CHERUB SERIES: Maximum Security - Review

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
My Review Of The Third Book In The CHERUB Series: "Maximum Security".

Submitted: May 29, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 29, 2015



CHERUB SERIES: Maximum Security - Review


Maximum Security continues to follow James Adams on his third big mission, this time accompanied by his sister Lauren Adams, as they attempt to capture one of the world’s most wanted weapons smugglers: Jane Oxford. To do so, they must infiltrate a person in Arizona and break out her sun, Curtis Oxford.


Maximum Security has many strengths and one of them is the sense of tension. There are frequent actions set-pieces that provide excitement, while adding to the depth of each character. In particular, the section within the prison and escaping the prison is some of the most nail-biting tension the series has had so far and is extraordinarily entertaining.


As with Class A, we are introduced to a range of interesting and memorable characters, all of them fleshed out and relatable. One of the great strengths of the CHERUB series is that you can root for the heroes to succeed, however you understand why the villains are the way they are and frequently feel sorry for them. Each book in the series so far has had an increasing quality in protagonist/antagonist interactions and Maximum Security takes this to the next level, with an excellently executed relationship with the son of the main villain, Curtis Oxford; as well as several other minor characters.


One of the great strengths I have found in many YA series is a range of interesting and likeable female characters; the Twilight series not included. The CHERUB series is one of the best for this, with characters such as Kerry Chang and Lauren Adams having very distinct personalities. Lauren in particular, excels as a character in Maximum Security, without becoming unbelievable. I would go so far as to say she is the best character, on the hero’s side within this story.


I do have some problems with Maximum Security however, one of them being the romance aspect. In this story, James cheats on Kerry Chang with a girl named Becky. While I don’t have a problem with this conceptually, I feel it was introduced in a rushed way and it seemed slightly out of character for James. Muchamore is one of the few writers within this genre, who I feel can have his characters do bad things and have them still maintain their likability. Here however, he pushes his luck. Not to breaking point, however compared to the romances with characters in the previous stories, it pales in comparison of quality.


Also, every time I read Maximum Security and revisit this romantic portion, I do roll my eyes at what I can see now as the starting point for James’s character trait of cheating on his girlfriends, a personality trait I am less than fond of for reasons I will explain as it appears. However, this is more of a series problem and so the blame can not be fully attributed to Maximum Security for this.


Despite this, almost everything else in the story works and works well. It is by far, the most action packed and exciting instalment yet and on a personal level, I hugely admire Muchamore’s decision to have Curtis Oxford be a character that is plagued by mental illness. The depiction is honest, true and does not attempt to unnecessarily demonise him and I have a great respect for Muchamore for appreciating his audience enough to include this. Its a great entry in the series and while its not one of my personal favourites, I always look forward to reading it.


Maximum Security does not reach its MAXIMUM potential but its still a damn good book.


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