Authors: Robert Muchamore
was born in 1972 and spent thirteen years working as a private investigator.
CHERUB: Shadow Wave
is his twelfth novel in the series.
The CHERUB series has won numerous awards, including the Red House Children’s Book Award. For more information on Robert and his work, visit
Praise for the CHERUB series:
‘If you can’t bear to read another story about elves, princesses or spoiled rich kids who never go to the toilet, try this. You won’t regret it.’
The Ultimate Teen Book Guide
‘My sixteen-year-old son read
in one sitting, then went out the next day and got the sequel.’ Sophie Smiley, teacher and children’s author
‘So good I forced my friends to read it, and they’re glad I did!’ Helen, age 14
‘CHERUB is the first book I ever read cover to cover. It was amazing.’ Scott, age 13
‘The best book ever.’ Madeline, age 12
‘CHERUB is a must for Alex Rider lovers.’ Travis, age 14
The Henderson’s Boys series:
… and coming soon:
One Shot Kill
The CHERUB series:
Man vs Beast
CHERUB series 2:
… and coming soon:
Copyright © 2010 Robert Muchamore
First published in Great Britain in 2010
by Hodder Children’s Books
This eBook edition published in 2012
The right of Robert Muchamore to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. Apart from any use permitted under UK copyright law, this publication may only be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form, or by any means with prior permission in writing from the publishers or in the case of reprographic production in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency and may not be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
A Catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN: 978 1 444 91055 1
Hodder Children’s Books
A Division of Hachette Children’s Books
338 Euston Road
London NW1 3BH
An Hachette UK company
CHERUB is a branch of British Intelligence. Its agents are aged between ten and seventeen years. Cherubs are mainly orphans who have been taken out of care homes and trained to work undercover. They live on CHERUB campus, a secret facility hidden in the English countryside.
Quite a lot. Nobody realises kids do undercover missions, which means they can get away with all kinds of stuff that adults can’t.
About three hundred children live on CHERUB campus. JAMES ADAMS is our seventeen-year-old hero. He’s a well-respected CHERUB agent with many successful missions under his belt. Hong Kong-born KERRY CHANG is James’ girlfriend. His other close friends include BRUCE NORRIS and SHAKEEL DAJANI.
James’ sister, LAUREN ADAMS, is fourteen and regarded as an outstanding CHERUB agent. She hangs out with boyfriend GREG ‘RAT’ RATHBONE and her best mate BETHANY PARKER.
With its large grounds, specialist training facilities and combined role as a boarding school and intelligence operation, CHERUB actually has more staff than pupils. They range from cooks and gardeners, to teachers, training instructors, nurses, psychiatrists and mission specialists. CHERUB is run by its chairwoman, ZARA ASKER.
Cherubs are ranked according to the colour of the T-shirts they wear on campus. ORANGE is for visitors. RED is for kids who live on CHERUB campus but are too young to qualify as agents (the minimum age is ten). BLUE is for kids undergoing CHERUB’s tough one-hundred-day basic training regime. A GREY T-shirt means you’re qualified for missions. NAVY is a reward for outstanding performance on a single mission. The BLACK T-shirt is the ultimate recognition for outstanding achievement over a number of missions. When you retire, you get the WHITE T-shirt, which is also worn by staff.
Violent altercations at the biker music festival known as the Rebel Tea Party in August 2008 led to a brutal gang war between the Brigands Motorcycle Club and their bitter rivals the Vengeful Bastards. The stabbings, shootings and property destruction climaxed in October when Brigands national president Ralph ‘the Führer’ Donnington ordered a series of successful arson attacks on Vengeful Bastard clubhouses.
But the Brigands’ triumph was short-lived. A random police stop on a suspicious vehicle unearthed homemade incendiaries intended for another Brigands attack. Two members of South Devon Brigands were arrested and a search of their London hotel room led to the seizure of firearms, sixty thousand pounds in cash and a laptop containing incriminating e-mails. The messages mentioned the arson attacks on clubhouses and contained financial records relating to South Devon Brigands’ illegal weapons-smuggling operation.
Eight of the nineteen full members of South Devon Brigands were arrested and charged. Further searches led to more evidence of criminal activity and the arrest of twenty additional bikers, from other Brigands chapters and associate gangs.
Despite this success the Führer remains in control of the Brigands. But with many close associates in jail he can no longer separate himself from his gang’s day-to-day criminal activities. After years of evading imprisonment the Führer is more vulnerable than ever before.
Excerpt from an internal police memo written by Chief Inspector Ross Johnson, head of the National Police Biker Task Force (NPBTF) January 2009.
James Adams cupped his hands under a mixer tap, splashed tepid water up towards his face and looked at his reflection in a mirrored bathroom cabinet. He’d let his hair grow shaggy and had straw-coloured bristles across his face. His acne was behaving itself, except for the red volcano near his Adam’s apple.
James was going for the biker look, wearing wrecked Nikes, oil-stained jeans and a sleeveless AC/DC T-shirt. The effect was completed by an oversized chrome belt buckle shaped like a skull. He flexed his thick arms and felt good about the way he looked: muscular shoulders, big biceps and thick tufts of hair in his pits. A recent growth spurt would be his last and had left him dead on six feet tall.
‘Hey there beautiful,’ James told himself. Then he tried to look menacing. He shot a fist towards the mirror. ‘What are you staring at?’ he shouted. ‘You wanna start something? See where it gets you, you Tottenham-supporting nerd. Bang!’
James laughed as the imaginary Tottenham fan crumpled to the ground, but there was no one else in the house to hear. He’d established his identity as James Raven the previous summer while living here with a mission controller and two younger agents, but he was living alone on this second phase of the mission. The back story was that he’d fought with his parents, quit studying A-levels and absconded to his family’s Devon holiday home to pursue a career as a full-time rebel.
James grabbed a black leather jacket and slid it up his arms as he bolted downstairs. He then took his keys and mobile from a crystal bowl by the front door.
took him into the handset’s hidden phonebook where he tapped the number for his mission controller, John Jones.
‘No sign of the Führer yet, boss,’ James told him. ‘Gonna be at least fifteen minutes late.’
John’s placid voice came back down the phone. ‘When was the Führer ever on time?’
‘Is everything at your end set?’ James asked. ‘Kerry OK?’
‘Tickety-boo,’ John agreed. ‘Kerry knows her stuff.’
‘We can’t let the Führer off the hook,’ James said seriously. ‘I’ve been on his arse for more than ten months.’
‘Any butterflies?’ John asked.
‘Sweaty palms, stomach churning,’ James admitted. ‘I’ve done enough missions now, but there’s always a few tense moments.’