BOOK REVIEWS

The Escape (Henderson's Boys) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-06-16 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 18 user ratings
ISBN:0340956488
LANGUAGE:English

"This book was expertly written and full of excitement and wonderful characters, it is a book by one of my favourite authors so I was very excited to read it and it lived up to the expectation I had of it.

The POV of the book is split between three main characters, Marc, Rosie and Paul. Marc is an orphan from France who runs away only to find himself at a loss of what to do in his now war torn country. Rosie and Paul are siblings from Britain who find themselves in France looking for a friend of their fathers after his death. The main characters are brilliantly written and completely believable, Marc shows the most character development throughout the book and is quite similar to ‘James’ from ‘The Cherub’ series.

There are a lot of secondary characters and many of them don’t stay in the book for very long so for that reason I am not going to write about them.

The storyline is really original although I’m not sure just how historically accurate it is still was an immensely enjoyable read. The pacing was great with enough time to introduce the characters and ending on a cliff-hanger, I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series.

4.5 stars a very good read.
" said.

"It is June 1940 and Hitler is poised to invade France. People are fleeing south from Paris. Amongst them are two English children and their father, a travelling salesman. At the same time in an orphanage twelve year old Marc takes advantage of the chaos around him to steal a bicycle belonging to one of the brutal overlords of the institution and make his way in the opposite direction to Paris. They meet up with Charles Henderson who is one of the last remaining English espionage agents left in France and so begins an exciting series.

I loved so much about this book. It places the events solidly in the time set, the panic and the escape from Paris and the callous disregard for ordinary vulnerable people caught up in brutal invasion. That was the situation then and so much is the same now in other places.

I am not in the target age but enjoyed reading it for my grandchild. There is violence and danger and moral quandaries and plenty of summary executions. But we are caught up in the excitement and the adventure. There is no emotional wrenching that the reader has to contend with. The children are inventive and show different skills and are able to adapt to different dangers. I expect my grandchild in his early teens will enjoy it as much as I have.
" said.

"It is the summer of 1940 and the chaos of WW2 is in the air amongst the chaos 2 British children a being hunted by a group of German Gestapos. British spy Charles Henderson has to stop the Gestapos and get to the children before they get in serious danger. Elsewhere orphan Marc Kilgour is sick of his unhappy life at an orphanage where the director doesn't care about the children and gives them serious beatings. When Marc can stand it no longer he runs away not
knowing the adventures he would have on his journey.

I decided to read this book because I had read some of it once before and got bored. But a problem I have is getting bored by the start and then not bothering to read on. This time I Loved it so much that I read it in 3 hours over the course of 1 and 1/2 days.

My favourite character from this book is Marc Kilgour because he puts up with all of the bullying from the mean boys at his orphanage and doesn't let it show this show that he has a strong personality and knows how to ignore the bad things the world throws at you.

A quote from this book I liked was
"Sten gun Henderson said with a smile, not the most accurate weapon but if you need to kill everyone in the room in five seconds it's pretty helpful.
" said.

"Robert Muchamore was a great favourite with the 12/13 year old boys I used to teach, but this is my first foray into his oeuvre. He is better-known for his contemporary CHERUB series, but he takes many of the same elements (young teenage crime fighters; action; adventure; violence) and sets them within an interesting historical moment: the French surrender to the German Nazis in June 1940. Three children (just on the cusp of adolescence) are caught up in the chaos/danger/intrigue of the Nazi invasion: Marc, a French orphan who has escaped to Paris and is truly in the wrong place at the wrong time; and siblings Paul and Rosie, who are attempting to get to the French coastline with their father and the important blueprints in his possession. In some ways, this novel really does just feel like a set-up . . . it is a series of small escapes leading to one dramatically unresolved ending . . . but it moves along briskly and the historical setting is fleshed out without taking precedence over the plot. Charles Henderson, the British spy, is still a fairly shadowy presence in this first novel and doesn't actually appear until halfway through; the emphasis is definitely on the children, particularly Marc. I liked it well enough, but would warn potential 12/13 year old readers that there is a fair amount of violence in it. Marc, in particular, is put through the mill." said.

"Pro milovníka série CHERUB je série Henderson's boys samozřejmostí. Tyto dvě série se nedají srovnávat. Samozřejmě že ne. Bohužel české nakladatelství BB art je (HB a druhou sérii CHERUB) zřejmě nehodlá vydat v češtině. Naštěstí jsou k sehnání anglicky, takže jsem se s nadšením pustila do prvního dílu.
Nezaměnitelný styl Roberta Muchamora mě vtáhnul do děje rychle, jak se to daří jen jemu a už jsem byla ponořena do příběhu o Marcovi- sirotkovi a později utečenci ze sirotčince pod nadvládou krutého pana Tomase a o sourozencích Paulovi a Rosie Clarkových. Každý z příběhů se odehrává samostatně, ve stejném čase, ale na různých místech. Je válka. Marc se nachází v Paříži, kde se to Němci a gestapáky jen hemží a snaží se jakž takž přežít. Vloupá se do opuštěného domu, kde ho později nalézá gestapo a hledá jistého pana Hendersona. Paul a Rosie musí znenadání opustit pohodlí svého domu a vydají se se svým otcem na dalekou cestu směrem na jih s vidinou opuštění země a návratu do rodné Anglie. Paul a Rosie se celkem drsným způsobem dozvídají o svém otci spousta věcí, které před nimi celou dobu skrýval. Pan Clark se snaží spojit s jistým agentem Hendersonem (jaká náhoda), aby mu předal důležité dokumenty. Nedaří se to, protože pan Henderson je na cestách.
Jak to všechno dopadne? Spojí se osudy všech těchto lidí? To se dozvíte při přečtení vzrušujícího prvního dílu série Henderson's boys
" said.

"In the debut book of Robert Muchamore's new prequel series to CHERUB, Henderson's Boys, a 12 year old French orphan, Marc Kilgour finds himself in a new unfamiliar world than that at the orphanage. This new world is Nazi controlled France in 1940. Marc, after stumbling into an abandoned house, wakes up to a very very painful Nazi interrogation. The house belongs to a British spy named Charles Henderson, who after returning to the house to find a badly beaten boy, decides to use Marc to locate blueprints for a new type of spy ware, that lie in the hands of two children. Marc and Henderson have to race across enemy lines to get to the kids, before the Nazis do.

In the series, I noticed right off the bat that it is supposed to basically be exactly like the cherub series. The two main characters, Marc from Henderson's Boys, and James from CHERUB, are literally exactly the same. They have the exact same personality, which of course, is intended. The book, as I've heard, is supposed to answer many questions about CHERUB's background, but so far, the first book is just supposed to set up the other two still to come in the series. Theres supposed to be some big secret that reveals something about CHERUB. Although it would be helpful to decipher some of the clues in the book, you don't need to have read the cherub series to understand the escape.

But, if you've read the CHERUB books, you'll absolutely love this, because it's almost the exact same, same writing, same personalities, same idea, with just a different story plot. Overall, I totally love this book.
.
" said.

"I really enjoyed the original CHERUB series, and started reading this prequel series set during World War II. Here we have the adventures of the famous Charles Henderson who started CHERUB, and his first young agents. It has a lot in common with CHERUB: the same writing style and the same kind of graphical violence.

This book, however, did not work for me as well as CHERUB had. I did not connect with the characters and situations as well as I had in the previous series. While the concept of CHERUB felt quite original, this is just a standard spy story, only with children involved in the plot. To be honest, the premise is not more unrealistic here, but with CHERUB I was able to suspend disbelief more easily, considering that a lot of effort was made to minimize the young agents' exposure to violence. Here, killing is not a desperate last resort, but it's the standard procedure, even for the good guys. Yes, it's war, and yes, these children had already had their childhoods destroyed, but who would willingly involve them in this business? It's fiction, and I'm not squeamish about violence, but I just had more difficulties suspending disbelief and getting into the story.

Anyway, the story and the characters are enjoyable enough. It's a fast read, and I'll continue with the series. Hopefully in time I'll care about these characters as much as I cared about James Adams in CHERUB. I'll give this one a vote of confidence and give it 4 stars instead of 3.

EDIT: Book 2 of the series is actually the second half of the story started here. Read together, they work better.
" said.

"I was a bit puzzled as I read a good portion of this book and had not yet met Henderson - I kept thinking, "Where is he? Isn't he a key character?"

By the time Henderson came on the scene (more than halfway through - though his name does pop up early in the book), I better understood what the author had done for the first half of the book. His careful construction of the lives and stories of siblings Rosie and Paul (children of British spy Digby Clarke), and also the parallel story of Marc (a 12-year-old who escapes from an orphanage) does a fantastic job of painting a shockingly realistic portrait of not only the children and their lives and losses during the German's mad rush forward into Paris, but also the suffering and starving French soldiers and the brutality of the German (particularly the Gestapo) officers. There are many well-detailed examples of injured and exhausted refugees, bombs devastating cafes where people drinking a cup of coffee are sometimes killed by buildings collapsing and catching fire. The author does not shy away from death or telling the truth of how awful war is.

At the same time, the creativity and spunk of the children is inspiring (I loved Paul's drawings), and when Henderson meets up with Marc and then brings the three children together in an attempt to escape with him, his clever ideas to outwit the Germans and keep himself and the children alive kept my eyes glued to the page. The children all are forced into growing up in a hurry as they learn that sometimes you have to kill in order to survive. A very powerful story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, with a somewhat painful cliff-hanger ending that will make you wish you didn't have to wait for the next book in the series.
" said.

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