The International Writers Magazine: New Children's Fiction

Divine Madness by Robert Muchamore
Paperback 320 pages
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books ISBN: 0340894342

Review by Kyla Lacey -Davidson

The primary aim of the CHERUB-ASIS mission is to infiltrate the inner sanctum of the Ark and try to uncover the links between the Survivors and Help Earth. The mission is likely to take between two and six months to achieve success, and involves four complex phases…'

Every child dreams of adventure; of being whisked into a parallel universe where their every day is filled with the kind of excitement, terror, suspense and surprise that so rarely frequents their real lives. The kind of life, I suppose, they see reflected in the lives of Harry Potter and Co. Well, sixteen-year-old James Adams, along with his sister and three hundred other children have the opportunity to live that life as they are all Cherubs. And no I do not refer to ‘winged celestial beings’ but instead agents within a secret branch of British Intelligence.

In Divine Madness, a trio of Cherub’s are sent to Australia on a mission to infiltrate a religious cult named The Survivors, who are suspected to be financing an eco-terrorist organisation called Help Earth. James, his eleven-year-old sister Lauren and fifteen-year-old Dana have to try to fool The Survivors into believing their sincerity and enthusiasm for the Survivor life whilst resisting the strong mind control techniques that surround them within the cult as well as always keeping in mind the final goal-to bring the organisation down and prevent any more deaths from terrorist bombings.

This may all sound extremely adult and complicated but unfortunately it’s not. In today’s sad social climate, most teenagers, if not most people, will worry about the present and looming threat of terrorism. They are issues presented to every one of us on pretty much a daily basis to the extent that another suicide bombing barely makes us flinch any more. That is to say, as long as it isn’t in our own country.

With this book, Muchamore cleanly and kindly combines the fear of terrorism with the fear each teenager has about finding friends, finding love and passing school exams. The books are aimed at the young adult bracket but would be suitable for most readers. It fills you with suspense and excitement and the obvious yearning for the good to win out.

© Kyla Lacey Davidson May 2006

Kyla has just completed the second year of her Creative Arts Degree at Portsmouth University

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