Modo has a special gift. His gift is the ability to change his appearance. Mr Socrates notices this gift of his and takes him under his wing, and gives him special training to become a secret agent. Meanwhile Modo does learn the horrible truth; he’s horribly deformed and also a hunchback. On top of that discovery, Modo is also taken to London, and left in the middle of the street, with nothing but his clothes. However, Modo shows his resourcefulness and manages to survive on the London streets. He discovers a sinister plot run by Dr Hyde in the sewers. With the help of Octavia Milkweed and Mr Socrates, he will have to stop Dr Hyde and his plot to bring London to ruin.
This book was a real fun and enjoyable read. The beginning of the book started off as intriguing and interesting that you were immediately curious as to what was going to happen next. The description of the different inventions and machinery in the book were well written and could be easily pictured in one’s mind while reading. I really did like the plot, it was fast, lots of action on the pages, lots of intrigue (I love intrigue!) and mystery, and naturally it story leaves you with what’s next on Modo’s agenda. There is plenty of steampunk here for those that love the genre. I especially like the clockwork birds.
Modo is very easily liked and he’s your typical “although he’s deformed, he’s got a heart of gold” type of character. Mr Socrates is your typical “boss” character, stonefaced, hardly any emotion, and usually is just there to tell others what to do. All characters in the book are likable and fun in their own way(Octavia is very interesting).
I really did like the secret society concept used in the book. It gives the plot more mystery and especially if a member of royalty involved it enhances the mystery and intrigue even more. Yet even after being finished with the book there are still questions needed to be answered about this society and it’s obvious that we have not seen the last of them yet.
What bugged me about the book was the animal experimentation.Yet it wasn’t graphical and bloody, but the idea still bothered me though. Another thing I didn’t like is sometimes the description – a particular description of a machine was very hard for me to picture. Then again that could be because I’m not so mechanically inclined – perhaps other readers may find it easier to figure it out.
Overall, a great book for children and adults alike, an even bigger treat for those that are into steampunk fiction. This is a great start to a very exciting series and I’m definitely looking forward to reading the second book (which in fact, I have taken out of the library recently).
I give it an 8 out of 10.