The Hunchback Assignments - Arthur Slade The first in a new series, this is the story of a hideously deformed boy with a fantastic secret, one that saves him from life as freak in a traveling show.

Modo, the young boy, is rescued from a cage in the back of a gypsy's wagon by Mr. Socrates. He is then sent to Ravenscroft, a house in the country, and spends the next thirteen years inside the house with his caretaker Mrs. Finchley, an assortment of tutors, and his training master, Tharpa. Over the years, Mr. Socrates trains him in a variety of non-conventional skills as well as providing him with a classical education. The most amazing feat is teaching Modo how change his appearance He is also taught how to fight and is trained in the arts of combat and strategy. The day finally comes when Mr. Socrates comes to Ravenscroft and tells Modo that they will be traveling to London. Modo is thrilled to leave as this would be the very first time he has been allowed to leave the house. Once in London, the real story begins with the introduction of the Clockwork Guild and their hideous plans for the children of London. From there we find out just how much Modo is capable of and how clever he really is.

I enjoyed this quite a bit and look forward to the next in the series. I was rooting for Modo to grow up and become self-sufficient. I look forward to seeing more of Octavia Milkweed as I believe her character to be most interesting. And of course, we have to find out what next dastardly deed the Clockwork Guild will come up with and how Modo and Mr. Socrates will save the world!