Title: Man vs. Beast
Author: Robert Muchamore
Series: CHERUB #6
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Easy reading, Spy novels
Publisher: Hachette Children’s Books
5th sentence, 74th page: The downside is that we’ve only got three bedrooms.
Every day thousands of animals die in laboratory experiments. Some say these experiments provide essential scientific knowledge, while others commit acts of extreme violence in order to stop them.
James and Lauren Adams are stuck in the middle.
They’re CHERUB agents. Trained professionals with one essential advantage: adults never suspect that children are spying on them.
I’ve spent the last six years of my life studying conservation and restoration practices. And the years before that taking care of and loving a myriad of animals that have come through our doors. At this very moment two of my dogs are curled up next to me in a kind of fur nest. Which is why the issue of animal ethics and rights is something that has always fascinated me. Muchamore’s sixth CHERUB book investigates this issue wonderfully.
For me there are two discussions when it comes to animal ethics and rights; the process of eating them and their use in scientific experimentation. Now, as this is a book review, I am not going to getting into this ethical discussion – that’s a topic for another day and space. Numerous points of this discussion are mentioned and highlighted throughout this book though, and, that, combined with the presence of a beagle (like my own beautiful puppy) being saved from medical experimentation created a book that left me thinking for days afterwards.
Aside from animal ethics, Muchamore also uses this book to investigate the relationships between his main characters. Firstly there is the sibling rivalry between Lauren and James. They are constantly bickering and arguing, even when they are in a situation that is incredibly serious and requires a higher level of maturity. Then there is James’ relationship with Kerry – they have been chaotic throughout their courtship and this is the first book in which they seem to find a level playing field for their relationship.
James’ best friend, Kyle also has a revolutionary moment within his relations – he gets his first boyfriend. Not only do I love the fact that there is a main character within the story who is gay, but it’s also interesting to read about a character who finds this concept difficult. Eventually James comes to accept and even support Kyle’s sexuality, but it is not a simple and magical acceptance of this aspect of his best friend’s personhood.
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