Review Blog

Aug 11 2014

Lone Wolf by Robert Muchamore

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Cherub Series 2, Hodder Children's Books, 2014. ISBN: 9781444922653.
(Age: 15+) Themes: Drugs; Vengeance. This book is entrenched in the mire of the drug world and the violence, murder and corruption that are associated with it. It is not clean, neat or pleasant, and could justifiably wear an MA-rating for its violence, drug references and language. The book wears a 'Not Suitable for Younger Readers' tag.
This is part of Muchamore's Cherub Series which incorporates the young British Secret Service professionals from the Cherub campus in tension-filled action. These young highly trained 12-18 year olds infiltrate in areas where no one would suspect that a child was involved in an undercover mission. The Cherub agency is called in to infiltrate into the Drug world and its conflicts to uncover the supply chain and those responsible at the top end of the mess that is the drug world.
Fay, the central character in this drama, is introduced to the book as a 13 year old who, in conjunction with her aunt, is wreaking rough justice on a Drug Lord who was responsible for her mother's death. Her violent vengeance eventually leads to her incarceration in a Secure Training Centre, where her tactics for survival lead her to gross bullying of others, and her release leaves her with no transformation of her desire for retribution. One of the Cherub agents connects with Fay who is still determined to carry out her plan for her own brand of revenge, and another is enmeshed into the world of drug-running and the associated lies and violence. Together they uncover the truth of the tortured and inherently dangerous domain of drug-running, which eventually leads to legal justice.
Although this is a fast-moving and head-strong rush into action, it lacks a clear ethical compass. The world of the drug runner is portrayed with all its violence, and Fay is not an endearing main character either; her actions are seldom wise. I would hope that any 15+ reader would be horrified that this world exists and would be able to discern the horrors of the abuses of power that are portrayed . No one seems to be transformed positively through the course of the story, and the Cherub agents get drawn into this world at the risk of their own lives!
Carolyn Hull

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