Stormbreaker (Alex Rider) Paperback – 4 Sep 2000
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Spies are great currency for exciting storylines, but few authors manage to successfully concoct realistic scenarios for a willing readership expecting chases, gunshots and thrills aplenty. In the first of what could easily become his most memorable series of novels to date, Anthony Horowitz has added a tongue-in-cheek quality to Stormbreaker that lifts it above several others in the same genre.
Horowitz knows that his main character, 14-year-old Alex Rider, is a normal teenager and he never forgets this when he thrusts his young hero into the thick of several truly edge-of-seat scenarios. There is humour alongside the action too--some great characters and cutting one-liners--that helps to ensure that entertainment is high on the agenda throughout.
Orphan Alex thought he knew his Uncle Ian Rider--until the elusive banker is killed in a tragic car accident. Immediately, Alex's life starts to get stranger by the day as his guardian's friends and colleagues start showing up and contradicting everything Alex thought he knew about the man he'd called Dad for so long. Maybe Ian Rider was not a banker after all? Surely the bullet holes in his Uncle's totalled car reveal that he had not died in an accident, but was murdered? Everything is explained when Alex decides to track down Ian Rider's real employers, but Alex is in for a surprise when they decide to contact him. The truth is hard to take, but maybe by following in his uncle's secret footsteps he might get the chance for revenge.
Apart from a slightly over-the-top finale involving a helicopter and the roof of London's Science Museum, Stormbreaker is a refreshingly energetic yarn that is required reading for fans of the contemporary thriller. --John McLay
"Slam-bang action, spying and high-tech gadgets . . . . a non-stop thriller!" - "Kirkus" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Alex Rider is a teenage spy. Something many of us would love to be I know. Not that he really wants to be (what an idiot). But he needs to find out the mystery of his Uncles death, who he finds out was a spy (big shocker). But quickly equipped with high tech gadgets, then put through tough training he’s ready to jump into the world of MI6. He’s put straight into action to test out a new computer being developed by Herod Sayle, a millionaire, who MI6 believe to be up to no good (paranoid freaks). So he’s sent off right away, but immediately gets into trouble, big trouble and it doesn’t look like there is a way out for him at all!
Stormbreaker is a truly wicked book that I would recommend to teenagers mostly. It’s full of action packed adventure with a little bit of comedy situations included. As soon as you pick up the book you are Alex Rider and you will feel his every move as if you are him. Excellent work by Anthony Horowitz and well worth a read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book has potential, but it's really a disappointment. The main character doesn't learn anything, and simply relies on luck and coincidences. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Sidney Dean
This book got me back into reading after a few years of struggling to find a children's book to catch my imagination. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
It was a book that's why I rated it out of 4out 5 also it's one of the best books are have readPublished 2 months ago by Charlotte montgomery
The first of the Alex Rider spy kids books and the first I have read. Its very entertaining, beautifully plausible in a rather unlikely way (if that makes sense), full of great... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mrs O.
A Really good set of books. I've read the whole series and they are brilliant. Definitely for about 9-17 year olds because of the violence in it, but still really awesome! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mr Scott Mackenzie