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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 22 October 2009
I have been reading a lot of older children's fiction lately, much of it excellent, but this series is in a class of it's own. I would have given it 10 stars if it was an option. I read the first book and then immediately ordered the other nine in the series and read them back to back and my husband, who is not such a voracious reader, did the same - they are that good. It is worth starting with The Recruit as the characters and the back stories do develop through the series, although the plots stand alone in each book. Any child over the age of 10 ought to love them - I bought them for all my nieces and nephews and even the ones who don't normally read, were totally engrossed by them. I also read some Alex Rider to compare and have to say they are not a patch on Cherub - possibly a good start for the younger readers but Alex Rider felt very one dimensional after reading Robert Muchamore.

The basic premise of the books is that children who are orphaned or abandoned are recruited to a secret service (Cherub)that uses children as spies (because no-one suspects children). They have to be clever with potential but the main characters, James and Lauren, definitely comes from the wrong side of the tracks so not quite so snobby as some novels in a similar vein. However, unlike most orphans in fiction, these children are not to be pitied; they are an elite force and get the best education, the best computers, great bedrooms with en-suite facilities and stuff that all kids aspire to. The plots are gripping and deal with contemporary issues such as drugs, child prostitution, animal rights, religious cults and terrorism in a way that younger readers can understand without ever patronising them. The plots are interwoven with the challenges of day to day teenage life, relationships, exams, homework and bullying teachers and the main characters develop throughout the series. As with all the best fiction, the author manages to weave a strong vein of humour through the books, they made me laugh out loud at times.

If you are worried about teenage girls fictional and media influences, you will love these books. Lauren, the little sister, takes a lead role in later books and is a great role model for young girls in terms of being fit and strong (rather than slim), studying hard to achieve results and beating the boys. I am the wrong side of 40 and well aware of all the healthy eating messages etc but still felt inspired to get to the gym after reading these books! None of this is done in a preachy way - the strongest message about healthy eating came in the novel about religious cults, Divine Madness, showing how you can control people with blood sugar rushes to create hysteria and to keep them physically and mentally weak with poor nutrition (this was probably my favourite in the whole series). The moral ambiguities are not skimmed here, Muchamore does not offer any trite right/wrong solutions and I think the books are better for it. All the main characters are fully rounded, both James and Lauren behave in ways which are morally suspect on occasions because they are human and insecure, but they have to address the consequences of their behaviour and the impact on their friends and on each other. This is adult fiction for young readers which all adults and older children will enjoy. Just buy the whole series now because you will really will wish it was true!!
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on 1 August 2011
I've read every book in the series and although some are better than others I'd highly recommend CHERUB to anyone. This is supposedly a teenage boys series but I am a teenage girl and did really enjoy them. Robert Muchamore's new book (People's Republic) is coming out in four days time I am so excited and I will definitely be buying.

The Recruit is the first in the cherub series and in this book the protagonist, James Adams live changes drastically. At the beginning James Adams is a bored teenager, with excellent capabilities but is far to lazy to reach them, he is rich but living in a council estate because his mum earns her money running a huge shoplifting organization from their living room whilst stuffing herself full of chocolates and alcohol-needless to say she is grossly overweight. Then one day after school after getting tipsy with his half-sister Lauren Onions' father Ron Onions, she dies, leaving James living in a children's home and Lauren at Ron's. James then turns bad, joining a gang, and stealing, this results in James and eventually Lauren being recruited by Cherub, a branch off the secret service that only recruits children. And that's where the adventure begins...

Just in case of any confusion here is the order of the Cherub Series

1. The Recruit
2. Class A
3. Maximum Security
4. The Killing
5. Divine Madness
6. Man Vs Beast
7. The Fall
8. Mad Dogs
9. The Sleepwalker
10. The General
11. Brigands Mc
12. Shadow Wave
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on 3 June 2004
Cherub: The Recruit is an excellent book based on a secret organization that uses children as spies. The plot is not a James Bond fiction. There are no super-villains, no high-tech gadgets, and no impossible missions that are miraculously completed. It is this realism that is the main attraction of this fantastic book.
In Cherub: The Recruit, a normal boy called James is enrolled in the secret organisation Cherub. In the book he is put through basic training and sent on his first mission. You'll find many interesting characters, including instructors, friends, and terrorists. Every character has a personality that is shown to the highest degree which could not be done by some of the best authors I know.
The plot is a superb. It doesn't just show James going there, taking part in a mission, and returning home. It includes the ethics and emotions of James, the friendships he has with other characters, all with their own personalities being excellently shown. There are different twists that happen every time you think you know what is coming next. This book is the most unique spy story I have ever read, and shows nothing other than truly pure talent from the author. I recommend it to everyone. Even those who don't enjoy spy genres will take pleasure in reading this book. I cannot wait for a sequel! And I'm sure that those that have read it will know what I mean. Peter(13)
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on 9 March 2007
Now before i start, i have to admit that i am 22 yers old, but i like kids fiction and half the time its far more intresting than adult fiction, i have to say that along with harry potter, the cherub series is my favorite series of books and has been since this "The Recruit" first came out.

The story starts with James (the main character) and his life. He is one of those bright kids who could do well, but doesnt want to and consequently begins to get into trouble with the police.

After his mum dies, James eneds up in a childrens home and from there is recruited into cherub where james has to conquer in greatest fear (swimming) and make his self ready for basic training. And that is where the fun starts.

I have to say that this series should be commended. It is streetwise for children of today and aswell as dealing with some - with what could be called - very contrevercial issues to be placed in childrens books: ie, this books explores the relms of bio-terrorism, and in the following books, class a drugs, the arizona penal system, murder, brain washing religious cults, animal rights, but to name some of it.

The books explores James as a person shows how he grows and develops and as the book says "These kids may be CHERUB's, but they're still kids" and is written and as well as being an undercover spy, james has to deal with school, girls and other issues that you face as you grow up.

THIS IS A MUST!!!!!!!!!!!
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on 29 March 2005
This book is sooo cool. The characters are believable and totally original and the plots are realistic, witty and carismatic.
James Choke is about as normal as an 11 yr old boy can be with no father and a deceased mother. He's taken into care while his sister Lauren goes to live with her hated father. James is recruited by CHERUB, a school where children learn survival skills, combat and weaponary. This school is the child version of the British intelligence.
For the first time in his life James enjoys school and fits in. He makes new friends who each have a tragic story to tell. At CHERUB they are a family and they'll look after their own because they have nobody else.
This book is funny yet full of tension, after reading everyone wants to be a part of CHERUB and I don't blame them. Everyone should read this book.
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on 18 February 2007
Comparing this to the Alex Rider books is like comparing shakespeare to Mr. Men books. "The Recruit" is WAY more believable, even though its still far from anything that could actually happen. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the sequels.
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on 17 September 2014
Bought this as my 11 year old sons teacher has told me that he needs to move on to more grown up books - he loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Tom Gates, Big Nate etc. I decided to go for this due to all the great reviews. So glad I did. He has been hooked. He's now moved on to the 2nd book and will now doubt be wanting the 3rd fairly soon. I'm happy as there are loads in the series so will keep him reading for a while yet. My son can be quite picky with books, and likes the first couple of pages to capture his attention straight away otherwise he'll just get fed up and stop reading. This was a success from the first page - buy this, you won't be disappointed!
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on 2 January 2016
My 13 year old grandson was looking for new books to read so to encourage him to keep reading I searched Amazon and saw the many good reviews of this series and bought the first two. What a success they have been - the first book read in 3 days and straight on to the next one and 3 more were bought for Christmas. He finds them exciting and they certainly hold his attention. It's lovely to listen to him telling me the plots and characters. Always good to know there are books for boys of his age that interest them and keep them reading.
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on 3 June 2004
This book is the best book I've ever read. Robert Muchamore has succeeded in writing a book about every child's dream: to become a secret agent. In this book James Choke, becomes an agent for CHERUB. The book is very life like, for instance the feeling of dread when something goes wrong in James' life makes me feel as scared as James is.
My favourite part was when James joins up to CHERUB. I like this part because the training seems really difficult and the descriptions of how he feels are very realistic. My favourite character in the book is Kyle, he is a CHERUB agent who is kind to James. I'd like him for a friend.
I would recommend this book to boys and girls over the age of 8. It is very exciting and it makes you want to keep reading until you get to the end of the book. I've already asked my Mum for the next book CHERUB Class A. (Michael 11)
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on 21 April 2006
I took this book on holiday thinking it would be a good time filler but nothing more. But when I started it it became apparent how wrong I was. In the end I stayed up till four in the morning reading it and promptly read it again. If you have read Silver fin or the alex rider series you will DEFINNATELY enjoy this
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