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Customer Review

327 of 336 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A parent's review (contains plot spoilers), 10 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Stormbreaker (Alex Rider) (Paperback)
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.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Mar 2008 18:50:44 GMT
S. O'Toole says:
Thanks so much for your review on this book, it really helped me to decided whether or not to buy it. I'm a teacher and wondered if it would be suitable for my class, as there is some violence described, as in the shooting, I've decided not to go ahead. Without your review I may have gone ahead but you've saved my time - as a parent I prefer to choose if my children read books like this and not have them thrust upon them by teachers - and I don't like angry parents!! Thanks again for the review.

Posted on 30 Mar 2008 08:42:03 BDT
Julia Flyte says:
Thanks for the feedback! That's very nice of you. I'm glad you found the review useful.

Posted on 3 Nov 2009 20:36:43 GMT
Busy Mum says:
As the parent of another spy-crazy seven year old your review has given me the exact information I was looking for. I expected to have to wade through masses of reviews but now I won't have to. Thank-you so much for saving me a lot of time and effort!

Posted on 10 Dec 2010 13:36:15 GMT
Excellent review! All the necessary info in one place, thanks.

Posted on 10 Dec 2010 21:35:39 GMT
Julia Flyte says:
Thanks for your comment - I appreciate it.

Posted on 21 Sep 2012 17:36:02 BDT
BM says:
I would absolutely agree with this review. My 9 year old daughter is reading it at the moment - and I think she would not have coped had she been much younger. SHe is loving it! However later books in the series do have a fair sprinkling of swear words (no worse than "bloody") and also have references (albeit very brief) to subjects such as porn which left me with some explaining to do.....

Posted on 7 Nov 2012 15:18:19 GMT
Clurr says:
Thank you - a great review which has helped me to decide to wait a little. My 7 year old has the reading ability for these books, but not the maturity. As a mum of a child who increasingly wants to read to himself, I am faced also with a skim read before buying, you saved me the trouble!

Posted on 10 Dec 2012 13:38:43 GMT
R. Lane says:
Such a helpful review, thank you. I was considering this for my 7 year old daughter, but won't get it until she is older (or we find a spy novel with girl agents!)

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Dec 2012 01:18:16 GMT
Julia Flyte says:
Hi, she might like the Max Remy series by Deborah Abela.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Nov 2013 20:19:03 GMT
Try Gallagher girls for girl spies
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