Wednesday, December 16

Eagle Day - Robert Muchamore

As the Germans invade Paris, British spy Charles Henderson, along with French orphan Marc Kilgour and English siblings Paul and Rosie Clarke, must make a difficult decision - flee to the relative safety of Spain and from there return to London, or infiltrate a Nazi boat yard in the hopes of uncovering and possibly sabotaging the invaders plans to defeat Britain.
I ended my review of The Escape, Muchamore's first part of this series, itself a prequel to the best-selling CHERUBs series, noting that I hoped the whole Henderson Boys series wouldn't be a chain of cliff-hangers. Though less the case here than in the Escape, this series is clearly destined to be less stand alone that the contemporary one. I suppose, given the work the series needs to do in forming a platform for the later, established organisation, this is inevitable and I have resigned myself to it.
This resignation is made easier by the compensations of strong characterisation, vibrant writing, a perfect encompassing of time and place blended with an immediacy born of its historical setting, and a brisk plot.
Muchamore infuses the novel with historical accuracy, footnoting translations for German and French terms rather than substituting their English equivalents, and interspersing sections with a brief update of the bigger picture of the war. The facts are succinct and digestible, and I imagine would be well assimilate by young readers rather than being seen as boring pedagogy.
I do enjoy the original series better, and am quite excited by the prospect of another CHERUB installment in my To Read pile, but making my way through Eagle Day was no hardship and I'll certainly continue on for the time being. - Alex

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