When 14- year-old Alex Rider hears of his uncle’s tragic death in an auto accident, he becomes immediately suspicious. As far as Alex knew, Ian Rider had been a banker, a very careful man. He was also Alex’s only living relative.
Following up on his uncle’s fate, Alex discovers that the car is at a junkyard and is sporting dozens of bullet holes and blood on the seats that proves his uncle was murdered. So who killed Ian Rider and covered the act up? And why?
Alex’s quest for the truth introduces him to Alan Blunt, a spymaster for Britain’s MI6 espionage agency. Caught while seeking further information, Alex is blackmailed by Blunt into becoming the youngest spy to ever work for MI6.
Herod Sayles, a multi-millionaire, is giving away thousands of his newest computers, Stormbreaker, to the children of London’s schools. Ian Rider was investigating the man and those machines when he was killed. If Alex doesn’t agree to undertake the mission, Blunt promises that he will be sent off to an orphan’s home, and that his housekeeper, Jack Starbright, will be deported back to America.
Before he can adjust to getting blackmailed, Alex is sent on a three-week crash course training with SAS commandos. Yanked out of training, Alex is thrown headlong into the grinning jaws of death where he will meet a spectacular array of villains, including Mr. Grin, who has had his face disfigured during a throwing knife accident in a circus, and a huge jellyfish.
Anthony Horowitz is a successful writer of novels and television shows. His latest Alex Rider novel, Ark Angel, is out this year, bringing the total number in the series up to six. The series has exploded internationally, bursting on to the scene and grabbing the reading public of all ages. A movie based on the first novel is awaiting release. In addition, Horowitz has television and movie scripts for Poirot and Midsomer Nights, and he has created his own television shows, Murder In Mind and Foyle’s War.
It’s thus hardly surprising that I absolutely loved Stormbreaker. Most readers who love action and spy fiction will devour this dynamic book in a single sitting or two – otherwise they’ll be in extreme agony waiting to see what happens next.
The book is exciting, easy to read and hard to put down. The breakneck pace of the story draws the reader on, and the simple use of the language to convey the story make it that much easier to read just one more page, and another, and another.
However, the simple writing evokes full images, cast and settings. And there are twists and turns aplenty in the story.
Alex is very likeable, and he’s very much like James Bond might have been imagined at that age. Not only is he quick and mildly sardonic, but he gets a cutting-edge tech GameBoy equipped with spy gear, zit cream that eats through metal, and a yo-yo that doubles as a ascending rappelling winch, serving him as well as Spider-Man’s weblines.
Even though the pace is driving and the descriptions are wonderful, the book could have used a little more dialogue. The dialogue that the author uses is pretty much spot-on, but more of it was needed. As the series progresses and the characters start talking more, that issue lessens.
Still, Stormbreaker is blistering hot and an excellent read for anyone interested in action adventure novels and spy stories. Personally, I can’t wait for the movie. I think Harry Potter is going to have to reach deeply into his bag of magic tricks to stay on top of the popularity polls for young heroes!Powered by Sidelines