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Stormbreaker (Alex Rider) Hardcover – May 21, 2001
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
Readers will cheer for Alex Rider, the 14-year-old hero of British author Horowitz's spy thriller (the first in a projected series). When his guardian and uncle, Ian, is mysteriously killed, Alex discovers that his uncle was not the bank vice-president he purported to be, but rather a spy for the British government. Now the government wants Alex to take over his uncle's mission: investigating Sayle Enterprises, the makers of a revolutionary computer called Stormbreaker. The company's head plans to donate one to every secondary school in England, but his dealings with unfriendly countries and Ian Rider's murder have brought him under suspicion. Posing as a teenage computer whiz who's won a Stormbreaker promotional contest, Alex enters the factory and immediately finds clues from his uncle. Satirical names abound (e.g., Mr. Grin, Mr. Sayle's brutish butler, is so named for the scars he received from a circus knife-throwing act gone wrong) and the hard-boiled language is equally outrageous ("It was a soft gray night with a half-moon forming a perfect D in the sky. D for what, Alex wondered. Danger? Discovery? Or disaster?"). These exaggerations only add to the fun, as do the creative gadgets that Alex uses, including a metal-munching cream described as "Zit-Clean. For Healthier Skin." The ultimate mystery may be a bit of a letdown, but that won't stop readers from racing through Alex's adventures, from a high-speed bike chase to a death-defying dance with a Portuguese man-of-war. The audience will stay tuned for his next assignment, Point Blanc, due out spring 2002. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From 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, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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The story is about 14-year old spy in the United Kingdom. It was very exciting—like a teenaged James Bond. There were fast cars, airplanes, and cool spy gadgets. The young spy, Alex Rider, has close calls and near misses that captured my kids imaginations. We are definitely going to read more books in the series. I have already bought the second book.
Alex is a sympathetic character from the start of his adventures, and the pacing is fast and furious. When I learned a movie had been made based on this story, I ordered the film and promptly bought the next books in this engaging series. This story is a treat for adults as well as kids. James Bond, move over--here comes your replacement.
Anthony Horowitz is a successful writer of novels and television shows. His second Alex Rider novel, POINT BLANK, is out this year. In addition, he's written historical thrillers, THE SINISTER SECRET OF FREDERICK K. BOWER and THE DEVIL AND HIS BOY. He's also written a series of books involving the FIVE including THE DEVIL'S DOOR-KNOB, NIGHT OF THE SCORPION, and THE SILVER CITADEL. His work for television lists scripts for POIROT and MIDSOMER NIGHTS, and he has created his own television show, MURDER IN MIND.
STORMBREAKER is an exciting, easy to read, and hard to put down novel. The breakneck pace of the story draws the reader on, and the simple use of the language to convey the story make it that much easier to read just one more page, and another, and another. However, the simple writing evokes full images, cast and settings. And there are twists and turns aplenty in the story. Alex is very likeable, and he's very much like James Bond must have been at that age. Not only is he quick and mildly sardonic, but he gets equipped with a cutting-edge tech GameBoy equipped with spygear, zit cream that eats through metal, and a yo-yo that doubles as a winch, serving him as well as Spider-Man's weblines.
Even though the pace is driving and the descriptions are wonderful, the book could have used a little more dialogue. The dialogue that the author uses is pretty much spot-on, but more of it was needed.
STORMBREAKER is an excellent read for anyone interested in action adventure novels and spy stories.
Most recent customer reviews
Alex Rider appeals to the young adult, and his gadgets are amazing, and he thinks quickly and figures out all sorts of clues. There is a problem, however.Read more