Book review

The Recruit by Robert Muchamore (2004)

Title One in the Cherub Series

Now, here's an offer you can't refuse...instead of rotting in a local authority children's home how would you like to go to a really brilliant boarding school with all the facilities and teaching staff you could possibly want. Swimming pool, martial arts dojo, athletics and assault training. Excellent refectory. Own room with TV and fridge. Sound cool? All you have to do is a little extra curricular activity, after you pass the entrance test that is.

James takes the entrance test. It's one hundred days of intense army style basic training.

So kiddies, you're mine for the next hundred days,' Large said. 'Every day will be equally joyous. There are no holidays. No weekends. You will rise at 0545. Cold shower, get dressed, run the assault course. 0700 breakfast, followed by physical training until school starts at 0900. Lessons include Espionage, Language, Weaponry and Survival Skills. At 1400 you run the assault course again. Lunch at 1500. At 1600 two more hours of pysical training. At 1800 you return here.

There's more, and worse, but you get the idea. James isn't the most obvious pass candidate. He's not specially athletic. He's a bit out of control and given to random acts of idiocy, but he also has a maths superbrain. His chances get a boost though when he's paired with Kerry for the duration.

If he passes the basic training he will be a Cherub and wear the coveted grey Cherub T shirt. And he will also have to do that extra curricular activity because Cherub agents are trained to work in the field on undercover intelligence operations. Sometimes their work is dangerous and it is always demanding. I suppose the point is that children can watch what individuals might be getting up to whilst being beyond suspicion themselves.

There's a lot to learn and none of it's easy. How does James do?

What can I read next?

Quick reading. The kind of book you don't like to put down in case something happens while you're having your tea. And if you like this book there are plenty more in the series:

  • The Recruit
  • Class A
  • Maximum Security
  • The Killing
  • Divine Madness
  • Man vs Beast
  • The Fall
  • Mad Dogs
  • The Sleepwalker
  • The General
  • Brigands MC
  • Shadow Wave
  • New Guard

And there are other spin offs too, Robert Muchamore is an incredibly prolific writer.

Also, the Bookchooser has found these books with a similar profile:

The Recruit features in these lists: