Hannah's Reviews > The Recruit

The Recruit by Robert Muchamore
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's review
Jun 08, 11

bookshelves: disliked
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.
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Jacob (new)

Jacob Li I agree - except I wouldn't even give the book one star.

message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 1 star

Amy Suto You have no idea how much I agree with you. I read this book because of the high reviews it received on this site and because the premise is absolutely my cup of tea. But the writing style is terrible to the point where I had to stop myself from drafting an angry letter to the author about learning his fundamentals. Glad to hear someone agrees!

message 3: by Ben (new)

Ben THANK YOU!! I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE. And thank you for making me realize the more things I hate about this book.

Catherine I agree about the whole feelings thing but not about anything else! :&

Kiri I also had a problem with the writing, but I noted in my review that perhaps he wrote like that because younger boys like shorter sentences. And perhaps the lack of emotions is also because the audience is targeted to young males.

Jack Great review, totally agree!

Aspyn yes there was typo errors and now that i think about it your right he didnt describe emotion and the joanna thing was bull but i think the author just thought that now days teens want snogging in every book so he had to put some romance in there but i am completely hooked on these books

message 8: by Zac (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zac Aspyn wrote: " but i think the author just thought that now days teens want snogging in e..."

so true, its kinda disgusting actually, and it ruins the experience. that would be the "if twigliht did it, it must be all right cos twilight is a bestseller" idea (which is totl BS), kicking in to prove that this author is not above that sorta laziness.

Amberlee I could not agree with you more. All the characters seem so dull; there are many descriptive words to use other than 'mad' or 'freezing.' I'm not impressed.

message 10: by An Odd1 (new)

An Odd1 "no relatable" for not, "relived" for relieved, and you complain about typos? An accumulation can disturb flow + 1-dimension + discarded emotions + instant sucking face, yet still stick it out for the ending = rounded review. I sometimes wonder if I rate harder when potential squandered.

Chantz I happen to like this series and I wonder how you could remark on grammatical errors and mistakes in sentence structure when your review had many mistakes in it... Said mistakes in this book did not stand out to me.

Riley I agree with Chantz, I can't believe how much you guys are putting this book down.

Jstotland4 are you joking? if you think this book is bad then you dont know what good literature is. jeez, kids these days

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