Jun 08, 11
Read in February, 2011
The more I think about this book, the more I hate it. I keep on realizing things that I wasn't aware of when writing this review. Therefore, I've decided to bump the rating down to one. The original review is below.
After debating whether to give this one or two stars, I decided on two. I didn't necessary enjoy the book, but I didn't not like it either.
The basic premises of this book is great. A secret spy organization that only employs kids to gather information. The beginning of the novel also started out strong. I found myself liking the orphaned boy with the obese mom who runs a huge crime organization. However, as soon he entered the CHERUB, things started to go downhill.
The final mission was incredibly lame. The whole book spent time building up to these huge event that the main character would take part in. But, although the scenario unique, the author could have done A LOT more to make it more dangerous, more suspenseful, more incognito.
I found I couldn't like any of the characters, especially the main one. Their personalities were... erratic to say the least. In some points, they contained the maturity of a 30-year-old, and the next they were beyond stupid. However, don't think this as character development in showing weakness. I don't believe the author intended to have such an effect.
The whole Johanna crap was so entirely random that I still can't understand it. It didn't have ANYTHING to do with the main plot. Nothing at all. For some reason, I find a 12-year-old sneaking into a 13-year-old's room and sucking some serious face a day after meeting unrealistic. I know that happens in today's culture. However, when a professional spy is sent on a mission, I would think they would be above sucking face with any random idiot. And, even if he wasn't above such, his spy supervisor and his partner would forbid him from getting so emotionally attached to someone who could jeopardize the mission.
Anyway, the writing style was also bad. There were several errors and typos in the text. Some of the sentences required a second read, which greatly disrupted the ease of reading.
Finally, I hated how emotions were discarded in this novel. The main character had to go through extensive training to become a full-fledge member of CHERUB. These tasks would've required a huge amount of physical and emotional effort. Yet, the only emotional descriptions consisted of, "It was freezing," or "I was so mad." I wanted to get into his pain. I was some in-depth descriptions of his inner and outer turmoil. However, that was not the case. There was simply a shoddy attempt at development, but, in reality, his big conflict taught him nothing. This one-dimensional character was just no relatable.
However, I give this a two star because I did want to find out how it ended. But I was relived to get it over with. The beginning started out with much potential, but it was squandered in the end.
I'm not sure if I'll give the second book another chance.