The Recruit: The Graphic Novel


Now a graphic novel, The Recruit is given an entirely new look with illustrations by Ian Edginton and John Aggs

A terrorist doesn't let strangers into her apartment because they might be undercover police or intelligence agents, but her children can bring their friends home and they run all over the place. The terrorist doesn't know that one of these kids has bugged every room in her house, made copies of all her computer files, and stolen her address book. The ...

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Now a graphic novel, The Recruit is given an entirely new look with illustrations by Ian Edginton and John Aggs

A terrorist doesn't let strangers into her apartment because they might be undercover police or intelligence agents, but her children can bring their friends home and they run all over the place. The terrorist doesn't know that one of these kids has bugged every room in her house, made copies of all her computer files, and stolen her address book. The child, James, was recruited from an secret agency and is just a 12-year-old boy from the wrong side of the tracks, sent to an foster-care home when his mother dies and his stepfather disowns him. James was chosen due to his potential, and he finds himself in a secret location—at the training center for all CHERUB agents. He faces extreme hardship while preparing for his first mission—to foil a suspected anthrax attack.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The first book in Muchamore's popular, long-running CHERUB series gets the graphic novel treatment. With a short temper, broken home life, and knack for getting into trouble, 11-year-old James Choke is on the fast track to delinquency. But just before becoming one of society's lost causes, he's recruited by CHERUB, a clandestine organization that trains and deploys kids (who naturally elicit less suspicion) for covert operations around the world. After a few weeks of basic training, he's sent on his first mission—to infiltrate an eco-friendly commune whose members are suspected of a plot to bomb an upcoming global oil summit and prevent the attack. Edginton crams a great deal of dialogue into a relatively tight space, and the plot tends to drag through the initial setup and training, then rush through the action of James's mission. While Aggs's artwork, buried under muddy digital coloring, keeps the story's action at the fore, it offers a fairly literal visual interpretation. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"Handled with a surprisingly levelheaded and grounded perspective." — School Library Journal
VOYA - Pam Carlson
Judi Dench's M (a James Bond character) was correct: "Orphans make the best recruits." After his mother dies, very intelligent, incredibly strong, and angry James is unwanted by his stepdad, a mean drunk. The only person James cares for is his half-sister, Lauren. One morning, he awakens to discover that he has been drugged and spirited away to the CHERUB campus, where teens are trained to work undercover missions while avoiding detection by adults. After enduring a grueling training period, he is—surprise—reunited with Lauren, also a new recruit. James is sent to Fort Harmony, part of a national park taken over by hippies in the 1960s. Many never left, and it is believed that some are now members of a militant environmentalist group. It is James's and another young agent's mission to learn their identity and their plan of attack on delegates to an upcoming conference of oil and gas executives. Illustrations are vigorous and vibrant. Shadows are draped artfully across the face and body of each character. Expressions are quite clear, but the depiction of teeth as bright white rectangles is distracting. The portrayal of James in both plot and illustrations makes it nearly impossible to believe that he is only eleven, making the whole story a bit implausible. Readers may wonder what CHERUB stands for but are left clueless, as the founder of the clandestine group dies before revealing that particular secret. Violence, smarts, and intensity define this first in a series of twelve volumes. Reviewer: Pam Carlson
Library Journal
Who would suspect a kid of being a highly trained international spy? This action-packed comic, adapted by Ian Edginton (Scarlett Traces; Sterling’s Illustrated Classics) from the popular YA novels by Muchamore, follows 11-year-old James Adams’s transformation from an orphan with anger management issues to a promising new recruit in the British Secret Service’s top secret child espionage program, CHERUB. James struggles with inner demons and physical obstacles but eventually emerges victorious, putting a handful of dangerous ecoterrorists behinds bars and earning a coveted blue CHERUB shirt.

Verdict The premise of training children as spies who carry out high-stakes missions is interesting but clichéd. Eye-rolling dialog and clunky artwork make it hard to root for any of the characters in this volume. YA readers who enjoy Muchamore’s “CHERUB” novels will probably be interested in reading the graphic novel version. For an overall better take on the “being a teenager is hard, especially when dark forces want to kill you” theme, readers may enjoy the “Morning Glories” titles by Nick Spencer or Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir’s Amazing Agent Jennifer.—Ingrid Bohnenkamp, Library Ctr., Springfield, MO

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—James has had a rough go of it lately. When a girl insults his overweight mom at school, he hits her and gets in a lot of trouble. He always seems to be in trouble. So when his mom passes away, and his waste of a stepfather separates him from his sister, James is beside himself. What's he to do? Then he wakes up one morning in the lush English countryside, only to discover that he's been enrolled in a covert finishing school for future British Intelligence officers. Recruited because of his geniuslike aptitude for math, among other things, he must prove himself when he reveals that he can't swim (a requirement of the program). Aggs's art is strong, and the use of bold color and sharp lines help drive much of the action and fighting James goes through before he gets initiated. Some elements are a little silly, such as the school's name being CHERUB (even the headmaster doesn't know what it stands for), but despite the fantastic situation of having a 12-year-old spy, it's all handled with a surprisingly levelheaded and grounded perspective.—Ryan P. Donovan, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781444903188
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Series: Cherub Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 350,732
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Muchamore is the bestselling author of the Cherub and Henderson's Boys series. John Aggs is a comic book artist who won the 2007 Grand Prize in the TokyoPop Rising Stars of Manga awards. He has illustrated Philip Pullman's The Adventures of John Blake. Ian Edginton is a comic book writer who has illustrated a number of titles, including H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, and has been published widely by Dark Horse Books.

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