Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

RAPID REVIEW: The Hunchback Assignments (The Hunchback Assignments #1) by Arthur Slade

*No Major Spoilers*

The mysterious Mr. Socrates rescues Modo, a child in a traveling freak show. Modo is a hunchback with an amazing ability to transform his appearance, and Mr. Socrates raises him in isolation as an agent for the Permanent Association, a spy agency behind Brittania’s efforts to rule the empire. At 14, Modo is left on the streets of London to fend for himself. When he encounters Octavia Milkweed, another Association agent, the two uncover a plot by the Clockword Guild behind the murders of important men. Furthermore, a mad scientist is turning orphan children into automatons to further the goals of the Guild. Modo and Octavia journey deep into the tunnels under London and discover a terrifying plot against the British government. It’s up to them to save their country.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Back in 2020, I read a graphic novel spin-off of this series called Modo: Ember’s End. I still enjoyed this novel even without knowing much about the series other than what was said in the graphic novel. So, I am thinking about making a whole post comparing the two after I reread the graphic novel so I can talk about them with fresh eyes.

I like this alternative take on The Hunchback of Notre Dame story. Modo gets found by a secret organization and gets to be trained on how to be an undercover agent. It’s so cool on top of everything being steampunk.

In my review of Modo: Ember’s End I said that I wish they didn’t make Octavia the typical dumb brute that is paired with the smart, scientific genius. However, in The Hunchback Assignments, Octavia is a smart and clever girl who catches on that Modo has a special ability. Even when she asks to see his true form she respects Modo’s boundaries when he refuses.

Overall, I found this novel to be an entertaining read. Seeing Modo go through a transformation makes me excited to read more of this series in the future. I would recommend this novel for fans of fairy tale retellings, Young Adult fiction, or fans of spy thrillers and steampunk.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: Spider-Gwen, Vol. 2: Weapon of Choice

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*No Major Spoilers*

Gwen’s life is turned upside down after the SPIDER-WOMAN event at the worst time ever as Captain Frank Castle is bearing down on her. Does she stand a chance against Castle’s punishment?


Rating: 4 out of 5.

This action packed comic follows Gwen Stacy as she struggles with the responsibilities of being Spider-Woman and the dangers that come with being a hero in a society that sees heroes as the enemy. While she’s mourning the loss of her friend Peter Parker, Frank Castle is hot on her trail. He’s determined to find out the identity of Spider-Woman and bring her and her associates to justice.

This comic takes place in the alternate universe, Earth-65. So things are different from the comics that take place on Earth-616. I will not spoil how things are different in this story, I will leave that up to you guys to find out.

After the epic plot twist that leaves me thirsty for more, there’s a short story following Gwen and her friends The Mary Janes. It’s Halloween night, and to get their thrills they go to an abandoned amusement park, which was owned by Mysterio, and crazy hi-jinks ensue.

I have been wanting to explore the Spider-Gwen story-line ever since they announced it. However, with me having a temporary burnout on comics, I’m a bit late to the game. No matter, this thrilled me as much as I was hoping it would!

All the characters were well written and well used. I felt like Gwen Stacy was kind of a cardboard character though. I felt like she was only pushed to action when things got dire.

Even with its pros and cons, I still loved this story and its take on an alternate universe where things aren’t as they seem.