Monday book review – Rock War by Robert Muchamore

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 2nd February 2015

Rock WarWith their daring plots and larger than life characters, Robert Muchamore’s books have hooked thousands of reluctant young readers over the years.

Former private investigator Muchamore wrote his first children’s novel after his nephew complained he didn’t have anything decent to read. Since then the writer hasn’t looked back – over the last 10 years his CHERUB and Henderson’s Boys series have sold million worldwide.

The great news is that Muchamore has now launched the first book in a new series for teenagers and it’s as daring, pacy and authentic as the rest of his work.

The idea for Rock War came to him when he spotted fans turning up at his book signings wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the logos of iconic rock bands.

Rock War charts the lives of three teenagers who are desperate to make it big in the hard-nosed world of music. They all belong to rival bands and they’re desperate to qualify for the once-in-a-lifetime Rock War challenge.

The first of the trio is guitarist Jay, who writes his own songs and lives above a north London chip shop with his mum, stepdad and seven siblings. Then there’s Summer, who has the voice of an angel but leads a hand-to-mouth existence in a high-rise Midlands flat. Last but not least is posh boy Dylan, who joins a band to avoid playing rugby at his remote Scottish boarding school.

Three more Rock War books are in the pipeline but the first, which is out in paperback on February 5, follows the teens’ battles to launch their respective bands. Jay falls out with his drummer and gets chucked out of his group. Summer is beset with nerves and Dylan has a superstar father to live up to.

Muchamore is brilliant at creating engaging, believable characters and Rock War is no exception. A word of warning though. The book isn’t for the faint hearted – or for readers below the age of 13. There are references to sex, drugs and self harming and the language is at times gritty and close to the bone.

That said, Muchamore is second to none when it comes to getting inside teenagers’ heads. Rock War is a fantastic read, full of breathtaking twists and turns and girls and boys alike will love it. Roll on the next in the series.

Rock War by Robert Muchamore (Hodder Children’s Books, £6.99)

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