Thursday 21 December 2017

Island of Doom - Arthur Slade - Hunchback Assignments Book 4

Island of Doom
Hunchback Assignments Book 4
Modo Mission Clockwork Book 4
Arthur Slade
Dava Enterprises 

ISBN 9780988013995
Wendy Lamb Books Edition
ISBN 9780385737876
Harper Trophy Edition
ISBN 9781554683611

I just finished this book and the series. Six years after finishing book 3 in the series. It is not because I did not like it. In fact, the opposite. I loved this series, and the characters. Coming back to this series and reading about Modo and Octavia again was like visiting friends whom I had not seen in years. I held off reading this book because I did not want the adventure to end. In the interim between reading the first three and now, Arthur Slade has published this series internationally, and it has been rebranded from The Hunchback Assignments to Modo: Mission Clockwork. Both titles work for the series. And I can see pros and cons of both. Though I do really like the covers from the rebranded books. 

This series has won numerous awards and for good reasons. Written for a younger audience it holds up incredibly well for older audiences. In fact, I consider the conclusion of this series much more satisfying than the Hunger Games, with each book in that series I liked it a little less. Whereas with Modo every new adventure I appreciated the character, the stories, and the writing more. This series has traversed the globe and even to the depths of the oceans. But in this volume, we encounter some new characters, are reintroduced to a few from previous books. This book is a wonderful mix of action, adventure, spy craft, and steampunk.   

The book begins with Modo sort of being on the outs with Mr.Socrates. They are hiding out in Montreal, and most of the Permanent Association, that had been formed to preserve Britannia has for the most part been broken. There are few pockets left operating under separate authority. When word comes that the Clockwork Guild is looking for Modo's parents. There are journeys from Canada to France and back. Then across to the west coast of North America. Surprise might be the only thing that Mr. Socrates and his crew have going for them, but will it be enough to overcome this organization that has stayed one step ahead of them through all these adventures?

This story is an excellent read. The book and the whole series is amazing. And my children are just getting old enough that I plan on starting to reread these books with my oldest two. In some ways, these books are like a cross between Johnny Quest and a steam punk Mission Impossible. These stories are masterfully written and will draw readers of all ages in and keep their attention. Once you start reading one of these books you really do not want to put it down. 

A wonderful book and series, give them a try I am sure you will enjoy them immensely. 

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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