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Mission Clockwork Kindle Edition
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From the Author
- Publication Date : March 14, 2018
- Print Length : 262 pages
- Publisher : Dava Enterprises (March 14, 2018)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- File Size : 2165 KB
- ASIN : B07BH3GZ9Z
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #425,357 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Cons: I'm wanting more - just bought book 2, even though I said there is no fluff, there were times when I would like to have had a little more description, just a sentence or two, nothing to bog down his fast paced story telling,
This is a book to get for your child who doesn't like to read, especially boys. Slade's writing style is much more "male" friendly. Every chapter moves the story, then onto the next. NO FLUFF. Guys like stories like this.
Top reviews from other countries
It was good that there was no swearing, sex and only a wishful hint of romance on the part of Modo.
Modo is rescued, aged 1, from a travelling freak show. He has a hideous face and is a hunchback - but he
can shape-shift to look normal, if only for a short time. Mr. Socrates (a master spy) does not save him out of
kindness, but keeps him locked in a room for the next 13 years so he can have him trained as one of his many
agents. Modo's only company is his governess, who loves him, and Tharpa, his Indian weapons trainer, with occasional visits from Socrates to test his abilities. I thought Socrates was almost as bad as the mad professor who
experimented on animals and children! Modo craves, but rarely gets any word of praise from Socrates.
Aged 14, Socrates turns Modo loose in London. This was a test of survival, but a bit silly as if the boy had been
killed by cutthroats, it would have been a waste of 13 years of training! Anyway, he does survive and teams up
with Octavia to try and thwart the evil professor and the Guild that are financing his experiments. I didn't
understand the science involved, but it was all about a plot to destroy the government.
Poor Modo has to wear a mask to hide his "monster" face, so can only dream about the beautiful Octavia who
has no idea how terrible he looks. I would read another in the series.
When Modo reaches the tender age of fourteenish,, he's an orphan unsure of his exact age, Mr Socrates abandons.him tto the streets of London to make his own way. A test to see if he can survive on his wits, Modo manages very well until Olivia comes along and they team up to help uncover a menace to England.
The characters are well written, the action entertaining and it kept me awake until 3.30 a,m, as I wanted to finish it.
It isn't quite steampunk - most of the time the world is normal Victorian, advanced technology is not evident, except in the hands of the villains or Mr Socrates' agents. It is almost a given that mad scientists will have odd devices, but the appearance of the Lucifer in Octavia's hands jars because it is unexpected. Other steampunk novels establish a believable background for the technology; here, devices appear simply to advance the plot, others are mentioned but not used, even when they would solve problems.
It is odd that Octavia has the Lucifer, but Modo knows nothing of it. Tharpa teaches Octavia to swim, but neglects to pass on that skill to Modo. Modo is trained to fight, but those skills are noticeably absent in the field, since Modo appears to win few fights and relies on strength rather than skill on the rare occasions he is victorious. I am happy that Modo isn't yet another teenage master of all martial arts, but the author chose to emphasize Modo's training, only to forget it when it suits the plot.
It is this sort of inconsistency that slightly spoils the story and the pleasure of reading. The fact that it is for children/young adults doesn't justify bad writing.
At one point, Octavia criticizes the builder of the Orlando railway for providing statuary but not laying tracks. A few moments later, she and Modo are walking along "rails" and then on disorganised sleepers. So there are no tracks, then there are tracks with rails, then the rails disappear. This is one of the more glaring and confusing continuity errors. Either, Octavia spoke nonsense or, the author forgot what he had just written.
The attack on Mr Socrates' home and the blood on the carpet is never explained and while Modo may not expect an explanation, the reader certainly does.
All in all, a good idea, but the writing and plotting need work.
Now those skills are being put to the test for the first time as he helps to investigate the Clockwork Guild who are amongst other things kidnapping children and carrying out monstrous experiments on them. Along the way he teams up with Octavia Milkweed, ex-pick pocket and another of Mr. Socretes' young agents.
Taking inspiration from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Sherlock Holmes and others, this is a really enjoyable little yarn. I love books set in Victorian London, whether a factual version or as in this case Steampunk fictional version. The two main characters of the hideously deformed Modo and the beautiful Octavia Milkweed work really well together. The villians are great too, complete with such things as metal hands, steam powered legs and dogs with steel jaws! The story is also well plotted and the ending is nicely balanced.
Kindle presentation is pretty good, but there are a few strange formatting errors here and there, but not enough to spoil the story.
Overall: 5 stars - The Steampunk version of Victorian London is nicely done without being too heavy on technology, the story has enough twists and turns to keep it interesting right to the end, and the blossoming relationship between Modo and Octavia is fun to watch. A good read for kids aged up to around 14 or adults like me who enjoy a good Steampunk tale!
It's the story of Modo who is taken in as a baby by Mr Socrates who trains him to be his agent. I don't like giving the story away in my reviews, so go read the blurb to see what it's about
Due to mention of orphans at the start and being taken in by a mysterious rich gentleman, I was thinking along the lines of Lemony Snicket, but as it got into the adventure I was picturing the film Young Sherlock Holmes in that they were running around Victorian London.
This book is aimed at the younger market, yet was certainly grown up enough for me. It was a very visual story, I could imagine the look and smells as described.
I will certainly check out more by Arthur Slade. This book is free at the moment and a fantastic introduction to a great writer, so get it quick and start reading.