Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

The Hunchback Assignments: Island of Doom

Author: Arthur Slade
Originally Published: 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Purchased

The Story

Island of DoomFrom the back of the book:

The midwife told of how she had screamed at the sight of le petit monstre as it was pulled into the world. The next day she died, drowned in the Seine.

This final adventure in the Hunchback Assignments series finds the shape-shifting, masked spy Modo on his most personal quest yet: for the truth about who he really is.

A coded letter from the bewitching French spy Colette Brunet sends our hero in search of the biological parents who abandoned him as a baby. When the Clockwork Guild gets to them first, Modo and his loyal friend Octavia Milkweed give chase across Europe and North America to the Island of Doom. An epic showdown with their magnificently evil and terrifying enemies in a Pacific island stronghold brings Modo’s story to a thrilling conclusion.

The Response

I have put off reading this one for a while because, quite frankly, I really did NOT want to acknowledge the fact that after this there would be no more Modo. I don’t want this series to be over. I love Modo and Octavia so much. BOO!

This was a really good instalment in The Hunchback Assignments. It was a good note to end on, even if it had to end. Thank goodness there isn’t a cliffhanger, and everything tied up nicely. Not how I wanted some of those threads to be tied up, mind you, but… gah, no spoilers, really.

I loved seeing, throughout the series, how much Modo’s character has developed. I loved how much confidence he has gained throughout the series, and how much he learned that he wasn’t dependant on others because of his … disability? Ability? Ugliness? Even though he’s a secret agent, and could become anyone or anything he wanted to, he depended on Mr Socrates for his direction in life. In that way, the ending of the book was absolutely perfect…

One of the most interesting new characters in this book was the creature that Dr Hyde made using a portion of Modo’s finger that had been chopped off in the previous book. I read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein earlier this year, and I found it gave much more depth to this book than I would have otherwise seen. There were so many similarities between the two: Both were abominations to man. Both long for the acceptance of those who have created them, then grow to hate them when they don’t get that acceptance; both then desire the death of their creators. The biggest difference was that one was embraced by it’s maker as a weapon of destruction, while the other one was shunned by it’s maker as the horror that it was. It makes me wonder what would have happened in Frankenstein if the creation wasn’t roaming the world for so long, and had actually gained the acceptance from his maker from the beginning. Would things have turned out differently?

The Bottom Line

Definitely an enjoyable addition to The Hunchback Assignments series. While this was a good place of the series to end, I will greatly miss reading about Modo’s adventures. Highly recommended.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 8:04 am January 7, 2013.
Category: Fiction and Literature, YA Steampunk
Book Author(s):
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  • http://myreadingbooks.blogspot.com Kailana

    I really need to find time to read this book! I didn’t get to it last year and really want to see how it ends!