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The Killing - Robert Muchamore

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5 Reviews

Author: Robert Muchamore / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 13 October 2005 / Genre: Crime & Thriller / Subcategory: Adventure Stories / Category: Thrillers / Publisher: Hachette Children's Books / Title: The Killing / ISBN 13: 9780340894330 / ISBN 10: 0340894330 / Alternative title: Cherub: The Killing - Robert Muchamore / Alternative ISBN 10: 0340894334

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    5 Reviews
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      15.07.2012 16:58
      Very helpful



      Well written story for young adults and old adults as well..

      I have been working my way through Robert Muchamore's CHERUB series since being roped in with an offer from Amazon on the first book at only 74 pence delivered. The subsequent books have cost me more, but only one has gone over £3, so all in all it isn't too dear. There are at least 11 titles in the series though so it does add up. I had originally started reading Muchamore with his Henderson's Boy's series, which I do prefer to this line, but that is more a matter of personal taste than any problem with this series. I will point out, that both series are meant to be about children acting as spies, but I find the CHERUB series has children acting more as undercover police agents than spies per say. Henderson's Boys on the other hand, takes us back to the formation of the CHERUB unit, during the second world war, in which children are involved in espionage behind enemy lines.

      Henderson's books are all billed as "Young Adult". They have developed a wide following among adult readers as well, and I honestly do enjoy the books. I had originally thought to share them with my son, but he is only 7, and I do not feel these books are suitable for such a young child. The publisher agrees and each book is clearly labeled "Not suitable for younger readers". I would place the ideal age range for these books as at least age 10 - and more likely age 12+. There are some sexual situations, there is profanity, and of course violence. There is also some mention of drugs. I understand these books have been pulled from some American school libraries due to language, but I really don't think this is an issue for older children. I wouldn't have a problem with my son reading this from about age 10 - I'm pretty sure most children are quite aware of sex by this age and swear words have never bothered me. My son knows I don't consider this language appropriate for our family, but what other people do is their own business. Daddy - however gets an exemption from the family ban on curse words. I honestly can not see a teenager coming across anything new in these books, but if buying for a younger child - I very strongly recommend reading this book yourself first.

      This series has two main themes running through it. The first is James' relationship with his friends at CHERUB - which is on Rocky ground after James loses his temper and hurts a younger child. He ends up a social pariah for awhile, and the feelings of depression and loneliness come through very strongly. I think many teens and preteens will relate to this. Everyone feels like a mistake is the end of the world at some point when they are young - but we do get through difficult situations, and hopefully learn from our mistakes, and I feel the book sets a good example in this.

      The second, and dominate plot theme is of course the mission. This book sees James reunited with Dave on an undercover to investigate a petty crook who has suddenly become very wealthy. They accidentally stumble on information that opens the proverbial can of worms - leading to a murder investigation and uncovering major police corruption. There is a very clear cut bad guy in this, and the villains are far less likable than most of the ones in this series, but they do still have a few redeeming qualities - such as being reasonably caring parents.

      Their cover story is of two brothers living alone with 17 year old Dave being given temporary guardianship of his 13 year old brother. This plays into a very common child hood fantasy of life without adults - but the boys handle it quite responsibly. They face the trials and tribulations of any teenager and I do feel this will make young readers relate to the book. There are sexual situations, and a limited amount of description I really could have done without, but nothing overly graphic. The young people in this series behave very much the way real teens do, rather than how adults think their own child behaves, and I think this is the cause of conflict for some parents. But I also feel the realism of the interactions between the characters is what makes young readers enjoy this books so much, and this is certainly a series to keep young readers into books. Not every child enjoys Harry Potter or Twilight and there is a real need for books to suit children with different tastes in reading material.

      If rating this book as reading material for adults, I would give this 4 stars. I enjoyed, I expect to read it again someday, and I have gone out of my way to purchase further books in the series. I should have the whole collection soon and will be keeping the set. I did enjoy the author's Henderson's Boys series much more though, and would recommend starting with that series if these interest you.

      This is intended as a book for teenagers and I am certain I would have given this 5 stars and absolutely loved this at a younger age. Of course it is hard for an adult to judge a child's likes and dislikes, but I honestly feel this book is perfect for teenage readers. One of the reasons I have been happy enough spending the money on this set is the fact I am certain these books will see plenty of use when my sons are older. They may sit on the shelf for awhile, but collections like this mean there will always be something good to read in our house, even as the boys grow older. While there are plenty of good series out their for children - truly exceptional books for young boys can be hard to find and I feel that this one fits the bill perfectly.

      This is the 4th book in the Cherub series, and while this could be read as a stand alone title - I would not recommend it. You would just lose so much of the background information on the main characters, and I feel they would come across a bit flat without the development of the previous books.


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      03.01.2011 12:36
      Very helpful
      1 Comment



      Great stories for kids.

      Cherub: The Killing


      The Cherub Series started in 2004 and since then have grown in popularity. The books follow two main characters over the years and with each book they grow older. Although each book is a story in its self, there are issues which follow throughout the books and sometimes references to earlier books. The whole Cherub series are written by Robert Muchamore and the books in the series are as follows:
      1. The recruit (April 2004)
      2. Class A (October 2004)
      3. Maximum Security (April 2005)
      4. The Killing (October 2005)


      Cherub is a secret organisation which helps adult intelligence such as Scotland yard but the difference is Cherub uses children between the ages of ten and seventeen. However the kids aren't agents until they've been through an initial examination testing their intelligence and their potential to do well as a spy. Following this once they are old enough they must go through 100 days of basic training which ensures they are ready to undergo missions. Two of these Cherubs are James and Lauren Adams, the series follows the stories and missions of these two mainly as well as others around them. All the children live together on the Cherub campus where they have exceptional facilities to develop their skills.


      At the beginning of the book James Adams gets into serious trouble after hitting a younger agent. Because of this he is punished severely and finds himself very lonely as none of his friends are speaking to him. However the chairwoman starts to feel sorry for him and allows him to go on a low risk mission, something James is not used to. Just like in the last book he goes on mission with Dave, a much older Cherub agent. They are sent to south London to investigate Leon Tarasov who runs a garage. The two Cherubs start to become friendly with the locals and stumble across the death of Will which was thought to be an accident but the more they find out the more suspicious it becomes. They also discover a robbery of a casino is not all as it seems. As the investigation grows two more agents, Kerry Chang, James' ex-girlfriend and Lauren Adams, James' sister are both bought into the mission. As the plot thickens and the death of Will becoming more and more suspicious the Cherub agents have to try and find out everything they can to help capture the culprits.


      I like all the Cherub books and I think the whole idea behind them is great. However I didn't really enjoy this book as much as the others. I felt as though the plot was slightly weaker and at times difficult to follow. It was quite complicated and quite a few villains were used making the plot slightly more difficult. I thought the mission itself was not as exciting as usual with it dragging on slightly since the story behind the mission wasn't great. There were very many twists and turns in this story which could be very interesting for some but I prefer stories where you build on the bases of one story and then have the occasional twist.

      However don't be fooled by my negativity as I am comparing it to the other books in these series. The story line is still exciting and different to other books out there and there are many people who really like this one. The beginning of the book about James on campus was very interesting and the way we learnt more about him was good and helped build up the character we already knew quite a lot about. The idea of Cherub is exciting and I believe children love these books because they feel as though they can relate to them. Although I thought it was the weakest book yet I would still recommend reading it. I would say this because the series all follow each other and it's helpful to read this book before starting the next one so that you are aware of what has just happened. This book is especially important in terms of James' relationships, thus if you miss it out you might not understand what is going on in the next one. As usual I would recommend reading the previous three books because as I said before it is part of a series.

      Just like all the other Cherub books, this book is aimed at both girls and boys. By including both James and Lauren Adams as main characters it allows both genders to feel as though they can relate to the book. I would say this book is aimed at ages slightly higher than the previous books, this is due to the themes covered and the complexity of the plot. I would say children about thirteen years old would be the right age for these books. With the previous books I recommended them to children younger than this age as well but for this book I wouldn't say it is really suitable for children much younger. I think the minimum age would be ten. The plot is slightly more complicated but I think children will be ok with it. However themes such as violence and murder occur and are quite graphic.


      Publisher - Hodder Children's Books
      Price - The recommended retail price is £6.99 but as usual amazon has the same book for a fiver brand new.
      320 pages which is slightly longer than the other books in the series.

      For more information on the characters in Cherub and also information on all the books visit www.cherubcampus.com. There are also preview chapters and extra mini stories on there which are quite good to read.

      Thank you for reading.


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        01.09.2009 21:09
        Very helpful



        A great read

        The Killing

        This is the fourth book in the series CHERUB.

        The Killing as its name suggests revolves around the mystery as to who killed a teenager. James Adams is once again sent out on a mission when Police become suspicious about a small time crook, Leon Tarasov, who starts splashing his cash around.

        This book had a lot to live up to as I had enjoyed the previous books. It certainly didn't fail to deliver. This is a gripping action spy adventure with lots of twists and turns.

        I felt that it portrayed the life of many teenagers as James deals with the consequences of losing his temper, after getting dumped by his girlfriend. At least in CHERUB he is punished with manual labour unlike many of todays youngsters. Oh and he is suspended from missions.

        Its a complicated plot with lots of things happening but slowly you see them connecting it just takes James and another agent Dave to find the evidence.

        Is it believable? Yes I think it is. The main criminal character Leon Tarasov fronts a car dealership, just like in real life this seems to be a favourite way of criminals hiding their real dealings.

        Corrupt police officers - it does happen.

        A theft at a casino, I guess it does happen.

        Its all very believable apart from the fact that teenagers are being used to find out this information often being put in danger.

        Yet another book from Muchmore that will encourage boys to read it, and then want to read the rest of the series.

        Take a look at http://www.cherubcampus.com/index.html for more information about the cherub series.

        There will be 12 books in total in the series:
        1. The recruit
        2. Class A
        3. Maximum Security
        4. The Killing
        5. Divine Madness
        6. Man vs. Beast
        7. The Fall
        8. Mad Dogs
        9. The Sleepwalker
        10. The General
        11. Brigands MC (Due late August 2009)
        12. Shadow Wave (Due late 2010)

        There is also another book, which was written for world book day in 2008 - Dark Sun (Only available now online)


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          26.05.2009 18:47
          Very helpful



          fun and thrilling but could have been better

          The Killing, this is the forth book of the CHERUB series and I think that Robert Muchamore is doing very well. James is sent on a mission to find out what a small-time crook gets his big amounts of money from. James' needs to make friends with the crook's kids to find out what's going on. It turns out that the "small-time" crook isn't small time at all; he is a thief who has just taken part in a big-time robbery of a Casino and has killed the only person who would have said anything. Can James find out what happened and can he get the evidence?

          This book I found interesting but not as captivating as the first three (The Recruit, Class A or Maximum Security). The book itself was very good; there is still plenty of action to enjoy. I think that Muchamore captures the essence of every teenager in his books; what they're feeling, thinking, even what they want to do!

          This book is a good sequel to Maximum security. I enjoy the way Muchamore unravels the plot slowly like a horror movie or a police film. Although it is a sequel, it is an entirely different story but I still think you may get a bit lost if you haven't read the first ones, so read them first!!


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          12.10.2008 19:06
          Very helpful



          James Adams stars yet again in this brilliant series!

          Leon is a small time crook, who has suddenly started throwing his money around. The police are desperate to know where it came from, so they call in a favour from CHERUB.

          James Adam's latest mission looks like a fairly basic mission; infiltrating a family, making friends with the kids, finding some leads. However, this mission is much more complicated than anyone had expected. As leads unravel, it becomes apparent that there is only one person who might know the truth. This person fell to his death off a building 13 months earlier.

          The Killing is the 4th cherub book by Robert Muchamore. Although this story line isn't quite as exciting as some of them have been, it's still a brilliant book to read! As the story goes on, it gets more and more exciting; you just can't put it down!
          It is cleverly written, with real finesse. Very imaginative; an exhilarating read!
          I would recommend this to teenagers, who love reading punchy, thrilling books, which are not are not ridiculously complicated or difficult to read.


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