Empire of Ruins is the third story in Arthur Slade's The Hunchback Assignments series of books. These are YA steampunk fantasy books based on Modo's adventures in Victorian London.
As is explained in the first story, Modo is a 14 year old boy who was abandoned as a child as he was so ugly, although he can transform his appearance for a time. This makes him valuable to Mr Socrates and the Permanent Association against their enemy, the evil Clockwork Guild.
I loved the first book, not so much the second book, but this one is a great romp. The team travel to Australia this time and it's a jungle adventure. There are no lulls in the story, it is excitement all the way.
These stories are a nice easy read and very enjoyable.