Book Review: Cherub

Cherub: The Recruit


You pass them every day of your life but never notice.  Cherub agents are all under the age of seventeen and are highly trained spies capable of incredible feats.  The Cherub Institute houses over 150 of these young agents, all of whom have one great advantage:  they’re practically invisible, and no one ever suspects them. Cherub, similar to the Alex Rider series, is a must-read thriller that will have you turning pages nonstop and asking for more.

James Choke is an average twelve-year-old boy.  He plays video games, attends school and has a younger sister named Lauren.  But James’ life is different in ways the average person couldn’t even imagine.  First, his mom runs a highly powerful shoplifting empire that steals hundreds of different items from around the country.  Second, he has never met his dad and has to live with an abusive stepfather named Ron.  James thinks nothing will become of his life until a catastrophic event changes everything.

One day when James is at school, a bully begins to terrorize the entire class.  When she threatens James, he pushes her into a wall.  Unfortunately for James, he pushes the bully right into a nail, which hits her face and draws blood.  While the girl is crying, James runs from his classroom and doesn’t stop until he reaches his house.  When he arrives there, he tries to tell his mom what happened but she is too drunk to comprehend anything he has to say.  Fortunately for James, she never will.

Later, James walks down to his kitchen, only to find a shocking sight:  his mother lying dead on the floor.  After being rushed to the hospital, she is quickly pronounced dead.  With nowhere to go, James moves to a boarding house called the Nebraska House, while his sister goes to live with Ron.

While at the Nebraska House, James falls deeper and deeper into despair.  Just when he thinks things can’t get any worse, he wakes up one morning to find himself drugged and in a completely different room than the night before.  James quickly finds out that he was recruited by an organization called Cherub, which takes capable teenagers that are orphans and turns them into something beyond their wildest dreams.  James embarks on a quest to gain entrance into the halls of Cherub and begin training to become an undercover spy.

Cherub was one of the best books I have ever read, an easy 10 out of 10.  Cherub is a huge hit in the United Kingdom, where it is one of the top bestselling series.  The series is 12 books long, so the suspense continues to grow and never stops.  Cherub was incredibly compelling and a complete page turner.

The first Cherub book, The Recruit, is not an extremely hard read and only about 320 pages long.  The characters are built well throughout the book and there are a number of shocking and unexpected twists and turns.  Cherub never gets boring and can be enjoyed by a wide variety of audiences.  The series will get all types of kids to read, especially teenage boys, because the content is so enthralling and glamorous.

Robert Muchamore, the author of the series, is a private investigator in London, so this book can actually seem believable at times.  This book sets the rest of the series up nicely, and the missions that the children go on are simply fascinating and show why Muchamore has garnered a variety of awards for this series.

Cherub, although laced with PG-13 content, is actually appropriate for many ages.  My 11-year-old siblings couldn’t put The Recruit down and my sister is even farther along than I am–almost done with book 7.  If you are a lover of fiction, spy novels, mystery, action, adventure and a touch of romance, Cherub is the book for you.

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