Saturday, March 22, 2014

Rock war by Robert Muchamore

When you are the bestselling author of one of the best loved series of all time it must surely be a somewhat daunting process to create an entirely new world of characters and settings for your latest series - but Robert Muchamore has tackled exactly this situation head on with the launch of Rock war, the first book in  anew series aimed at older teen readers (clearly pointed out by the "not suitable for younger readers" label on the back of the book).  To be honest, it took me a little while to shake the story loose and get comfortable with the new characters, partly because I had loved the world of CHERUB so much and all the characters had become like old friends - but once I shook off my hangups and settled into becoming acquainted with my new friends I really started to enjoy the story.

Jay is one child of many in a family where his older brothers and mother have had their fair share of run ins with the local police and one of his escapes is his music   Along with his friends Salman,Tristan, and Tristan's younger brother Alfie, Jay pours his heart and music into Brontobyte.  They have a bit of fun and have tried a few competitions, but they have never hit the big time.  When Jay finds someone who would be perfect for the drums it causes a huge row between him and Tristan and suddenly he is without a band - but he has plans to fix that.

Summer has an amazing voice but between looking after her nan and her terrible nerves she hasn't sung in front of an audience for ages.  Through a few strange twists of fate Summer finds herself involved with an all girl thrash metal band called Industrial Scale Slaughter.  For the first time in a long time Summer has something to worry about other than her nan, and her new bandmates swiftly become friends as well - although sometimes it feels like Michelle is more of a frenemy than a true friend.

Dylan has been at boarding school for years and has found what he thinks is the perfect way to get out of rugby - he takes music instead.  When he is busted for avoiding rugby even though he has been kicked out of  the orchestra he begs and pleads to get back into the orchestra but to no avail.  When he meets Leo, Max, and Eve Dylan has no idea they are about to become a band - or that his new friends are going to find out exactly who he is.

Rock war is an impressive start to a new series from Muchamore, and it comes loaded with his trademark honesty and strong character development.  While I wasn't sure if I liked the book to begin with, I soon got lost in the story and reached the end hoping it would reach a conclusion but not end.  Jay is the strongest viewpoint in this particular novel, but the rest of the cast rounds out the story and each character holds their own place without exception or apology.  There is the expected dodgy behaviour, the twists of fate, and getting away with things that probably shouldn't be got away with, but there is also some serious family and friendship dramas.  If the rest of the series is as well written and engrossing as Rock war then this series may very well be the next major bestseller for Muchamore.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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