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4.6 out of 5 stars345
4.6 out of 5 stars
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 10 December 2007
I am coming late to the Alex Rider series as my oldest son is only seven. This is the second Alex Rider book that I've read, for the purpose of understanding when my spy-obsessed son might be old enough to start reading the series.

I enjoyed reading this book. It obviously lacks the complexity and depth of a book written for adults, but it is still a fast paced and enjoyable thriller that borrows heavily on the James Bond and Mission Impossible franchises. Alex Rider makes a likeable hero who is brave, tenacious and resourceful.

I would feel comfortable giving it to my son to read when he's a little older - my gut feel is 9-10 years would be about right. He still needs to strengthen his reading skills (words like interrogation, hyperventilating, cloying, claustrophobic and exquisite are typical), but also to develop the maturity to cope with a plot that involves a fair amount of violence (the book opens with the death of Alex's uncle and bad guys get shot on a regular basis).

Here are some things that parents may like to know about this book:
- The storyline is reasonably simple and the bad guy/good guy lines are clearly drawn.
- Violence is not described in overly graphic detail, but it does occur throughout the book. Alex fires a gun twice and hits a bad guy on one occasion. He also causes the death of another villain by causing a plane crash.
- There is no swearing or bad language.
- There is a noticeable absence of positive female characters (unless you count the housekeeper who barely appears). There is a reference by the MI5 into female agents being of use if you need someone to slip in as a secretary or receptionist.
1212 comments316 of 325 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I volunteer in a school, and my main job is to encourage children to read for pleasure, particularly boys. Many of the boys in the older classes (primary school so ten and eleven year olds) are obsessed by the Alex Rider books, of which this, Stormbreaker, is the first in the series. I decided that I should read it so that I could get to grips with the kind of thing they enjoy and meet them where they're at, rather than expecting them to start with Pride and Prejudice.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is plot and action heavy and the pace is fast. The chapters are short and punchy and there isn't a great deal of philosophy or serious emotional stuff going on here. The book starts with the assassination of Alex's uncle, the man who has been his guardian since he was a baby, and Alex copes with his loss remarkably well. The story just speeds forward onto the next action sequence and the next. It is written very much like a computer game, one problem gets solved, the next one immediately springs up, and it is generally one which requires a great deal of physical action and not a terrible amount of anything else.

It was silly, and implausible, and at times, my rather more rational grown up head just wanted to shout 'no! that's rubbish!' but the part of me that just appreciates a very silly action romp shouted it down.

It is a relatively quick read, which I think is also an enormous part of the appeal.

I would say ten is probably the youngest I would recommend this too unless you have a particularly precocious reader on your hands. There is a lot of violence, a lot of casual death and some fairly gruesome events which may not sit well with younger readers/listeners.

If you are looking for something if your child has read the Alex Rider books I would suggest trying Charlie Higson's young James Bond series which are the next level up, slightly wordier, slightly more thought provoking, but just as exciting.
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on 24 October 2001
Stormbreaker is about a 14 year old boy, Alex Rider, who doesn't have any parents. He lives with an uncle who works for a "bank." One day is uncle dies in a car crash. The cause was he was not wearing his seat belt. Alex Rider thought that was unusual as his uncle always wore his seat belt. Then a few days later he is called in by the MI6. He finds out that his uncle didn't use to work in a bank, he used to work for the MI6 and that his uncle did not die because of his seat belt undone, he was shot. Alex doesn't have time to think about this, the MI6 have a case for him, STORMBREAKER, and what's more he only has two weeks to prepare for it.
This book is cracking book, I loved it and I have also read the sequel to STORMBREAKER, POINT BLANC and that is cracking too! I would recommend this book for all ages espacially to children around the of 10-14.
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on 24 July 2006
Very Very good. Really exciting and very tense even though it gets ideas from Bond its still very tense and addictive. I love it. I'm going to buy the sequel point blanc right now.
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Within moments Uncle Ian is dead and Alex Rider a reluctant spy - subjected to rigorous SAS training before despatched to find out what Herod Sayle really has in mind. Why the billionaire's gift of ultra-modern computers (Stormbreakers) to every British school? An act of supreme charity or something very sinister indeed?

Great fun. A likeable young hero, colourful characters, narrow escapes, gory deaths. (Beware that jellyfish!). Much humour too. One person has "the sort of face you forgot even when you were looking at it". Also enjoyed was Smithers, the equivalent of Bond's "Q", Alex's ingenious gadgets masquerading as a yo-yo and a tube of zit cream.

The 2010 edition includes afterthoughts by Horowitz, he describing how the novel came to be. He had been devoted to Fleming's Bond books (rather less so to many of the post-Connery Bond films - until Craig revitalized). Suddenly the thought - why not a young agent? Why not indeed! Readers could not have enough - this an instant hit, first of a series. (Unfortunately only one film, although it did the book proud.)

Recommended to all who remain young at heart.
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on 23 July 2001
Storm Breaker was very exciting and the gadgets Alex Rider used were really imaginative, like the spot cream that can dissolve metal. I actually think it would make an even better film than a book because lots of the chase scenes and tight situations Alex gets into (like when he is nearly crushed inside a car) would be more tense on screen and it would be easier to follow exactly what Alex is doing. This book is very visual and as I read it I kept picturing it as a film. It is like James Bond for a younger audience.
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on 10 March 2014
My 12 year old son has recently discovered this series and is enjoying them, so I read this out of curiosity. I quite enjoyed it, although for an adult it's not very taxing and I read the whole thing in a couple of hours.
Horovitz writes well, although the main character is not really credible. For a 14 year old schoolboy he seems remarkably well prepared for a life as a spy, whether it's being a black belt in karate, speaking several foreign languages or somehow being able to recognize a make of submarine or quad bike on demand.
I enjoyed the same author's Nick Diamond books more as they're amusing, although some of the humour went over my 12 year old's head. Nevertheless, on the evidence of what I've read, I'd recommend it to (the parents of) other 12 year olds, I'd certainly rather my son was reading this than playing games on his ipad (which is the main competition for his leisure time)
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on 9 February 2010
14 year old Alex Rider's life turns upside down when he finds out his guardian died in a accident. He's stuck living with his house- keeper Jack, but then he starts to wonder was there more to the death? Forced to work for a spy team, MI6, he's on the case of multi-millionaire Herod Sayle. Sayle is giving away a free stormbreaker computer to every school in the country but MI6 think there's more to it. Can Alex overcome the challenges ahead or could his first mission be his last.
This book is utterly brilliant, I would recommend this book to people of all ages
Reviewed by holly. Age 9.
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on 6 February 2014
General Overview (No spoilers)

I loved this film, watched it about 20 times, since I saw the film before the I read the book, does it live up to expectations? Yes. There was not that much variation from the film, but the characters were realistic and relatable. It was full of action but I liked how Alex always knew the danger and was not reckless, a good role model for younger readers. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series. I want some of the gadgets he got, they would be so cool to play with, a yo-yo that could carry your weight, so cool and so clever. I was glad there was no romance in it, just shows you don’t always need a love interest to be a great book.

4 stars out of 5.

Favourite Quote:

“Your never to young to die”

Okay so it’s the tagline to the book and movie, but it’s clever and shows how ruthless these people are.

Favourite Scene:

The one with the giant jellyfish – if you’ve read the book or watched the film you’ll know which one I mean.

Step by Step Overview (Spoilers)

0%- Since I have seen the film many times, I know the basic storyline, so hoping there’s enough to keep me entertained.

Page 20 – I am glad some of my favourite lines from the film are from the book, it makes me very happy.

Page 40 – I do like how it’s not exactly the same as the film. I have surprises to look forward to.

“No. The bank wouldn’t kill him. He didn’t even have an account there.” – I thought this line was genius.

Page 60 – That’s unfair, they are practically forcing him to be a spy. Blackmail is not the way to treat a 14 year old boy, even one who is mature for his age.

Page 80 – Flashback montage in a book – Anthony Horowitz I love you.

Page 100 – Kicking wolf out of plane made me smile. Herod Sayle is a bit of a creepy character. Adds to the story though.

Page 120- The only thing I am missing from this book is suspense and intrigue, but that’s my fault not the authors. Still really enjoying it though.

Page 140 – I loved the snooker part, it’s shows Sayle’s character well, he is a sore loser. Does Alex not find it odd that Sayle is upset about £4000, but is okay about giving away millions of pounds worth of computers free? Does it not make him suspicious?

Page 160 – Cheesewire and a flame thrower= Brilliant. I remember the ruin of the church from the film and find it very endearing – it gives beauty to a terrible situation.

Page 180 - I love the idea of Ian helping Alex from beyond the grave.

Page 200 – I was fooled for a second by Fraulein Vole, just for a second though.

Page 220 -I like that he is not willing to kill in cold blood. It shows he is a kind person.

Finish – What can I say? I loved it. It lived up to expectations. Nice easy enjoyable read.

Who would I recommend it to?

Anyone who likes YA, spy mysteries and generally good books that are nice and clean.
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on 19 September 2001
From the moment you pick up this book until the end you are drawn into to the world of Alex Rider, reluctent but nonetheless brave teenage spy. My nephew recomended this book to me and I spent one lazy afternoon reading it, always wanting to know what would happen next, would Alex survive his latest challenge, would he save schools in Britain from disaster. Just when you think everything is going to be okay you turn the page and terror creeps upon your face as another twist in the plot unfolds. I would recomend this book to any gadget mad 9 - 90 year old who likes lots of action in stories! A film has now been made based on this book but read this book as well as see the film as it is so good.
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