Stormbreaker (Alex Rider Series #1)

( 950 )

Overview

They told him his uncle died in an accident. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt, they said. But when fourteen-year-old Alex finds his uncle's windshield riddled with bullet holes, he knows it was no accident. What he doesn't know yet is that his uncle was killed while on a top-secret mission. But he is about to, and once he does, there is no turning back. Finding himself in the middle of terrorists, Alex must outsmart the people who want him dead. The government has given him the technology, but only he can provide ...

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Stormbreaker (Alex Rider Series #1)

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Overview

They told him his uncle died in an accident. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt, they said. But when fourteen-year-old Alex finds his uncle's windshield riddled with bullet holes, he knows it was no accident. What he doesn't know yet is that his uncle was killed while on a top-secret mission. But he is about to, and once he does, there is no turning back. Finding himself in the middle of terrorists, Alex must outsmart the people who want him dead. The government has given him the technology, but only he can provide the courage. Should he fail, every child in England will be murdered in cold blood.

The first in a thrilling new series by British writer Anthony Horowitz, Stormbreaker will have pulses racing from start to finish.

After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Alex Rider becomes the first fourteen-year-old MI6 agent when his uncle is assassinated. Alex is forced to take over the case involving a suspicious computer baron who has donated thousands of his newest, top-secret modules to British schools. This action-packed spy novel, the first in the projected Stormbreaker series, has all the clichés: a stony-faced hero, plenty of preposterous stunts—including using the rappelling cord to catch an airplane—terse dialogue, and the evil Egyptian, Russian, and Fräulein. There is not much else to the story, however, nor to Alex's character. Horowitz draws him out a little in the beginning as a reluctant spy who is unwilling to kill—although plenty of other people do kill each other in this story—but then loses him as the movielike plot predictably and explosively unfolds. This uncomplicated novel is fun fare enough for the Young Indiana Jones fan or reluctant reader. Although it offers little that a B movie does not, sophisticated readers will find it simplistic. Those readers looking for intrigue and suspense will be served better with John Marsden or Peter Dickinson. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Philomel, 208p, $16.99. Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Nina Lindsay SOURCE: VOYA, August 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 3)
KLIATT
To quote from the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, May 2001: Agent 007 comes to the middle school! Horowitz, a British writer of thrillers and mysteries for the BBC and a successful writer of children's books, offers here a nonstop thriller featuring Alex Rider, 14 years old, who is enlisted in the British Secret Service to investigate the reason his uncle was murdered. From the first chapter, Alex manages stunning escapes from near-death situations. Like James Bond, he has all manner of skills and intelligence to call upon, and some useful toys (like those gadgets given to 007 before each mission) that are used just in the nick of time throughout his adventure. In this first mission, Alex is called to investigate why a multimillionaire is donating advanced computers to all the schools in Great Britain. Alex impersonates a boy who won a contest to go to the secret compound in Cornwall where the computers are assembled. It turns out that the crazed tycoon is planning to use the donated computers to spread deadly germs throughout the country—but Alex single-handedly prevents the disaster. Thrills all the way. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2000, Penguin, Puffin, 192p.,
— Claire Rosser
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Alex Rider's world is turned upside down when he discovers that his uncle and guardian has been murdered. The 14-year-old makes one discovery after another until he is sucked into his uncle's undercover world. The Special Operations Division of M16, his uncle's real employer, blackmails the teen into serving England. After two short weeks of training, Alex is equipped with several special toys like a Game Boy with unique cartridges that allow it to scan, fax, and emit smoke bombs. Alex's mission is to complete his uncle's last assignment, to discover the secret that Herod Sayle is hiding behind his generous donation of one of his supercomputers to every school in the country. When Alex enters Sayle's compound in Port Tallon, he discovers a strange world of secrets and villains including Mr. Grin, an ex-circus knife catcher, and Yassen Gregorovich, professional hit man. The novel provides bang after bang as Alex experiences and survives unbelievably dangerous episodes and eventually crashes through the roof of the Science Museum to save the day. Alex is a strong, smart hero. If readers consider luck the ruling factor in his universe, they will love this James Bond-style adventure. With short cliff-hanger chapters and its breathless pace, it is an excellent choice for reluctant readers. Warning: Suspend reality.-Lynn Bryant, formerly at Navarre High School, FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
What if James Bond had started spying as a teenager? This thriller pits 14-year-old Alex Rider against a mad billionaire industrialist. Non-stop action keeps the intrigue boiling as Alex tries to stop the remarkably evil Herod Sayles from murdering Britain's schoolchildren through biological warfare. Alex begins as an innocent boy shocked by the death of his Uncle Ian in a traffic accident. Suspicious of the official explanation, he investigates and finds Ian's car riddled with bullet holes. He narrowly escapes being crushed in the car as it's demolished, then climbs out of a 15-story window to break into Ian's office. He learns that Ian was a spy, and reluctantly joins Britain's MI6 intelligence agency. After surviving brutal training and armed with stealthy spy tools, Alex infiltrates Sayles's operation as the teenage tester of the "Stormbreaker," a new computer Sayles is giving to British schools. Thereafter he survives murderous ATV drivers, an underwater swim in an abandoned mine, and an encounter with a Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish before hitching a ride on an already airborne plane. The plot is, of course, preposterous, but young readers won't care as they zoom through numerous cliffhangers. This is the first book in a series planned by the author, and may prove useful for reluctant readers looking for excitement. (Fiction. 12-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399236204
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Series: Alex Rider Series , #1
  • Edition description: 1 AMER ED
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 233,496
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • Lexile: 670L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Horowitz
Anthony Horowitz is the author of one previous book for teens: The Devil and His Boy, which received glowing reviews all around. He is also the author of several plays and television screenplays in his native England.
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Read an Excerpt

5: Double O Nothing

For the hundredth time, Alex cursed Alan Blunt, using language he hadn’t even realized he knew. It was almost five o’clock in the evening, although it could have been five o’clock in the morning; the sky had barely changed at all throughout the day. It was gray, cold, unforgiving. The rain was still falling, a thin drizzle that traveled horizontally in the wind, soaking through his supposedly waterproof clothing, mixing with his sweat and his dirt, chilling him to the bone. He unfolded his map and checked his position once again. He had to be close to the last RV of the day—the last rendezvous point—but he could see nothing. He was standing on a narrow track made up of loose gray pebbles that crunched under his combat boots when he walked. The track snaked around the side of a mountain with a sheer drop to the right. He was somewhere in the Brecon Beacons and there should have been a view, but it had been wiped out by the rain and the fading light. A few trees twisted out of the side of the hill with leaves as hard as thorns. Behind him, below him, ahead of him, it was all the same. Nowhere Land.

Alex hurt. The 22-pound bergen backpack that he had been forced to wear cut into his shoulders and had rubbed blisters into his back. His right knee, where he had fallen earlier in the day, was no longer bleeding but still stung. His shoulder was bruised and there was a gash along the side of his neck. His camouflage outfit—he had swapped his Gap combat trousers for the real thing—fitted him badly, cutting in between his legs and under his arms but hanging loose everywhere else. He was close to exhaustion, he knew, almost too tired to know how much pain he was in. But for the glucose and caffeine tablets in his survival pack, he would have ground to a halt hours ago. He knew that if he didn’t find the RV soon, he would be physically unable to continue. Then he would be thrown off the course. "Binned" as they called it. They would like that. Swallowing down the taste of defeat, Alex folded the map and forced himself on.

It was his ninth—or maybe his tenth—day of training. Time had begun to dissolve into itself, as shapeless as the rain. After his lunch with Alan Blunt and Mrs. Jones, he had been moved out of the manor house and into a crude wooden hut a few miles away. There were nine huts in total, each equipped with four metal beds and four metal lockers. A fifth had been squeezed into one of them to accommodate Alex. Two more huts, painted a different color, stood side by side. One of these was a kitchen and mess hall. The other contained toilets, sinks, and showers—with not a single hot faucet in sight. On his first day there, Alex had been introduced to his training officer, an incredibly fit black sergeant. He was the sort of man who thought he’d seen everything. Until he saw Alex. And he had examined the new arrival for a long minute before he had spoken.

"It’s not my job to ask questions," he had said. "But if it was, I’d want to know what they’re thinking of, sending me children. Do you have any idea where you are, boy? This isn’t a holiday camp. This isn’t Disneyland." He cut the word into its three syllables and spat them out. "I have you for twelve days and they expect me to give you the sort of training that should take fourteen weeks. That’s not just mad. That’s suicidal."

"I didn’t ask to be here," Alex said.

Suddenly the sergeant was furious. "You don’t speak to me unless I give you permission," he shouted. "And when you speak to me, you address me as ‘sir.’ Do you understand?"

"Yes, sir." Alex had already decided that the man was even worse than his geography teacher.

"There are five units operational here at the moment," the officer went on. "You’ll join K Unit. We don’t use names. I have no name. You have no name. If anyone asks you what you’re doing, you tell them nothing. Some of the men may be hard on you. Some of them may resent you being here. That’s too bad. You’ll just have to live with it. And there’s something else you need to know. I can make allowances for you. You’re a boy, not a man. But if you complain, you’ll be binned. If you cry, you’ll be binned. If you can’t keep up, you’ll be binned. Between you and me, boy, this is a mistake and I want to bin you." After that, Alex joined K Unit. As the sergeant had predicted, they weren’t exactly overjoyed to see him.

There were four of them. As Alex was soon to discover, the Special Operations Division of MI6 sent its agents to the same training center used by the Special Air Service—the SAS. Much of the training was based on SAS methods and this included the numbers and makeup of each team. So there were four men, each with their own special skills. And one boy, seemingly with none.

They were all in their mid-twenties, spread out over the bunks in companionable silence. Two of them were smoking. One was dismantling and reassembling his gun—a 9mm Browning High Power pistol. Each of them had been given a code name: Wolf, Fox, Eagle, and Snake. From now on, Alex would be known as Cub. The leader, Wolf, was the one with the gun. He was short and muscular with square shoulders and black, close-cropped hair. He had a handsome face, made slightly uneven by his nose, which had been broken at some time in the past.

He was the first to speak. Putting the gun down, he examined Alex with cold dark brown eyes. "So who the hell do you think you are?" he demanded.

"Cub," Alex replied.

"A bloody schoolboy!" Wolf spoke with a strange, slightly foreign accent.

"I don’t believe it. Are you with Special Operations?"

"I’m not allowed to tell you that." Alex went over to his bunk and sat down. The mattress felt as solid as the frame. Despite the cold, there was only one blanket.

Wolf shook his head and smiled humorlessly. "Look what they’ve sent us," he muttered. "Double O Seven? Double O Nothing’s more like it."

After that, the name stuck. Double O Nothing was what they called him.

In the days that followed, Alex shadowed the group, not quite part of it but never far away. Almost everything they did, he did. He learned map reading, radio communication, and first aid.

He took part in an unarmed combat class and was knocked to the ground so often that it took all his nerve to persuade himself to get up again.

And then there was the assault course. Five times he was shouted and bullied across the nightmare of nets and ladders, tunnels and ditches, towering walls and swinging tightropes that stretched out for almost a quarter of a mile in, and over, the woodland beside the huts. Alex thought of it as the adventure playground from hell. The first time he tried it, he fell off a rope and into a pit filled with freezing slime. Half drowned and filthy, he had been sent back to the start by the sergeant. Alex thought he would never get to the end, but the second time he finished it in twenty-five minutes, which he had cut to seventeen minutes by the end of the week. Bruised and exhausted though he was, he was quietly pleased with himself. Even Wolf only managed it in twelve.

Wolf remained actively hostile toward Alex. The other three men simply ignored him, but Wolf did everything to taunt or humiliate him. It was as if Alex had somehow insulted him by being placed in the group. Once, crawling under the nets, Wolf lashed out with his foot, missing Alex’s face by an inch.

Of course he would have said it was an accident if the boot had connected. Another time he was more successful, tripping Alex up in the mess hall and sending him flying, along with his tray, cutlery, and steaming plate of stew. And every time he spoke to Alex, he used the same sneering tone of voice.

"Good night, Double O Nothing. Don’t wet the bed."

Alex bit his lip and said nothing. But he was glad when the four men were sent off for a day’s jungle survival course—this wasn’t part of his own training. Even though the sergeant worked him twice as hard once they were gone, Alex preferred to be on his own.

But on the tenth day, Wolf did come close to finishing him altogether. It happened in the Killing House.

The Killing House was a fake—a mock-up of an embassy used to train the SAS in the art of hostage release. Alex had twice watched K Unit go into the house, the first time swinging down from the roof, and had followed their progress on closed-circuit TV. All four men were armed. Alex himself didn’t take part because someone somewhere had decided he shouldn’t carry a gun. Inside the Killing House, mannequins had been arranged as terrorists and hostages. Smashing down the doors and using stun grenades to clear the rooms with deafening, multiple blasts, Wolf, Fox, Eagle, and Snake had successfully completed their mission both times.

This time Alex had joined them. The Killing House had been booby-trapped. They weren’t told how. All five of them were unarmed. Their job was simply to get from one end of the house to the other without being "killed."

They almost made it. In the first room, made up to look like a huge dining room, they found the pressure pads under the carpet and the infrared beams across the doors. For Alex it was an eerie experience, tiptoeing behind the other four men, watching as they dismantled the two devices, using cigarette smoke to expose the otherwise invisible beam.

It was strange to be afraid of everything and yet to see nothing. In the hallway there was a motion detector, which would have activated a machine gun (Alex assumed it was loaded with blanks) behind a Japanese screen. The third room was empty. The fourth was a living room with the exit, a pair of French windows, on the other side. There was a trip wire, barely thicker than a human hair, running the entire width of the room, and the French windows were alarmed. While Snake dealt with the alarm, Fox and Eagle prepared to neutralize the trip wire, unclipping an electronic circuit board and a variety of tools from their belts. Wolf stopped them. "Leave it. We’re out of here." At the same moment, Snake signaled. He had deactivated the alarm. The French windows were open.

Snake was the first out. Then Fox and Eagle. Alex would have been the last to leave the room, but just as he reached the exit, he found Wolf blocking his way.

"Tough luck, Double O Nothing," Wolf said. His voice was soft, almost kind. The next thing Alex knew, the heel of Wolf’s palm had rammed into his chest, pushing him back with astonishing force. Taken by surprise, he lost his balance and fell, remembered the trip wire, and tried to twist his body to avoid it. But it was hopeless. His flailing left hand caught the wire. He actually felt it against his wrist. He hit the floor, pulling the wire with him.

The trip wire activated a stun grenade—a small device filled with a mixture of magnesium powder and mercury fulminate. The blast didn’t just deafen Alex, it shuddered right through him as if trying to rip out his heart. The light from the ignited mercury burned for a full five seconds. It was so blinding that even closing his eyes made no difference. Alex lay there with his face against the hard wooden floor, his hands scrabbling against his head, unable to move, waiting for it to end. But even then it wasn’t over. When the flare finally died down, it was as if all the light in the room had burned out with it. Alex stumbled to his feet, unable to see or hear, not even sure anymore where he was. He felt sick to his stomach. The room swayed around him. The heavy smell of chemicals hung in the air.

Ten minutes later he staggered out into the open. Wolf was waiting for him with the others, his face blank. He had slipped out before Alex hit the ground. The unit’s training officer walked angrily over to him. Alex hadn’t expected to see a shred of concern in the man’s face and he wasn’t disappointed.

"Do you want to tell me what happened in there, Cub?" he demanded. When Alex didn’t answer, he went on. "You ruined the exercise. You fouled up. You could get the whole unit binned.

So you’d better start telling me what went wrong."

Alex glanced at Wolf. Wolf looked the other way. What should he say? Should he even try to tell the truth?

"Well?" The sergeant was waiting.

"Nothing happened, sir," Alex said.

"I just wasn’t looking where I was going. I stepped on something and there was an explosion."

"If that was real life, you’d be dead," the sergeant said. "What did I tell you? Sending me a child was a mistake. And a stupid, clumsy child who doesn’t look where he’s going . . . that’s even worse!"

Alex stood where he was. He knew he was blushing. Half of him wanted to answer back, but he bit his tongue. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Wolf half smiling.

The sergeant had seen it too. "You think it’s so funny, Wolf? You can go clean up in there. And tonight you’d better get some rest. All of you. Because tomorrow you’ve got a thirty-mile hike. No rations. No lighters. No fire. This is a survival course. And if you do survive, then maybe you’ll have a reason to smile."

Alex remembered the words now, exactly twenty-four hours later. He had spent the last eleven of them on his feet, following the trail that the sergeant had set out for him on the map. The exercise had begun at six o’clock in the morning after a gray-lit breakfast of sausages and beans. Wolf and the others had disappeared into the distance ahead of him a long time ago, even though they had been given 55-pound backpacks to carry. They had also been given only eight hours to complete the course. Allowing for his age, Alex had been given twelve.

He rounded a corner, his feet scrunching on the gravel. There was someone standing ahead of him. It was the sergeant. He had just lit a cigarette and Alex watched him slide the matches back into his pocket. Seeing him there brought back the shame and the anger of the day before and at the same time sapped the last of his strength. Suddenly, Alex had had enough of Blunt, Mrs. Jones, Wolf . . . the whole stupid thing. With a final effort he stumbled forward the last yards and came to a halt. Rain and sweat trickled down the side of his face. His hair, dark now with grime, was glued across his forehead.

The sergeant looked at his watch. "Eleven hours, five minutes. That’s not bad, Cub. But the others were here three hours ago." Bully for them, Alex thought. He didn’t say anything.

"Anyway, you should just make it to the first RV," the sergeant went on. "It’s up there."

He pointed to a wall. Not a sloping wall. A sheer one. Solid rock rising two or three hundred feet up without a handhold or a foothold in sight. Even looking at it, Alex felt his stomach shrink.

Ian Rider had taken him climbing…in Scotland, in France, all over Europe. But he had never attempted anything as difficult as this. Not on his own. Not when he was so tired.

"I can’t," he said. In the end the two words came out easily.

"I didn’t hear that," the sergeant said.

"I said, I can’t do it, sir."

"Can’t isn’t a word we use around here."

"I don’t care. I’ve had enough. I’ve just had . . ." Alex’s voice cracked. He didn’t trust himself to go on. He stood there, cold and empty, waiting for the ax to fall. But it didn’t. The sergeant gazed at him for a long minute. He nodded his head slowly. "Listen to me, Cub," he said. "I know what happened in the Killing House."

Alex glanced up.

"Wolf forgot about the closed-circuit TV. We’ve got it all on film."

"Then why—?" Alex began.

"Did you make a complaint against him, Cub?"

"No, sir."

"Do you want to make a complaint against him, Cub?"

A pause. Then . . ."No, sir."

"Good." The sergeant pointed at the rock face, suggesting a path up with his finger. "It’s not as difficult as it looks," he said. "And they’re waiting for you just over the top. You’ve got a nice cold dinner. Survival rations. You don’t want to miss that." Alex drew a deep breath and started forward. As he passed the sergeant, he stumbled and put out a hand to steady himself, brushing against him. "Sorry, sir. . ." he said.

It took him twenty minutes to reach the top and sure enough K Unit was already there, crouching around three small tents that they must have pitched earlier in the afternoon. Two just large enough for sharing. One, the smallest, for Alex. Snake, a thin, fair-haired man who spoke with a Scottish accent, looked up at Alex. He had a tin of cold stew in one hand, a teaspoon in the other. "I didn’t think you’d make it," he said. Alex couldn’t help but notice a certain warmth in the man’s voice. And for the first time he hadn’t called him Double O Nothing. "Nor did I," Alex said.

Wolf was squatting over what he hoped would become a campfire, trying to get it started with two flint stones while Fox and Eagle watched. He was getting nowhere. The stones produced only the smallest of sparks and the scraps of newspaper and leaves that he had collected were already far too wet. Wolf struck at the stones again and again. The others watched, their faces glum.

Alex held out the box of matches that he had pickpocketed from the sergeant when he had pretended to stumble at the foot of the rock face. "These might help," he said.

He threw the matches down, then went into his tent.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 950 )
Rating Distribution

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(667)

4 Star

(145)

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2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 958 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2008

    Alex Rider is a great kid that has to deal with alot of stress and action, but I love to read the books and can't put them down

    I thought this book was great, it was an outstanding start to the Alex Rider Series. I thought it had alot of action and I didn't want to put the book down. Being a teenager myself it seemed amazing that a kid younger than me could do this stuff. I can't wait to read the other books and I hope you make movies for them.

    35 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    Fourteen-year old Alex Rider knows something bad has happened when the doorbell rings in the middle of the night. He soon learns that his caretaker uncle, Ian Rider, was killed in an automobile accident on his way home. A banker who works for Royal & General, Alex's uncle was a fine man who wasn't home much--but he's still devastated by his death. Except the appearance of some strange people who claim to be his uncle's co-workers, a gun-toting man at his uncle's funeral, and the findings of his uncle's bullet-ridden car make Alex think that there's more than meets the eye to the "automobile accident" story. <BR/><BR/>Alex soons find out that his Uncle Ian's life, at least where he himself was concerned, was based on a lie. Ian Rider was a spy, employed by the Special Operations Divison of MI6. And the last case he was working on, concerning multi-millionaire Herod Sayle, was a case that got Ian Rider killed. Now Mr. Blunt and Mrs. Jones, head of SOD, want Alex to pick up where his uncle, their operative, left off--infiltrate the compound where Herod Sayle is building his new Stormbreaker computers, and find out what Ian Rider had to die for. <BR/><BR/>What follows is an action-packed story of danger, bullets, viruses, and out-and-out excitement. At fourteen, Alex is savvy, trained in martial arts, can speak multiple languages, and is, in fact, a truly bliddy good spy! <BR/><BR/>Anthony Horowitz has devised a real winner with Alex Rider and his new career (although he was actually forced into working for MI6), and I can't wait to read the next book in the series and see what mission Alex will be sent on next!

    23 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2012

    8 years of love

    I first read this book when I was twelve. Now at twenty and working on my English major, I still find it captivating! The writing is simplistic enough so young kids can follow along, but has a serious enough story for adults who like adventure. Perfect for those days you want your imagination to run wild without over exerting your mind. A.H. descriptions are wonderful. One of my favorite series of all time, highly recommended.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    What a great book!

    This book is amazing. It's about a kid who's Uncle used to work for a spy agency. So the boy or Alex Rider joins the agency. It's action packed and you just will want to read more and more. I definently recomend this to anyone who is thinking about reading this. This is totally a must read! =)

    14 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    NOT ENOUGH ACTION

    Personally, I thought the book was boring. It could have had more action and could have been a bit different. I really love books that have action right away. I read this one book called Maximum Ride by James Patterson and there was so much action; it actually caught my attention the first sentence. This book didn't do that. Like every book the beginning is boring because the writer wants to make sure the reader knows what's going on before the so called action comes. Here's a bit of what the book is about.
    In London, a boy named Alex Rider just lost his uncle and he doesn't understand why. The police say he was in a car crash but the evidence just isn't right. What Alex finds out is that is uncle is a spy and works for the MI-6, Britain's top-secret intelligence agency. What's more shocking is that Alex now has to take over the family business. His uncle Ian died during a mission and it's Alex's responsibility to finish it. Alex goes on a mission to spy on this guy named Sayle who has made a revolutionary computer called the Stormbreaker. It's based on a completely new technology. Sayle, the owner of Sayles Enterprise, is planning to give thousands of these computers to every school in England to thank the country for giving him a new home. The MI-6 thinks it's too good to be true. Alex goes undercover and finds the real reason for these computers. Alex is about the have the ride of his life. Will Alex finish the mission or die the same way as his uncle?
    I recommend this book to anyone who likes action with spies and gadgets. I don't recommend it for people who like action page after page after page. This book is for people who are willing to wait for the action to come and when it does they are ecstatic. Now I'm not saying this was the worst book ever but it's just not the book for me.

    11 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2008

    All action-loving teens must read Alex Rider

    I loved this book! Alex Rider could totally kick James Bond's butt in a fight. The stunts and the gadgets were unrealistic, but who really wants to read a spy book that is bound to the very limited confines of reality? Anthony Horowitz is a great author. The characters and the scenery jump off the pages, making it feel like you're actually there, watching the story unfold. I could not put this book down. Though the series appears to be aimed at boys, many girls, like myself, will like this book as well.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Pick up something else

    You know how there are those books that you see everywhere, in every library, in every bookstore, and then one day you just break down and pick it up? This is one of those books.
    And I should have just left it.

    The first few pages were fine--I was all prepared to get sucked into this book . . . I mean, I'd seen it EVERYWHERE, after all. It had to be good, right? It happened with the Pendragon books, it'll happen here too, yeah?

    And then everything after those pages was complete nonsense. I was immediately disenchanted. But before I go into large-scale issues, I'd like to mention that these are the paragraphs that immediately set me against this book:

    "'We can't just send in another agent . . . He'll be expecting a replacement. Somehow we have to trick him."
    "We have to send someone in who won't be noticed. Someone who can look around and report back without being seen. We were considering sending down a woman. She might be able to slip in as a cleaner or a kitchen helper.'"

    . . . I kid you not, this is actually in the book. The whole novel had this sexist voice, and the worst of it is that this is set in the current time. Really! She can slip in as a cleaner or a kitchen helper.

    Also, a thing of note: the only non-white in this book was the villain . . .

    The whole book was empty. Empty motives propelling empty actions. I couldn't even tell you what Alex's character is like. He's just a cardboard vessel that the "plot" throws around. Not to mention that I was shaking my head at each new "twist" because they were all impossible and completely ridiculous. I can't even tell you how many times I've had to close the book for a moment to groan and try to surpress the urge to throw the thing at the wall (it might have been the fact that it's a library book that saved it).

    Dialogue was sometimes laughable . . . and way out of character. Alex, a 14-year-old boy saying "Nor can I" (or something along those lines)? Really? Does that actually happen or . . . ?

    Oh and I wouldn't want to leave out this lovely example expressed by the villain: "'You've done well, Alex. . . I congratulate you. And I feel you deserve a reward. So I'm going to tell you everything."

    Wooooow.
    This is great literature right here.

    It's like Horowitz is trying to reinforce the assumed notion: oh kids are only interested in violence and action and BOOMS! Everything else is dispensable.
    Because at the end I think I counted at least 4-5 huge mushroom explosions. That were completely unnecessary. But OH GOD EXPLOSIONS, MAN.
    He's trying to trick his readers into thinking something epic is happening when it's really something trivial.

    I'd advise everyone against reading this book. It may keep young readers turning pages, but there's better literature out there that'll do the same without the cheap effects and gimmicks.

    9 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2009

    NOT AS GOOD AS THE REST OF THE BOOKS IN THE SERIES! RATHER UNORIGINAL!

    Stormbreaker is probably not the best book in the Alex Rider series. The plot is not very original, the characters are far too two-dimensional, and the imagery is not in the least bit descriptive. Although Stormbreaker was not very good, the rest of the series isn't as bad. Anthony Horowitz improves with Point Blank, and with Skeleton Key and Eagle Strike, the series reaches its climax. Scorpia is very good as well, with Ark Angel being somewhat disappointing and Snakehead bringing the series to an adequate conclusion for now. The eighth book, Crocodile Tears, and its release date are soon to be announced.

    7 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2008

    The Little James Bond

    The book Stormbreaker as a book with nonstop action. It is about a boy named Alex Rider who is 14 and lives with his uncle Ian Rider. One day he cane fine from school and found out from his housekeeper Jack that his uncle is dead. He thought that the way his uncle died did not sound right so he put the clues together. When he figured out his uncle had actually been shot he got suspicious. Then a secret organization called M16 told him to come by their building. When he did they said that his uncle had actually been a spy and wanted him Alex to finish off the mission. If Alex does not, M16 will mess up his future and it could be the end of England. The whole book was great. Every chapter was interesting and filled with important details. I really couldn¿t relate to the book very well but most people aren¿t spys. This book is part of the Alex Rider Series. It is the firdt bllk and the next one is Point Blank. Boys from the ages12-14 might like this book. It is a book with a lot of action, suspense, and mystery. If you like those three things I recommend this book for you.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    ERROR

    I bought the book and all i got was the free sample
    Nothing but about two sentences of the book
    I cant even write an accurate review because i CANT READ THE BOOK

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

    WORST BOOK EVER

    DO NOT BUY TERRIBLE PLOT BAD CHARACTERS

    DISAGREE? REPLY TO: QWERTY3

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2008

    sick nasty best book of my life

    stormbreaker. a computer of unlimited tasks. thats wht alex rider is after in this book.this book os amazing in alot of ways. it is very action packed. it is adventuous and defiinantly a good read. it is also mysterious. alex rider is a good book series especiallt after uve finished the artemis fowl series. i would recommend this book to any one that likes mysteries and secret agent things. this book all in all is amazing.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2008

    This is awesome! Keep reading the series!

    Do you want to have a book that will keep you reading? If so this is the one for you. I felt that this book was great because you can really visualize Alex Rider's adventures all throughout the book, plus you get to read two whole series from Anthony Horowitz. If you like this book, read the whole series because they are all fantastic!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Great book

    To all you folks who dont know if you really want to buy this book:
    This book is very very good i think anyone from 10-30 will love this book. It pulls you in from the start and keeps you on the edge of your seat through out the whole story. Worth youre money and youre time!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    sample :(

    Whats the point of a sample if its one and a half sentences? Not sure if i really want this book. The reviews are mixed and the sample definately did not help.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2012

    Great Book!

    Stormbreaker is about a fourteen year old kid who has an uncle that was secretly a spy. His Uncle died on a mission, and the agency needs someone knew who won't get caught. That's when Alex comes in to play. This book is chalk full of adventure and always keeps you reading. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Couldn't Even Finish It

    First of all, it was extremely boring and the suspense was practically pointless. And it was horribly written. There are many, many places where Anthony Horowitz could have used better words. The editor must not have been very good, either. I do not recommend this. It can't even continue reading it, it is just so horrid.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Writer makes it fun and avoids the outlandish

    I look for books that can get kids who are currently completely caught up in video to take up reading as a fun thing to do. The idea that a youth is going to take up a mission for his murdered uncle in the British Secret Service is outlandish at its face, but the author deftly steps around it as he tells his story. He does create a boy of truly unusual talents, versatility, and pluck, but he has a plausible story behind this personal development. Later on, when the boy on several occasions gets himself into mortal peril, the author doesn't have him do something unbelievable to extricate himself. Instead he depicts him as a kid who knows how to keep his head and to take advantage of lucky breaks as they appear. I think this is a good starter book for a youth to use in learning to read for pleasure, and I gave a copy of this to a friend for her son for that reason. The other book I am recommending may be for a little younger reader, but I enjoyed it when I did my screening read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2007

    A spectacular and original read...

    I first read this book when I was still a kid and became a big fan of the series. The action, storyline, simplicity yet uniqueness, and other components worked well together. While I enjoyed it very much at the time, I decided to read it again as a young adult. It was just as good if not better, due to the fact that I could visualize the scenes more efficiently. So whether you're a kid or a teenager, you are sure to enjoy this thrilling novel! This may just be the book to get you back into reading, again. 'My other recommended books are for more mature audiences, however.'

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    I remember finding this book when I was in 5th grade at the scho

    I remember finding this book when I was in 5th grade at the school library. I read it and thought it was the greatest thing ever. I found whatever books from the series I could find and read them. I have all of them now, including the last two (can't think of the names right now and I'm too lazy to get up and look). This series is such a great thing to have. If you're a parent and you want your kid(s) to read, give them this. I recommend they be at least 10 or 11 however because there is some things a younger one might not understand and there is some slight profanity in some of the books. For those who want to try and read something new, this series is just amazing c:.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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