone Ghosts (2002)
Ghost Hotel (2004)
Invasion of the IQ Snatchers (2007)

Librarian. Assassin. Vampire Series:
Amber Fang: The Hunted
Amber Fang: Betrayed
Amber Fang: Revenge
Amber Fang Box Set Books 1-3

Dragon Assassin Series:
Twin Fury
Shadow Hunter
Dark Wings
Elder Magic
Royal Blood
Hidden Powers
Burning Empire
Old Enemies

Books as Stephen Shea:
The Not So Simple Life
Viper - Short Story

Visual Bibliography for Arthur Slade
Author profile interview with Arthur Slade.

Author profile interview with Stephen Shea. 

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