Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Tuesday Thoughts: People's Republic by Robert Muchamore



People’s Republic follows the adventures of a new CHERUB agent, Ryan Sharma, who is given the mission of trying to infiltrate the criminal Aramov clan by making friends with Ethan Kinsell, son of the head of the family’s estranged daughter Gillian. While this is happening in the USA, rebellious Chinese girl Fu Ning wants to escape her humdrum life but gets more than she bargains for when she and her adopted mother are forced to go on the run after her adopted father is arrested.

If you’re a fan of the first twelve CHERUB books, you’ll know pretty much what to expect here. Muchamore writes fantastic action scenes, exciting plots, and characters who tend to be hit and miss. We get a few old favourites here – a cameo from Lauren Adams, who is as wonderful as ever, and roles for ex-CHERUB Amy Collins and of course Chairwoman Zara. Of the new creations, Ryan seems a tad on the bland side, especially when compared to former lead James Adams, although Ning – trained in boxing in China and very resourceful – is well-portrayed.

Having found the previous two books in the CHERUB series, Brigands MC and Shadow Wave, to have been fairly entertaining but dragged down by long ‘scene-setting’ parts, I was glad to see that this new one didn’t have any flashbacks or similar in it. That said, I still thought it was just a touch on the long side – but it was definitely better at keeping my attention than the other two. I also thought that the issue of people trafficking was really well dealt with and Muchamore continues to impress me with the way he covers contemporary problems in a realistic way. (In so far as kids spying is realistic, anyway!)

While this isn’t making any claims to be great literature, it’s an enjoyable read which I’d recommend to action fans. It's alo a perfect place to jump into CHERUB as you don't need any knowledge of the James Adams books to get to grips with this one. If you like it, you’d almost certainly also find the excellent Will Hill series Department 19, following another teen who ends up working for a secretive government organisation, to be worth your time.

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