CHERUB


(Publish on the 7th)

CHERUB, by Robert Muchamore, is—to start out—pretty graphic. It’s about child spies in England. It centers on James Adams, a troublemaking teenager whose mother has died. He’s taken to CHERUB campus—CHERUB once meant something, but nobody knows what it stands for anymore—from his foster home and trained to become a professional spy. He’s sent on missions, kills people, nearly gets killed, isn’t invincible, and suffers with moral issues of right and wrong, including girlfriends. There aren’t that many, though. Moral issues, not girlfriends (there are far too many girlfriends for my taste). The writing isn’t that deep. That’s because there isn’t much time. It’s one of those boom-boom-boom ones where there’s action on at least every other page. It’s fast and full of violence, mystery, codes, clues, captures, imprisonment, and thrill.

I’m not easily disturbed by most things except being eaten from the inside out. (Whatever you do, do not read the book called Gone by Michael Grant if you agree with me.) If you’re easily disturbed, you might not like this. There is some gore. But if you can skip around it, you’d probably be able to ignore it. It’s a Harry Potter-esque book in the way that it’s plausible. And while you know it isn’t true, at the same time, you wish it is. You can see how maybe, CHERUB—the spy campus and organization—might actually exist. It makes sense.

If you like mysteries, death, justice, adventure, action, martial arts, espionage, etc., these books are for you.

Once you’ve read CHERUB, try Henderson’s Boys, the sequel that takes place during World War II, and a few other series about CHERUB. CHERUB is pretty long, but it’s satisfying. Henderson’s Boys is very in-depth about WWII, so you’ll learn a lot.

Writing

Not deep; but fast-paced, interesting, thorough. It’s written in British (I know “British” isn’t a language; who saw the “Learn To Speak British” thing during the Olympics?), so it has single-quotes, “ou” instead of “o,” and that sort of thing. He has little punctuation irritations. But overall, they aren’t that distracting simply because you can’t remember to be distracted. These are delicious books you don’t want to put down. 5/5

Character Depth/Development

Many of the characters are pretty shallow and none of them develop that much. Well, maybe they develop a little, but if that’s so, it’s told, not shown. Actually, perhaps it’s that you see them change so it’s so gradual you don’t notice, like how it’s sometimes hard to tell how much a child’s changed if you see him every day, and that’s why he needs every single aunt and grandmother to say “Look how tall you are now!” I don’t think so, though. The characters are solid and do have flaws, but they aren’t deep. They’re real, but they aren’t deep. I’ll give 4/5.

Plot

The plot is great. It’s not as huge and weblike as the first two, but it’s a really solid plot. 5/5

Je Ne C’est Quois

It leaves you with an ache and you want it to be real, even while you accept that you’d probably never be in the same condition—mental and physical—that they are and you’d die halfway through their grueling training. Even when it’s terrible and horrifying. You want it. 5/5.

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