Title: Rock War
Author: Robert Muchamore
Published: February 24th 2014
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Genre: Young Adult
Length: 375 pages
Source: NetGalley eARC
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
Meet Jay. Summer. And Dylan.
Jay plays guitar, writes songs and dreams of being a rock star. But his ambitions are stifled by seven siblings and a terrible drummer.
Summer works hard at school, looks after her nan and has a one-in-a-million singing voice. But can her talent triumph over her nerves?
Dylan is happiest lying on his bunk smoking, but his school rugby coach has other ideas, and Dylan reluctantly joins a band to avoid crunching tackles and icy mud.
They’re about to enter the biggest battle of their lives. And there’s everything to play for.
I picked up this story because it was a battle of the bands type thing and I used to love reading stories like that when I was a kid. I was, however, rather disappointed with this book as a whole for a number of reason.
Jay, Summer and Dylan are three kids from three very different lives. They all have a passion for music. They all join bands. With the epic Rock War coming up, the bands have been practising as if their lives depend on it. But as the event gets closer, who will make it through?
Here’s the thing about this novel. It’s called Rock War, but the actual event isn’t mentioned until closer to the end and it’s not even the main event of this novel. That irritated me a little bit, because I had been expecting it to be the main event. Instead, we follow the three kids as they join bands, make new friends, and deal with everything in the lead up to a local event that’s like a battle of the bands.
I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. It all felt very formulaic to me and although I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it. It was a cookie cutter battle of the bands story. You knew the kids that were going to make it through miles before they even went in for the competition.
To me, this entire story felt like exposition. It was building up to something and then stopped. I’m sure the following books in the series will have more of the bands competing in competitions and such, but this one was just a long exploration of characters that didn’t really interest me.
I don’t know. I wanted to like this story a whole lot more than I did, but I didn’t hate it. It was just a bit bland for me. I read through it and… well, that was it. That’s how I felt.
Not one that I overly enjoyed. I’m not sure if I would recommend this. I guess for younger readers that like music-based stories, it’s a great deal but it was a swing and a miss for me, personally.
About the Author
Robert Muchamore was born in Islington, London in 1972. He still lives there, and worked as a private investigator up until 2005 and the critically-accepted release of Maximum Security.
The Hunger Games phenomenon is part of the huge YA / Children’s book explosion that has grown, thanks to the British Rat pack of YA authors, Anthony Horowitz, Robert Muchamore, Joe Craig and Charlie Higson. We owe much of the hunger games sucess to authors like Robert.
Robert was inspired to create the CHERUB series by his nephews’ complaints about the lack of anything for them to read. CHERUB: The Recruit was Robert’s first book and won the Red House Children’s Book Award 2005 in the Older Readers Category.
Following the last book in the CHERUB series, it was revealed that a trilogy would be released starting from August 2011 that will focus on a new set of CHERUB agents centred upon Ryan Sharma and also involve an sixteen year old Lauren Adams. The first book will be called People’s Republic.
*Picture and Biography from Goodreads