The Recruit is the first novel in the CHERUB series, written by Robert Muchamore. It introduces most of the main characters, such as James Adams (James Choke), Lauren Adams (Lauren Onions), Kyle Blueman and Kerry Chang. The book itself was originally to be called 'CHERUB 1.0
The book begins with James Choke getting sent to a children's care home called Nebraska house, after his mother dies from a alcohol related incident where her heart stops beating under the pressure of fat, where he shares a room with his future best friend Kyle Blueman, a CHERUB agent who recruits him. Meanwhile James' sister Lauren is taken to live with her father Ron Onions a scumbag of a step dad. James gets arrested for trying to steal a beer and being shut in by his "friends". Next morning James awakes to find himself on the CHERUB campus where the chairman, Dr Terrence McAfferty - often called 'Mac' - introduces him to CHERUB and puts him through a series of entrance tests which he passes. James is admitted into CHERUB. In order to start going on missions all agents must complete Basic Training. During this James meets Kerry Chang, with whom he has a strong friendship.
James' first mission takes place in the hippy camp Fort Harmony. James and Amy Collins must befriend the hippies at Fort Harmony and find out more about the potential attack at Petrocon 2004 by the terrorist group Help Earth. The two discover a plot to release anthrax bacteria into the air in the conference centre. James then gets the anthrax virus and is rushed to a military hospital where he is then treated, but it turns out he had a harmless strain that was used to immunise the workers at the hotel petrocon was being held at. The police are called in and they raid Fort Harmony to prevent the attack from happening.