SUMMARY: James is an eleven-year-old boy whose mother unexpectedly dies. He is separated from his sister, the only person he loves, and put into a juvenile facility until social services could find him a foster family. However, after getting into a lot of trouble in school and with the police, a mysterious organisation called Cherub approaches him with the offer to join them and become a secret agent. Thus, James sets in an unpredictable journey of adventure and growing-up.
This was an unusual but entertaining read for me. The Recruit is an action-packed book I could not put down, and I read it in one day.
The characters quickly grew on me, especially James. James is a smart, but troubled boy who always finds himself a trouble. Though he does not lack any material goods, he suffers from being emotionally neglected, which results in aggressive outbursts. Eventually, he realises this will not bring him any good. He recognises his last chance for making something from himself, and he takes it. Doing so, he starts his way towards maturity.
James, as well as other children, act older then they are, due to their life situations. On the positive side, they are street-wise, know how to survive, and they look after each other. However, on the negative side, there is a lot of violence and bad behaviour, such as smoking, drinking, and using moderately strong language.
The Recruit is a suspenseful page-turner. It is a fantasy work which deals with family relationships, friendship, growing-up, and taking responsibility for one’s actions through an adventure story.
RECOMMENDATION: This is the kind of book I imagine teenage boys would enjoy – I am thinking from the age of 14 or so on – and everyone else who loves this kind of a book.