The Hunchback Assignments is another YA book; this one fits in the steampunk sub-genre of fantasy.
When Mr. Socrates rescues a young hunchback from a traveling Victorian freak show, he is astounded by the child's ugliness, but suspects that his efforts will be rewarded.
He names the child Modo and has him raised in seclusion. Modo, an extremely bright child, is well-fed and well-educated mostly by a kind governess. He is also trained in the martial arts by another mysterious associate of Mr. Socrates. When Modo is fourteen, Mr. Socrates takes him to London for an important test. Modo is left alone in the unfamiliar city and must survive until contacted again by his mentor. Initially terrified, the boy uses his native intelligence to find a niche for himself and his unusual talents.
He is then given his first assignment for the covert organization whose goal is to protect Britain at all costs. On this assignment, Modo meets another young agent, Octavia Milkweed, another young orphan who has also been rescued and well-trained.
Slade has created an interesting cast of characters, including some evil villains, and a plot that is interesting for both the adventure and for the relationships among the characters.
A fun and interesting little book that should appeal to youngsters of all ages!
Other Reviews: Kailana at The Written World, Steamed,
Fiction. Steampunk/Adventure/YA. 2009. 278 pages,