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CHERUB: The Recruit

Robert Muchamore

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (5 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Hodder Children's Books

Published : 2004

Copyright : Robert Muchamore 2004

ISBN-10 : PB 0-340-88153-4
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-340-88153-8

Publisher's Write-Up

CHERUB Series - Book 1

A terrorist doesn’t let strangers in 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 a kid has bugged every room in her house, cloned the hard drive on her PC, and copied all the numbers in her phone book. The kid works for CHERUB.

CHERUB is not James Bond. There are no master criminals or high-tech gadgets. CHERUB kids live in the real world. They slip under adult radar and get information that sends criminals and terrorists to jail.

For official purposes, these children do not exist.

'Punchy, exciting, glamorous and, what's more, you'll completely wish it was true.'

The Sunday Express

'An excellent start to a promising series. It is every boy's wish to be a spy, and this book will enthrall every single one of them.'

The Bookseller

'A fast-paced action thriller, which should turn into a fantastic series - if James manages to live that long.'

Young Post
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Reader Reviews

Why not Submit a Review your own Review for this book?

Review by Darragh Walsh (311216) Rating (9/10)
Review by Ramanan (310315) Rating (8/10)
Review by Kitt Camans (310513) Rating (9/10)
Review by Bethany Clarke (280210) Rating (9/10)
Review by Sam Bailey (040109) Rating (9/10)

Review by Darragh Walsh
Rating 9/10
Imagine a world where terrorist organisations, drug barons and major criminals are brought to justice by children. In CHERUB this is a reality.

To begin, The Recruit is about a boy named James Choke who is frequently bullied at school because of his obese mother. One day James comes home from school after getting in a fight to find his mother dead after drinking whilst on medication. James’s world is subsequently turned upside-down. After he and his sister Lauren are moved to a foster home, James wakes up one day in a secret location where kids are trained to become lethal spies. This is the world of CHERUB.

The Recruit is the first book in the series, where James after moving to CHERUB is sent on a mission that turns out to be one of the biggest in CHERUB history. He must foil a major terrorist plan by the environmental terrorist group Help Earth, who plan to kill every major oil baron in the world, all at once.

The Recruit is an amazing adrenalin packed book, with a complicated plot, an extensive range of characters and the perfect mix of combat, campus competitiveness and action packed car chases. Robert Mucamore forms a strong emotional attachment to the characters adding even more suspense and enjoyment to shoot-outs, foiling one of the biggest terrorist organisations in the world or just beating the other team in a casual game of paintball. Mucamore’s writing skill compels you to read on and makes it impossible to put the book down for a single moment.

Overall I think CHERUB is an incredible series with the best insight into the life of a teenage spy you can get, with suspense every time James or one of his extensive group of friends are dispatched on a mission and the normal teenage life of homework, house parties and punishment laps for misbehaving. I would strongly recommend CHERUB for any reader over the age of 13 years old. Thank you for listening to my review.
Darragh Walsh (31st December 2016)

Review by Ramanan
Rating 8/10
This novel called The Recruit by Robert Muchamore is the first book of the CHERUB series. It is an action, thriller, spy book which mainly targets teenagers to read it. The aim of this book is to introduce the readers to a unique world where children are used to track down terrorists as well as other villains by observing them and sending vital information as well as images to the HQ, which can put these bad guys behind bars. In this novel, one particular boy is surprisingly chosen to join this organization which is called CHERUB. I think the book is really well written, and is a very gripping novel with suspense building up frequently and sudden twists brewing up when the reader doesn't expect it.

To start off, The Recruit is about a boy named James Choke who is frequently bullied at school because of his obese mother. This is when his whole world changes. He arrives home with his mother intoxicated and suddenly on the next day she is dead. From that moment, many other events occur throughout the book, and it begins with James being sent to a children's care home where he is looked after for a while but occasionally gets in trouble with the police. Then, one morning he wakes up in a campus which is part of the CHERUB organization which uses children to find information about terrorists and drug dealers as it is less suspicious. CHERUB explains to James why he came and soon he is put through some tests and 100 days of tough training which he passes. Therefore, after some time, he is given his first mission which involves the investigation of this place called Fort Harmony, where James soon figures out that there is going to be a disease called Anthrax which is going to spread through this important conference attended by many famous people. The terrorist group who were attempting to that, called 'Help Earth', however were caught except one member named Bungle who manages to elude. James successfully completes the mission at the end and has a break.

Although the book has been given many positive critiques, there are some minor issues with the book. There seems to be some places where 'heavy' swear words are being uses and the use of alcohol and cigarettes. These things can be disturbing for younger readers as it can negatively influence them especially since kids are doing these actions. Also, at times, minor information as well as details were taking over particular parts of the novel which can be quite boring for readers as it will disinterest them. Finally, there are some places where suspense and 'punch' is not quite written in detail which doesn't quite accentuate the meaningfulness of a particular action. On the other hand, there are way more positive parts which are the main things, which make up this novel. First of all, the book brings intrigue and interest for readers from the adventures, tests and the mental toughness all the characters have during most of the book and it is quite a unique book which tells us about how young people train to do things that adults usually do which is finding information about bad guys which tends to be dangerous for kids. Also, it tells us how kids doing tasks can be less suspicious than adults doing the same tasks and so CHERUB uses this to an advantage, and Robert Muchamore has merged that in this novel exceptionally well and keeps the novel flowing. Furthermore, there is plenty of action and mystery in this book which I adore and prefer to read which was good. It came in various forms like the intense training and jungle adventure where James and his partner had to find four checkpoints. That is why I have given this novel a great 8 out of 10.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Recruit by Robert Muchamore as it was very 'page-turning', mysterious, special in the way the plot and the details in the novel were written and finally it is a spy and action novel which is certainly my type of novel. However, there were some minor downfalls like the use of alcohol and drugs by kids, and a lot of information on minor which tends to slow down the pace of a book and bore the reader a bit.
Ramanan (31st March 2015)

Review by Kitt Camans
Rating 9/10
Best book I ever read, I would recommend it to 11 years and over. It is a book with action and a little bit of romance. Kids with a good imagination would live this book. At the monument there are 14 cherub books and the 15th book is coming out in June or July the book is called Black Friday. There is a new comic version of The Recruit which you can get at Waterstones, it is a good comic book and you can actually see what the campus is like and see what the charters look like. Cherub: The Recruit is a really good book and I love it.
Kitt Camans (31st May 2013)

Review by Bethany Clarke
Rating 9/10
What happens in the book - The book is about a boy named James Choke. James gets teased at school because his mum is enormous. One day a girl called Samantha Jennings teases James so much he gets up in the middle of class and grabs Samantha he then pushes her against the wall and when she turns around James sees blood dripping down her face. James makes a rushed decision and runs from the school knocking down his teacher in the process. The same night James’s mother dies because she drinks alcohol whilst she is being treated with antibiotics. James is now an orphan as he does not know his Father. James’s little sister Lauren has a father but he is very mean to her. James and Lauren are both taken to a care home. The next morning Lauren is told she is going to live with her father but he does not want James.

James makes a friend called Kyle who goes to the same school as him and they share a room at the care home. Once James has been at the care home for four days he is kidnapped and taken to a secret location. He discovers that he has been taken to a camp called CHERUB where children are taught to be spies and go on missions but to get on James will have to pass a series of tests. Will James get in to CHERUB... read on in the book to find out? What I thought of the book - I thought the book was very time consuming but once you started it you did not want to put it down. I liked all the different characters and their personalities. I also like the fact that it was children who were the spies and not adults and like the Sunday Express quote in every book I did find it punchy, exciting, and glamorous and I completely wished it was true.

About the book - The Recruit is one of 12 (nearly 13) books in the cherub series. The main characters in the book are James Choke (later known as James Adams), Kyle (James’s friend in the care home and a Cherub agent), Kerry (James’s girlfriend at Cherub) and Lauren (James’s little sister).
Bethany Clarke (28th February 2010)

Review by Sam Bailey
Rating 9/10
The Recruit is a great book which was written by Robert Muchamore.

The Recruit is the first of the series of CHERUB Books. It has a main character called James and has a few main/minor characters like Kerry, Lauren and Kyle. I think that it was a fantastic book and I really do recommend it to anyone who can get to a local library.

One of the reasons why I enjoyed it so much was because it is in a lot of detail and the things that are inside the book like what happens and what they do are fantastic in a child's mind! I also enjoyed the realism and I was easily fooled into the fairytale of it being real from the time lines and the information about the Cherub Campus, when you first read it I'm pretty sure you will too!

It’s all about James who goes up for adoption but things change for him when he suddenly wakes up in a campus full of people wearing different coloured t-shirts! When he gets told where he is he can’t believe it! They tell him that he is in a spy campus and they use kids who have no parents and train them as spies. When he goes undercover things go wrong and he nearly dies. Of course I am not going to tell you what happens you will have to find that out for yourselves!

Robert Muchamore is a fantastic Author and you can check out his website at He recently went to Australia and New Zealand and signed a lot of autographs for all of his fans there!
Sam Bailey (4th January 2009)

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