“ Author: Robert Muchamore / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 10 October 2009 / Genre: Crime & Thriller / Subcategory: Adventure Stories / Category: Thrillers / Publisher: Hachette Children's Books / Title: Brigands M. C. / ISBN 13: 9780340956465 / ISBN 10: 0340956465 „
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Brigands MC is book 11 in the CHERUB series. I have to admit, this is not the type of book I thought I would enjoy. The target audience is teenagers, primarily teenage boys and I found the idea of a secret school for juvenile spies just a bit too far fetched to buy into. Amazon sucked me in to the series with a remarkable offer of the first book delivered for only 64 pence. Once I read the first book I was hooked. These are well written enjoyable stories with highly developed characters, and while they have come in for a lot of criticism for things like violence, foul language, underage drinking and more, I feel that most of the books tackle difficult social issue in a very realistic and positive manner. One of the real pluses to buying this series is that I do think they will provide reading material for my children at a later date.
Because these books deal with children acting as spies, the comparison with series like the Young James Bond and Alex rider are natural. I do feel they will appeal to the same general audience, but perhaps after a wait of a few years. I think the CHERUB books suit a more mature audience better. I was a bit more surprised to read comparisons between the CHERUB books and Harry Potter. I haven't read Harry Potter myself, but it actually does make sense. Harry Potter and his mates attend a school for wizardry while CHERUB main character James Adams and his mates attend a school for spies, but in both cases we have children living without parents, plenty of excitement and danger, and a real sense of relationships. Because this series goes on for so long, the reader gets a real feel for each of the characters, and the relationships, as well as the process of growing up form a major part of each book as well.
This book takes us back in time to Lauren's first days at CHERUB, where she meets another new recruit, Dante. This book begins with Dante's story. As a young child he witnesses the brutal murder of his family a at the hands of the motorcycle club which his father was vice president of. He sees people he knew and trusted not only killing his parents, but his siblings as well. He manages to escape with his baby sister, but is now wanted as a witness who might pose a prosecution risk for the killers. Eventually he ends up at CHERUB. His absence in the previous books is explained by him being away on an extended mission. When CHERUB is asked to send agents in to infiltrate this gang, Dante is chosen, along with James and his sister Lauren.
Most of this book takes place off campus, but there are still underlying tensions from events at home so to speak, and a bit of reshuffling as new character comes into play. Dante is a strong and likable character, but carrying an awful lot of weight for such a young man. This mission will put him to the test as he must choose between a sense of duty to his family and loyalty to the organisation that has given him a new life. He must also come to grips with his inner nature. While Dante battles his demons, Lauren uses the affections of the Brigands son to attempt to learn more, but also finds this a dangerous game which will leave it's mark on her. James on the other hand gets all the breaks - riding about on motorbike, plenty of girls and a few quick and violent fights - this is a mission he can really enjoy except for one unhappy fact - it may be his last. CHERUBS are chosen because children can go places adults can not. No one imagines that a child could be a spy or undercover police officer - but they all grow up. James is reaching the end of his childhood - which means the end of his career with CHERUB - but he isn't able to imagine another life and doesn't really know where he wants his life to go after he leaves.
Once again Muchamore has managed to create a book that maintains the sense of continuity with his previous books, and still offers a completely unique storyline. The action and adventure are all here, along with the sense of friendship and relationships between the children, the inevitable consequences of growing up and a few minor moral issues as well. I've always liked the fact that Muchamore does not paint his characters in black and white. His heroes are not perfect, they face the same struggles as most adolescents and much more to boot. They make mistakes but they learn from them. Overall, I feel these books present an exceptionally positive set of values. This book does feature underage drug use, but not by the main characters, and it shows drugs as a bad thing. There is underage drinking as well - which results in one character making a complete fool of herself. It isn't glorified or made glamorous. I am really enjoying this series despite being far to old for it, but I know I would have enjoyed this even more as a teenager or preteen, and I feel certain that the realistic depiction of young people is one of the strongest selling points for this series.
This book is intended for a teenage audience, and I would certainly recommend the series as wonderful way to get young people hooked on reading. While there are no situations in this book which I think are really inappropriate for preteens, I would point out that the series as a whole deal with a great number of mature subjects and some parents may find it inappropriate. There is violence, some drinking and drugs, and one sexual encounter although it not graphically described. If buying this book for a preteen - I do recommend that parents read the book first. While this book is not meant for adults, it seems I am not alone in enjoying the series. A large number of adults have read and enjoyed these books and the quality of the stories along with the well developed characters may appeal to large number of adults. As much as I enjoyed the series though - I still prefer the author's other CHERUB series - Henderson's Boys, set during the second world war. I won't rate this down though just because I prefer another era. This book thoroughly deserves a 5 star rating and I expect most teens would wish they could give it more.
I have read each and every one of the cherub series written by Robert Muchamore and highly enjoyed each story, however I felt 'Brigands M.C' was the most enjoyable book becasue it cramped every detail for every other book in the series, into 448 brilliantly entartaining and riveting pages!
The book is fantastic and inspiring to every young/teenaged boy because they're inspired by the almost un-realistic main character- James Adams. Not only does he demonstrate excellent coolness and fighting skills, but he has that ability to make friends and attract the ladies. I think this is opitimized in the area of the story where riots brake out at a service station. But to get himself out of the mess, James takes on a bunch of strong and thuggish bikers to escape the riot and continue his journey.
The story is relatively well structured, with an interesting flashback in the begininng which basically lays the foundation for the whole story. It is with the flashback that you get a sense of the situation that will occur throughout the story. Whilst I highly recommend this book, I don't want to tell you to much as I urge you to read it! The only down side to the story (which will put off the older readers) is Jame's (the main chracter) desire for sex, and the lack of realism to the story, which enchants teenagers, both girls and boys alike.