My 10 year old is a reluctant reader, on the whole. Most of the books that captured my attention when I was growing up (Narnia, Swallows and Amazons, The Hobbit) he struggles with. Even Harry Potter, who he loves, he gets bogged down in, and would rather I read to him.
Alex Rider is the exception. We went through all of the first six books in just over a school term. And when this one turned up, he read 50 pages in the first evening he got it.
I like the books as well, and managed to start this one before my son got his hands on it! Alex is a reluctant secret agent, and the scars and pain from earlier adventures stay with him. The issues that he faces - people trafficking in this book - are issues that children will hear about in the media, and the stories present them in such a way that they can see the human dimension. If anything, this book is a little less preposterous than some of the others (he isn't sent into space again ...!), but just as compulsive, and just as well geared into boys' minds.