|Genre||Children's, Thriller, Spy novel|
|Publisher||Hodder and Stoughton|
|United Kingdom: August 26, 2010|
|Media type||Print (Hardback) (Paperback May 2011), Print (Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Brigands M.C.|
|Followed by||People's Republic|
Shadow Wave is the 12th novel in the CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore. It was published by Hodder Children's Books (ISBN 9780340956472) on 26 August 2010, and features the final mission of the long-standing central character James Adams. A limited edition of Shadow Wave, with an orange cover (designed by Callum East), was made available just at W.H.Smith. Details of Muchamore's plans to create a small three-book series called Aramov without James were revealed via a secret website detailed on the back pages of all copies of the book.
James Adams works undercover with MI5 as a Brigands Motorcycle Club biker, trying to bring down its leader Ralph "The Führer" Donnington (continuing from his mission in the previous CHERUB book Brigands M.C.). His girlfriend Kerry Chang is also working with him as an interpreter in a set-up weapons deal. The police surround them and the Führer tries to escape, but ends up falling down a cliff and breaking his leg. He is taken into police custody.
James returns to CHERUB campus to a wedding between mission controller Chloe Blake and her boyfriend. At the wedding he is reunited with several ex-cherubs and former staff members, including former head instructor Norman Large, his former girlfriend Dana Smith and retired agent Kyle Blueman. Kyle finds a mission briefing for James to act as the son of David Secombe, an important figure in the British government who is negotiating a weapons deal with Malaysian Defence Minister Tan Abdullah. Kyle tells James about how, when he was assisting in a CHERUB basic training course in Malaysia in 2004, he met a teenager named Aizat Rakyat who told him how Abdullah was demolishing native villages to make way for luxurious hotels. When the Boxing Day tsunami struck he used the disaster to "evacuate" the villagers and therefore built more hotels. James, disgusted, quits the mission and joins Kyle in a scheme to embarrass Abdullah.
James' sister Lauren Adams and a younger agent, Kevin Sumner, are also going on the mission. James sneaks into Lauren's room in the early morning and installs a tracking device in her cellphone. He is about to leave when his friend Bruce Norris (who has broken up with his girlfriend Bethany Parker) agrees to join them. Together, they go and meet Helena Bayliss, runner of charity Guilt Trips, journalist Hugh Verhoeven and former businessman Dion Frei, who are working to discredit Abdullah. Lauren and Kevin go on a shopping trip with the daughter and son of Tan Abdullah, and James, using the tracking device in Lauren's phone, invites paparazzi to their locations, embarrassing Tan Abdullah's family. Meanwhile, Frei, claiming to act on behalf of the French government, offers Abdullah a weapons deal that is more favourable than Britain's offer and secretly films Abdullah making disparaging remarks about the Malaysian Prime Minister. When Abdullah's actions are revealed to the media, Abdullah commits suicide to avoid further embarrassment.
James leaves for Stanford University in California. A year later, he returns to London to visit Kerry and Lauren. The three visit Gwen Choke's grave, and Kerry tells James and Lauren that their mother would be very proud of them.
In the epilogue of the book, Bethany Parker is expelled from CHERUB because she breached security by continuing to have a relationship with someone she met outside campus on a mission. Kerry leaves CHERUB and joins James in Stanford University. Even though Kerry was suspicious that James cheated on her during his first year of college, he did not. CHERUB chairwoman's dog Meatball is also revealed to have become a father of three puppies. Lauren's father Ron dies from throat cancer shortly after being released from prison and James meets his biological father after seeing his name on one of his school textbooks.
The book was released on 27 August 2010 in hardback edition, as well as 2 September in some locations. The release date of the paperback version is unconfirmed but cited as being around May 2011. A special edition of the book is available at W H Smith with an orange cover. The book is the second (after Brigands M.C.) to be released in hardback format, the Recommended retail price in the United Kingdom is £12.99. The book is the last to feature the present list of main characters.
The CHERUB series continues with a set of three novels featuring new main characters - notably Ryan Sharma - with appearances of characters from the original series. The first, titled People's Republic, was released in August 2011 and the second, Guardian Angel, in August 2012. The third, Black Friday, is due for release in September 2013. The series centres on an operation to infiltrate a Kyrgyzstan crime organization known as the Aramov Clan.