Title: The Recruit
Author: Robert Muchamore
Series: CHERUB #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Easy reading, Spy novels
Publisher: Hachette Children’s Books
5th sentence, 74th page: James knew he had no chance with blood running down his face and his right hand so painful he couldn’t even move it.
A terrorist doesn’t let strangers into her flat because they might be undercover police or intelligence agents, but her children bring their mates home and they run all over the place.
The terrorist doesn’t know that one of these kids has bugged every room in her house, made copies of all her computer files and stolen her address book. The kid works for CHERUB.
CHERUB agents are aged between ten and seventeen. They live in the real world, slipping under adult radar and getting information that sends criminals and terrorists to jail.
The fact that this is a spy story set in Britain just makes me ridiculously happy. There are so many stories that are based in America, so every time I read something that is so obviously not American. Combine this with the fact that it’s a story about kid spies – the series is a winning story. At least in my opinion.
Stories about orphaned youth are a big staple of the young adult genre. After all, it’s easier for a kid to be in charge of their own future when there is no parent to watch out for them and stop the bad things from happening. A fairytale about a child growing up in a nuclear family just isn’t very interesting. But taking those children who are a little damaged and not at all well-behaved, that was a little different. But, it worked. James Adams, is kind of a dick at times, he has anger issues and a tendency to get into trouble. But, ultimately, he has a good heart. And that shines through again and again in The Recruit.
Muchamore goes into a lot of depth about the basic training and military discipline that this unique brand of spy must go through. To me, it was so realistic that I am sure he has undergone his own form of military training. He also doesn’t create a male-dominated group of spies. Rather, the toughest fighter on campus is a small girl. This balance between males and females in the story and the realistic impact of terrorism and military training on a group of people has quickly made this one of my all-time favourite series of young adult books.
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