Alex Rider: Stormbreaker (Book 1) by Anthony Horowitz

Finally, a plausible (at least semi-plausible) explanation as to why a child might be a secret agent. Plus a believable explanation as to why he’s got some skills–Alex Rider has been raised by his uncle who, unbeknown to Alex, worked as a spy and has been training Alex as a spy for years. When his uncle is killed, Alex is recruited to finish his Uncle’s mission. Specifically, to infiltrate a company led by Herod Sayle. Sayle is donating thousands of computers to schools all around the world but something doesn’t seem right about it and the government needs to know what. It becomes Alex’s job to find out if there is anything deeper going on (which of course there is).

While I was pleased to find a story that I believed in, I didn’t love this book. Not that it was bad, it just wasn’t great. Alex isn’t a particularly dynamic character. Presumably his parent’s early death will play into the larger series but that is hard to say for sure as there was no hint of it in this book. I didn’t connect to Alex either. The most I know about his character is he is curious and determined. That’s not much to go on.

It also felt like everything was sort of done for him. Alex managed such a good job largely because his uncle had done it all before. I would assume that in other books this will not be the case, but here at least, it was just him managing to escape where his uncle did not and only because too many bad guys think slow painful deaths are better than quick ones. Ok, that’s a little unfair. Alex did have skills and he did use them to save himself, but it just wasn’t enough for me.

I think the biggest problem for me was that there weren’t any other characters for Alex to really interact with and play off of. There was no friend working alongside him or even a crush. Anyone who was around was only there for short spans of time while 95% of it was with him by himself.

Clearly other people like this book, since it’s already got 8 books in the series. I have enough other books to check out that this one falls to the bottom of my list (if it makes the list at all).


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