Slade’s steampunk espionage series, the Hunchback Assignments, continues. In this episode the Permanent Society travels to Australia in search of an ancient Egyptian artifact that has driven earlier seekers mad. As Modo continues his daring stunts while also maintaining his shape-shifting, he longs for Octavia to think more romantically of him than he believes his true and deformed face could ever permit. Slade does a fine job of applying an ethical gloss on Victorian Britain’s stripping of native artifacts without derailing the pace or mood of the story. The cliffhanger ending is a satisfying promise of more adventures to come. Grades 7-10. --Francisca Goldsmith
About the Author
ARTHUR SLADE has published several novels for young readers, including The Hunchback Assignments; Dark Deeps: The Hunchback Assignments 2; Jolted: Newton Starker's Rules for Survival; Megiddo's Shadow; Tribes;
which won the Governor General's Award for Children's Literature. He lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, with his wife, Brenda Baker, and their daughter. Visit him on the Web at ArthurSlade.com.