Divine Madness (novel)
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First edition cover
|Genre||Children's, Thriller, Spy novel|
|Publisher||Hodder and Stoughton|
|6 April 2006|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Pages||368 pp (first edition, paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-340-89434-2 (first edition, paperback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.M869647 Di 2006|
|Preceded by||The Killing|
|Followed by||Man vs Beast|
|James' Fifth Mission|
|Mission controller||John Jones|
|Target||The Survivors; Help Earth|
James and Lauren Adams and Dana Smith are sent on a mission to Australia, posing as the children of an ASIS agent. They have been sent to determine whether a cult, The Survivors, is associated with Help Earth, and as such are sent to a "recruitment hotbed" area. The "family" starts going to cult meetings, and are eventually accepted into the commune. Lauren and James are accepted into an elite cult school in the Ark, the cult's headquarters. There, James befriends Rathbone "Rat" Regan, son of the cult's founder. After a while, Lauren develops a crush on Rat, and he uses his influence with one of his father's many wives to get her and James jobs in the offices, rather than in the stifling warehouse or laundry rooms.
Dana, meanwhile, extremely depressed about her unspectacular role in the mission, is summoned to the head of the commune's office. There, she and another cult member are told that they are to participate in a Help Earth mission to blow up an oil tanker. Her attempts to warn the mission controllers fail, and she ends up having to stop the attack herself.
However, ASIS now knows of the links between Help Earth and the Survivors. Having been waiting for an excuse to attack the Ark, elite troops are sent in to destroy it, despite the CHERUB agents' warnings that the cult is well-prepared for such an event. A helicopter is shot down and dozens of troops are killed in the first attack. In the lull that follows, James, Rat and Lauren attempt an escape. However, they are captured and locked in a room full of toddlers by a sadistic overseer.
When they manage to overpower her, Lauren points out that they need to take the kids with them or risk them dying. James reluctantly agrees, and they drag the half-asleep toddlers with them. Rat says that the most likely way out is through the sewage system, so they go there. James is making his way through the tank when an engineer appears. A brief moment of panic is proved unfounded as Rat persuades the man that he is on a divine mission. The man then offers to help them.
The now nine-strong group get out, but later hear that in another ASIS attack, several dozen children were killed when a wall collapsed on them. Rat is reported dead, but is revealed to be alive and going out with Lauren, who receives a black shirt. Dana is awarded a navy shirt, while all James gets is a stomach bug caught in the sewage system. Rat is recruited as a CHERUB agent and the four return to campus.
- James Adams - Is sent to Australia with Lauren and Dana to infiltrate the Survivors' Ark. Only Lauren and James are accepted and they begin to unearth links between The Survivors and Help Earth. Towards the end of the book they become involved in the carnage that ensues when The Australian SAS invade.
- Lauren Adams - James's sister, Lauren also goes to Australia and earns a Black Shirt, making her one of the youngest CHERUB agents to ever receive one.
- Dana Smith - She is part of the mission, except that she does not get accepted to go into the Survivor's Ark. Instead, Dana is sent to blow up a tanker that is refueling at a LNG, Liquid Natural Gas, facility as a part of Help Earth's plan.
Divine Madness is one of two Cherub stories where part of a scene had been cut out. The scene in question was the segment where Kyle and Bruce were chasing a suspected member of Help Earth. In the original version of the scene, Bruce beats up a passenger who calls him names while boarding the train. In the published book, this is not shown due to excessive violence. The cover is Bruce ignoring the comment.
On the CHERUB website, there is a bonus chapter entitled "Disconnected". It is set during Chapter 44 of Divine Madness, and introduces James' father.
|Lancashire Children's Book of the Year||2007||Winner|
- —— (2006). Divine Madness. CHERUB 5. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-89434-7.
- "CHERUB: Divine Madness Outtake Chapter 5 – Excerpt with added violence by Bruce Norris!". Retrieved 2009-08-21.
- Muchamore, Robert. Bonus Stories: Disconnected "CHERUB: Disconnected". www.cherubcampus.co,. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
- "News : 'Divine Madness' named Lancashire's Children's Book of the Year". Lancashire.gov.uk. 2007-07-29. Retrieved 2008-03-07.