From School Library Journal
Grade 5-10-Fans of Horowitz's Stormbreaker (2001) and Point Blank (2002, both Philomel), and newcomers to the series alike, will not be disappointed with this rip-roaring escapade featuring the 14-year-old spy. Trying to return to a "normal" life as a schoolboy after a mere four weeks since his last MI6 adventure, Alex Rider is recruited right off the soccer field to check out some suspicious goings-on at Wimbledon. This assignment catapults him into a series of life-threatening episodes, such as coming face to face with a great white shark, dodging bullets as he dives off a burning boat, and being tied to a conveyor belt that is moving toward the jaws of a gigantic grindstone in an abandoned sugar factory. Soon the teen is single-handedly taking on his most dangerous enterprise yet. His mission is nothing short of saving the world from a nuclear attack, engineered by the psychopathic and egomaniacal former commander of the Russian army. Alex is armed only with a few specially designed gadgets, which are disarmingly age-appropriate: a Gameboy that doubles as a Geiger counter, a cell phone whose aerial shoots out a drugged needle that is activated by pressing 999, a Tiger Woods figurine that doubles as a small grenade when its head is twisted just so. This page-turning thriller leaves readers breathless with anticipation. When at last Alex returns home, his love interest, Sabina Pleasure, asks where he has been. "Well, I was, sort of- busy," he replies in a classic, understated, James Bond kind of way.Elizabeth Fernandez, Brunswick Middle School, Greenwich, CT
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Gr. 6-9. Fourteen-year-old British secret agent Alex Rider, last heard from in Point
Blank (2002), is back in another adventure. This time he's on an island near Cuba where he's up against a retired Russian general who plans to set off a nuclear device and, in the ensuing world chaos, take over the Russian government and restore the Soviet Empire. The general takes a shine to Alex once they meet, however, and he offers to adopt him as his son. Of course, this is the man's fatal mistake; Alex is there at the crucial moment to thwart the general's plans. This series unabashedly lifts details from the James Bond formula (minus the vodka martinis and casual sex) and transfers them to a novel for young adults. Yet, the Bond formula is the most successful in entertainment history, and there's no doubting the appeal of this action-packed spy novel. Todd MorningCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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