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The Recruit


4.24  ·  Rating details ·  29,834 ratings  ·  2,078 reviews
An alternate cover edition can be found here.

The first title in the number one bestselling CHERUB series! James hits rock bottom before he's offered a new start in an intriguing organisation ... 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 plac
Paperback, 329 pages
Published April 15th 2006 by Hodder Children's Books (first published April 2nd 2004)
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Helena I'm a girl and I began reading these books when I was 12 years old. I've never liked violence that much when I was that age (I couldn't watch action m…moreI'm a girl and I began reading these books when I was 12 years old. I've never liked violence that much when I was that age (I couldn't watch action movies) but these books are fine. I mean they deal with crime and fighting but the main character is also 12 years old and very relatable, I would say. I think it depends if a child can deal with fightings and stuff but I don't think it's inappropriate. It's real and not brutal. (less)
Clive Worden Probably as close as you will get. I like both Alex Rider and Jason Steed, and now got into CHERUB.

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Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  29,834 ratings  ·  2,078 reviews

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Feb 09, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: disliked
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 nove
Keith (CHINNY) Chinn
It was ok. Maybe not as good as the Alex Rider or the Jason Steed series, but it looks like they have about 10 books in the series. I was annoyed we are back to the Orphan thing. Like Harry Potter, Tom Swayer, Alex Rider, Annie, Magical Misfits, Young James Bond. Get over that fact and its a good book to start off a series, I will read more of this series now I read that they are going to make a TV series of this, Alex Rider and Jason Steed.
Amy Suto
Jul 04, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dear God, how is this book not a joke? How on earth did this get published?

I demand to know who encouraged Robert Muchamore to publish this. Please step forward and explain yourself.

Listen, everybody, I really wanted to love this book, I did. A young adult novel about spies who belong to an organization that doesn't exist? YES PLEASE! This is my genre, you don't even understand.

But really, the writing is unbearable to the point where you have to put down the book and take a breather in order t
Apr 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who hate storylines
Recommended to Badgerlord by: A friend/enemy
It is books like this that makes me wish that Goodreads gave you the choice to put your stars in negative. It's that bad. Seriously, I have cousins between 5 and 10 years old who could write a more enthralling story. I read this book on the insistance of a friend. I had to read the first to cherub books and he had to read Eragon. I got the worse deal. By far.

The setting of this book is alright; It is about a boy who is adopted into a community of child spys, where he undergoes training a goes o
I had pretty high hopes for this book because the kids at school, especially the year 7 and 8 students, LOVE this series. Like, they're aaaaaaaaaaalways out on loan. And I've had multiple students tell me that these books are incredible. So I finally picked one up.

And I suspect I'm at least 20 years too old for this series, because this book was...pretty effing bad.

The basic plot is that an eleven year old boy lives with his younger sister and morbidly obese mother, who runs a shoplifting ring
claire elise
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
Don't get me wrong- the story was good. Plot kept me interested and everything.. I think the greatest issue was I was the wrong audience.

Things I didn't like~

1. The kid was 11. Actually, except for like two other minor characters, everyone was under the age of 12-13. And if that isn't enough, they're way more worldly than preteens. They're cursing, drinking, smoking, fighting, partying, and overall way too mature in adult situations to be taken seriously as little kids.

2. The actual mission did
Mary ♥
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5/5 stars

"This is tough, but CHERUB's are tougher"

Funny, action-packed, heart-warming and cool, an amazing spy novel about a secret organization, consisting of kids. Do not let this fool you, there is NOTHING funny about being a spy in there, especially considering the basic training. The first book didn't have that much of adventure because our character had to go through basic training first but I am pretty sure the next books are gonna leave me breathless.

Let's talk about the characters/ships
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cherub
Hard to put down this one! I wish James would grow up. I really like Lauren but she can be a bit annoying
Brendan W.
Oct 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awesome
When my friend reccomended this book to me, I thought it would be just another author trying to rip off Anthony Horowitz with a british-teenage-spy book. What I got surprised me. This book is fresh. It’s new. It’s style is completely original. Robert Muchamore writes with a style that makes you read till you notice the sun is coming up the next morning. The intrigue that this author generates is through the roof. The recruit is so fresh, they could sell it in the produce section of the grocery s ...more
Ayerai G
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1st-nine-weeks
Cherub agents are kids ages 10-17 and are trained to be spies to infiltrate criminal organizations that have eluded the M15 for years. The reason? Adults never suspect that kids are spying on them.
James Choke is a twelve year old boy who tends to get in quite a bit of trouble. He lives with his mom and his sister Lauren. But James isn't an ordinary boy, he has a keen sense for math. He can solve complex math problems in a matter of seconds. James gets into a bit of trouble at school, includin
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who wanted to go to Hogwarts or become a wizard after reading the Harry Potter series, or go to camp Half-Blood after reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series? Well the The Recruit by Robert Muchamorewill leave you wanting to be a spy at CHERUB. The series is in third person but is centered around James Choke/Adams a teenager in England. Your going to want to use all the technology they use, be friends with all the students at CHERUB and take part in all the adventures. Most of the boo ...more
2.75 stars. James Choke is a typical 11-year old boy, playing video games and barely passing school because he can't be bothered. When his criminal mother dies, he is placed in a children's home, and falls in with a bad crowd. He is then recruited for a children's spy school, the basis for which is pretty thin, where he undergoes extensive training and a grueling test of endurance to finally get assigned on a mission to stop a terror plot. I thought his friendships at CHERUB school were solid, e ...more
emma ♖
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf, favs
i love my little selfish asshole james <3
but jokes aside i loved this series growing up and thought james was the coolest. now a few years later i still love this series even though i can now see some faults in the writing and most of all james character. kerry and lauren are my favs and amys cool too.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great action book.Its book 1 of the cherub series.This book was really interesting because of this I read it quite quickly. The story is about James training and his first mission. I would recommend this book to people who injoy action books.
Isaiah Saburi
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Alec Velasco
Cherub the recruit is an amazing book. It takes place in London England. The beginning starts off with the main character James at school. A girl starts teasing him about his "mum." From here, everything goes down hill. After it is all said and done James is running away from his school and will probably be expelled. He comes home to his mom and step dad who are not sober. They tell him to go and get his sister from school. When James gets home his mum is dead in her sleep. From here James his m ...more
I decided to read this book because a lot of the people in my class had suggested it for their book speech. I thought it was a genre I liked and had a good plot, so I started reading the book.

Something I like in the story is the humor they put into it, such as when Mr Large set the kids their last test within the hundred days. The test was to put their hands in a bucket with a poisonous jellyfish and to not put their hands in the antidote for a certain amount of time. The test turned out to be a
Logan Sowter
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a child named James Adams who's mother has just died. When his little sister got sent to live with her father, Uncle Ron, James had to move to the Nebraska House. James meets a boy named Kyle. But a while after James came to the Nebraska House, they sent him and Kyle to Cherub. It turned out that Kyle was already a part of Cherub. Cherub is a organization in the UK that takes kids and turns them into agents.They send them on top secret missions that M15 or the police don't kno ...more
Cora Tea Party Princess
I read this back in high-school. In fact, I read the first three books as the author was coming in to do an after school talk. So it's with a feeling of nostalgia that I sit down to re-read this almost ten years on. Wow, I'm old. ...more
Kajsa Hallin
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
The nostalgia...

Read these in middle school. Remember them being amazing, which they are, but didn’t realise it contained some cringe worthy moments as well. I guess that’s unavoidable when you read a book meant for children with a twelve year old protagonist
Nicholas H
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most of the time when a criminal suspects someone is a spy it is usually an adult. So what if the spies weren’t adults, instead they were teens. These teens would set up secret surveillance cameras and spy equipment around someone’s house. For James Choke this is regular life. James works for the secret agency called Cherub.

The Recruit by Robert Muchamore is exactly what people wouldn’t think. It opens up minds to what could be, but nobody knows. James is a teen that seems to get into trouble, b
Sophie Tse
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Review

One of the quirkiest, most amazing books I've ever read!
I decided to read this book because it was all in the rage, everyone was reading it last year. Well, i must sound like an old guy talking about something that was cool from last year but the book hasn't changed, its still as awesome as it had ever been.
This book completes the "A book with a male main character" category on my bingo board. Although this category had already been completed before.
It was already filled by "The Hobbit"
Catarina Miranda
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holidays-2014
Okay... so...
I enjoyed this book very much! To be honest... I could almost say that I loved it, surprisingly! I was not expecting to like this so much!!! And, right now, I still don't know if I should give this a 4 out of 5 stars or if I should give it a 5 out 5 stars...
In the beginning, I was a little bit sceptical about this book and until the first 100 pages I wasn't really sure if I liked it or not.
James pissed me off, sometimes... and there were some moments that didn't catch my attention
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldnt help but draw comparisons to the Alex Rider series when reading this. It follows the same basic idea- the British government use children as spies to infiltrate secret organisations, believing that no one will ever suspect a child of espionage.

This book follows 12 year old James, who becomes an orphan in the novel's opening chapters. His rebellious nature makes him a prime candidate for CHERUB, the government's spy school for children. The bulk of the novel shows his introduction to th
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is really good. It's about a boy named James who's parents died and was living in a foster home with many kids. He was always getting into trouble there and ended up in jail. In jail one of his parents at the foster house came and got him out. It turned out that she worked for a different school named Cherub. After she took him up to her office and took him to Cherub. Cherub is a secret school and teaches kids to become agents. When he was there he was forced to do 100 day training, he ...more
Scottsdale Public Library
One Amazon reviewer describes this book, the first in its series, as “fresh and grimy.” Somehow, that’s spot-on. James, newly orphaned and living in a home for young reprobates, is being watched. His particular talents and resourcefulness—even used unconstructively, peg him as the right material for CHERUB, a secret agency that trains children as spies for the British government. With tough urban teens who speak as crudely as you’d expect (in British street-speak), grueling boot-camp sequences, ...more
Christopher Nolan
This book is a great book for teenagers who love reading books with suspense, action, comedy etc. It has an extremely engaging plot and story line and you are able to really feel the characters emotions and really feel like you are a part of the whole story.
Scott Manderson
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was really enjoyable to read and I am going to carry on reading this series because I think it is the right books for me. I also really enjoyed this book and it got me so excited for the next book because I wanted to see what happens to James after his mum passed away.
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Robert Muchamore was born in Islington, London in 1972. He still lives there, and worked as a private investigator up until 2005 and the critically-accepted release of Maximum Security.

The Hunger Games phenomenon is part of the huge YA / Children's book explosion that has grown, thanks to the British Rat pack of YA authors, Anthony Horowitz, Robert Muchamore, Mark A. Cooper and Charlie Higson. We

Other books in the series

CHERUB (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Class A (Cherub, #2)
  • Maximum Security (Cherub, #3)
  • The Killing (Cherub, #4)
  • Divine Madness (Cherub, #5)
  • Man vs. Beast (Cherub, #6)
  • The Fall (Cherub, #7)
  • Mad Dogs (Cherub, #8)
  • The Sleepwalker (Cherub, #9)
  • The General (Cherub, #10)
  • Brigands M.C. (Cherub, #11)

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