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4.8 out of 5 stars
5
4.8 out of 5 stars
Empire of Ruins (Hunchback Assignments)
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 December 2011
Arthur Slade has another smash hit on his hands. In this amazing novel we are reunited with Modo, Octavia, and Mr. Socrates, and Tharpa joins the expedition this time around. And of course, it features our favorite mechanical hand villain, Miss Hakkandottir. This time the steampunk adventure takes us to the colonies once again as we immerse ourselves in the Victorian World with a technological twist.

Now the adventure heads to the Australian Outback and a rumored Egyptian pyramid in the middle of the Jungle. Filled with a mix of Victorian sense and sensibility, and the steampunk cutting-edge technology, the story takes us into an alternate past. This story is wonderfully written with greater character development and depth than the earlier two books. Slade is a master storyteller and as he draws us into this world and the complex relationship between two spies serving their country, Modo and Octavia both explore new feelings and expectations. This adventure is to see and find a legendary God Face, an ancient relic supposed to turn an enemy arm upon itself. But with poisonous mechanical falcons, an assassin, and Modo and company always seeming one step behind, can they pull it together and achieve another victory for England and the Crown?

This book was another amazing read by an incredible Canadian author. Arthur Slade has been in my top ten reads almost every quarter and every year for a few years running. This book was no exception. I had heard a rumour that this book 3 was to be the last, but now Arthur Slade has confirmed at least a 4th book, breaking with his tradition of only doing trilogys for series, such as Northern Fights and his Canadian Chills. I already anticipate the next, and if you have not read them, read the Hunchback Assignments.

They are exceptional works of fiction!
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on 5 November 2011
For his third adventure, Modo, the shapeshifting, deformed hunchback of the title, heads for the antipodean jungles. Slade's young adult steampunk books have proved an unexpected delight so far, and this latest installment is no exception.

For a change, Modo's entire team/family are along for the ride, and this helps to alter the focus of the book somewhat. While the action setpieces are still full of excitement and are uniformly well written, the real interest is in the relationships between the characters.

Their search for a mysterious mask that causes madness in all who view it ends up placing Modo into conflict with his adoptive father Mr. Socrates, and the results of their disagreement are sure to reverberate much further into the series.

More importantly for many readers, this is the volume in which Modo finally reveals his true self to love interest Tavia. I won't ruin what happens or why, suffice to say that it is one of the emotional peaks of the Hunchback Assignments so far.

Another fabulous entry in this growing series, then. This is the first one to end on a cliffhanger epilogue of sorts, so hopefully Slade is already hard at work on the next story.
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on 3 February 2013
Empire of Ruins is the third story in Arthur Slade's The Hunchback Assignments series of books. These are YA steampunk fantasy books based on Modo's adventures in Victorian London.

As is explained in the first story, Modo is a 14 year old boy who was abandoned as a child as he was so ugly, although he can transform his appearance for a time. This makes him valuable to Mr Socrates and the Permanent Association against their enemy, the evil Clockwork Guild.

I loved the first book, not so much the second book, but this one is a great romp. The team travel to Australia this time and it's a jungle adventure. There are no lulls in the story, it is excitement all the way.

These stories are a nice easy read and very enjoyable.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 December 2011
Arthur Slade has another smash hit on his hands. In this amazing novel we are reunited with Modo, Octavia, and Mr. Socrates, and Tharpa joins the expedition this time around. And of course, it features our favorite mechanical hand villain, Miss Hakkandottir. This time the steampunk adventure takes us to the colonies once again as we immerse ourselves in the Victorian World with a technological twist.

Now the adventure heads to the Australian Outback and a rumored Egyptian pyramid in the middle of the Jungle. Filled with a mix of Victorian sense and sensibility, and the steampunk cutting-edge technology, the story takes us into an alternate past. This story is wonderfully written with greater character development and depth than the earlier two books. Slade is a master storyteller and as he draws us into this world and the complex relationship between two spies serving their country, Modo and Octavia both explore new feelings and expectations. This adventure is to see and find a legendary God Face, an ancient relic supposed to turn an enemy arm upon itself. But with poisonous mechanical falcons, an assassin, and Modo and company always seeming one step behind, can they pull it together and achieve another victory for England and the Crown?

This book was another amazing read by an incredible Canadian author. Arthur Slade has been in my top ten reads almost every quarter and every year for a few years running. This book was no exception. I had heard a rumour that this book 3 was to be the last, but now Arthur Slade has confirmed at least a 4th book, breaking with his tradition of only doing trilogys for series, such as Northern Fights and his Canadian Chills. I already anticipate the next, and if you have not read them, read the Hunchback Assignments.

They are exceptional works of fiction!
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on 3 August 2014
Brilliant, I hope the author writes more books about this character. Excellent Steam Punk adventure.
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