Robert Muchamore is one of our favourite authors, most notable for his bestselling Cherub series. He has visited Australia numerous times, and he has a special place in our heart, as demonstrated by his loyal Australian fanbase. Robert finished the Cherub spy series when he felt that there were no further adventures possible to imagine for those characters.
Obviously his imagination has gone into overdrive for the Robin Hood series, taking us into a dystopian future where social order has broken down.
Robin Hood is a twelve-year-old high school student, who enjoys tinkering with his PC and perfecting his archery skills. He is not cool, popular or topping his grades. But he is a very competent parkour athlete, can shoot an arrow right into the bullseye from 50 meters, and break into his grade teacher’s office and hack the computer.
In Jet Skis, Swamps and Smugglers, there’s a price on Robin’s head, one that has attracted a gang of ruthless mercenaries who are determined to track him down and hand him over to Guy Gisborne. So Robin is hiding out by the sea, but trouble has a way of finding him.
Before long he is helping to rescue refugees and trying to avoid the attentions of Customs and Immigration officials. Then he and Marion discover a people-smuggling operation: desperate people brought into the country to work in slave-like conditions making cheap goods. It’s only a matter of time before the two of them are trying to find out who is behind it—and Robin is again making the headlines with spectacular raids on the rich and powerful.
Jet Skis, Swamps and Smugglers is utterly riveting. Just like the first two books in the series, this novel is a real page-turner, with a good deal of suspense and numerous twists to keep the reader guessing.
It’s a deeply serious story that touches on themes of displacement, asylum seekers, inequity of wealth and education, social outcasts, and the misuse of power by authority. While serious, Muchamore’s ability to present these themes in an understandably compelling way is incredible.
I highly recommend this third entry in the Robin Hood series for readers aged 10+, who will enjoy this adventure story and find a compelling hero in Robin Hood.