Friday, May 13, 2011

Empire of Ruins: The Hunchback Assignments III by Arthur Slade

Empire of Ruins: The Hunchback Assignments III by Arthur Slade

Completion Date: May 8, 2011
Reason for Reading: Carry on with the series.
While Modo has spent a quiet winter recovering from his adventure in the dark deeps, talk of ancient Egyptian ruins in the midst of the Australian rainforest has been swirling around London. A temple bulges with riches, but also contains danger: the infamous God Face. No one knows what the God Face is or what it is made of, but it is rumoured to be a powerful weapon; anyone who looks upon it will be driven mad.
Modo's next assignment? Go to Queensland in Australia and discover the truth behind the God Face. He won't be alone: Octavia and even Mr. Socrates will be accompanying him, as well as Mrs. Finchley, Modo's beloved caregiver from childhood days. But hot on their trail is the Clockwork Guild, with a brand-new weapon-mechanical birds, capable of transmitting signals as well as delivering poison.

With an airship battle, an escape from spear-waving natives and an astounding discovery-one that hinges on Modo's true appearance-the Hunchback Assignments series continues to enthrall readers of all ages!
Dear Blog Readers... Did you recently read my review of Catherine Webb's second book and think it sounded like you? Have you been reading and enjoying Scott Westerfeld's latest trilogy? Do you tend to enjoy steampunk novels? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I have a series for you! A couple years ago I had the pleasure to read a book called Jolted by Arthur Slade. I was still not really reading young adult fiction back then, but I took a chance and I am so glad that I did. Arthur Slade writes really, really good books. Books that will appeal to all ages. Books that you will wait anxiously for each year. Especially now that he is writing a series and you want to know what happens next. It is only three books in, so it is the perfect time to visit with Modo, Octavia, Mr. Socrates, and all the other characters that make up these fun books.

In a weird twist, this book has an airship. The second book in Catherine Webb's series? Airship. The last book in Carrie Ryan's trilogy, which I just recently read, hot air balloons. A slightly less-techno version of the same thing. Apparently flying is a popular trait in books at the moment. Especially the steampunk ones. (Although, Carrie Ryan's trilogy is a zombie story, not a steampunk trilogy.) Moving on.

Modo is a beloved character. During the three books, you really find that you get to know him. He is often the narrator of his own story, so you get his impressions on the world. Modo has had a very strange life so far and he is only 16 or so. Then there is Octavia. She is the female lead and she is also often the comic relief. I really enjoy how the two characters play off of each other and look forward to further development in later books. Then, there is Mr. Socrates. He is the leader of their organization, so you don't get to really 'see' him during the previous two books. In this book, though, he decides to accompany them on their mission to Queensland. This opens up a very rare chance to really get to know Mr. Socrates. It is an interesting contrast to see what Modo is thinking about Mr. Socrates, the only real father he has ever known, and what Mr. Socrates, in turn, thinks of Modo. It is a unique experience.

Once again I really enjoyed the story and I cannot wait until a new book in the series is released. I hope I have tempted a few people to check this series out. If not, I will have to try even harder when book 4 is released. In the meantime, I am going to catch-up with Catherine Webb.

My thanks to Harper Collins Canada for once again sending me a wonderful Arthur Slade novel!

The Dark Depths (Never reviewed...)
Empire of Ruins


  1. Okay Kelly, you definitely sold me. Straight to the wish list for this series. There's something about that cover that I really like, too.

  2. *Debi: Yay! I was hoping to sell people, but then blogger failed. :(

  3. I'm off to check it out too as steampunk is my new interest. :-) These sound brilliant!

  4. I haven't read this yet! I don't have a copy of it yet! I really really really really REALLY need to because I love love LOVE Modo and Octavia! Also the others in the series were so good! OH I WANT THIS NOW.

  5. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Yay for book three and yes on the series...amazing, as that Mr. Art Slade himself. Thanks for this review!

  6. Have you noticed that the chapter font headings for Hunchback books AND Lyle are the same ?

    (though Lyle came first)

    I am waiting to read this until Courtney does ( I have a copy for her and one for myself and we are heading to Quebec City this weekend to hunt down Jack Absolute--- another series you need to read--- so she will get it then).

    Ummm, but, having not read it---it's by Arthur Slade. And we all love Arthur Slade.

    So ... huzzah!


  7. *Cath: I hope you enjoy it!

    *Court: It was a lot of fun, as always. :)

    *Deb: Glad you enjoy this series, too.

    *Rachel: I hope you and Court enjoy it! I did not notice the headings. I will have to do a comparison. I have to read the last two books in Webb's series, but I haven't bought them yet! It is a priority by the end of the year. I also have Jack Absolute. I keep meaning to read it!

  8. I really liked the first one in this series. Now, I have two more to look forward to!


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