BOOK REVIEWS

Stormbreaker (Alex Rider) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-03 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:0142406112
LANGUAGE: English

""And the next time they ask you, say no. Killing is for grown-ups and you're still a child."

What an adventure of a book! This story hits the ground running and never lets up. Alex is an amazing kid. He was raised with all the correct steps and training to be the perfect agent, embodied in a young boy. and his first assignment just might kill him.

I hadn't expected to like this book - I thought it would be a little boring and unrealistic. But, it just zooms through and you really find yourself rooting Alex on. And the gadgets were really cool.

all in all, a nice short fun read.
" said.

"I picked up Stormbreaker on impulse, based on the popularity of the book. I didn't really expect to enjoy it as I've never been a big James Bond fan and the whole spy thing doesn't interest me.

To my surprise the story sucked me right in. Horowitz is a master of character and description and did a great job with this teenage spy novel. While some elements definitely echo the usual spy novel tropes it was still a fun and engaging story. I really liked Alex and was rooting for him the whole time. I had to laugh at the typical bad-guy mistakes: tell the hero everything, kill him in complicated ways rather than with a quick bullet to the head, and the other cliche elements. And still I like the book. Horowitz just has a way with words I suppose. I'll be picking up the second in the series to see if it's as fun.
" said.

"I liked the book, I realized that I really like spy books. This reminded me of my favorite TV series, Chuck! And I didn't watched the movie of this so I guess its better because they did a different version. I love the action and adventure in this book that I remembered the Stephanie series. Of course, they are much different. I was amused by the reason of the antagonist, Herod, in killing the children and I almost felt like it was so childish. He wanted to kill every child in Britain through a virus from the Stormbreaker because he wanted to take revenge from those people who bullied him at school when he was a student. I concluded that this book wanted to imply to those young readers that its wrong to bully someone and everyone should stop it at school. I guess its one of the moral lessons of it. " said.

"f I had Book 2 "Point Blank" on me after finishing this one, I would've jumped right into it. The book is entertaining, and it's great for reluctant readers, I'm sure I would've seen more bookstores and less Gamestops if I'd known about these as a kid.

Alex is a lot like a young James Bond, except he's not thrilled about the ways of a spy and as Horowitz points out within the later pages of prose, he isn't exactly patriotic either. He wants to be normal, but he also wants answers for his uncle's death so that naturally pushes him into taking on another child's identity to infiltrate the home of a suspicious man who's donating countless of the most advanced computers (Stormbreaker) the world has ever seen to schools everywhere.

The ending of this book was just a great scene though, I definitely see myself picking up "Point Blank" in the near future. Maybe "Skeleton Key" as well. Then maybe "Eagle Strike" if I can see past the red cover.

(P.S: I love the color tones used on the covers.)
" said.

"I don’t generally read a lot of youth-oriented (aka “YA”) fiction these days, but being an “omnivore” when it comes to reading I don’t specifically exclude it. Mumblety-mumblety years ago, writers that I respected and enjoyed wrote what was called “juvenile” fiction.

For example, Isaac Asimov wrote six “Lucky Starr” novels (under the pseudonym “Paul French”) in the early 50s. Robert Heinlein started writing “juvies” in the late 40s eventually producing 13 (or 14 depending on how you count). Unlike Asimov, Heinlein’s works were pushed under his own name. As far as I know, Arthur C. Clarke (the 3rd member of the “Big Three”) did not write any juvenile fiction.

All of this is the long way of saying that when an author turns his or her hand to creating a story for a younger market, I don’t necessarily turn away in avoidance.

While I do not remember exactly why I had originally placed “Skeleton Key” (aka “Alex Rider #3”) on my TBR shelf, I suspect one of my friends did so and I found its premise interesting enough. Recently, I read one of his adult books (“The House of Silk”) and rated it fairly highly (4 stars). Of course that was a Holmes pastiche for which I do have a very soft spot.

At the same time I picked up “Stormbreaker” which is the first Alex Rider novel. Up to that point (THOS) I had not read anything by Mr. Horowitz, so I did not know that he apparently has written a fair amount of YA fiction or that he has written extensively for British dramatic television.

“Stormbreaker” is not a bad novel nor is it a great novel. Like most things, it lies somewhere in between abject failure and unqualified success. The story is reasonable, the protagonist is a bit too lucky and capable, but falls into that James Bond kind of luck.

(If you don’t know what I am talking about, go back to the earliest films (or books) and see how Bond stumbles his way through the story relying on bravado, luck, and the kindness of strangers to augment his own powers of observation and martial skills in an almost-unsuccessful attempt to avoid death.)

Alex has the same kind of luck and "Stormbreaker" has the same kind of moments. I don’t have any proof (nor have I researched this), but I would guess that this copying of the “Bond formula” is deliberate both because of the longevity of the original and because quick action/changes are a hallmark of film and TV.

This novel takes a boy who has an unusual uncle and first turns his world into chaos, then gets him embroiled into the deepest secrecy of government (through his own natural inquisitiveness, sense of wrongness, physical skills, and luck –see the parallels?) From then on he is offered and then forced to accept a role as the boy spy. He goes through an abbreviated training period during which he “rises above” others’ pettiness (he is the “hero” after all) and then is thrown into his first, critical mission. Since there are beaucoup sequels, Alex obviously succeeds in his mission and eventually returns to his normal life, but available for recall.

In writing this review I am trying to keep in mind that it was intended to have less depth and read faster than an “adult novel” (even a Fleming-written Bond). But I keep comparing it to other children’s/YA stories and thinking it comes up a bit too “light”. (The “Lemony Snicket” series about the Baudelaire children is my reference standard here.) But there is nothing wrong with it; I just left a little unsatisfied. It’s definitely well-constructed and well-plotted (it crams in plenty of action) with a few morals here and there. I’m giving it a three (3) star rating because I do think it works for its intended audience, but I don’t know if I will be reading more of this series.

" said.

"So, i was quite excited when i found out there was a book. I loved the movie, so of course i had to read the book.

Well, i can say i didn't got disappointed.

The book was fine, but it's not like it was horrifying, or filled with big emotions. Everything in it was all happening quite fast, and we almost never got Alex opinion on anything.
The writing-work and stuff was alright too, but there were some sentences and terms, where i would have used some other words. But perhaps it was because i read the translated edition, and not the original book, so i won't put that on the author; He couldn't know his words would sound so stupid in Danish.

But it's not like i hated this book. Not at all.

It's a great plot and a fine story. I enjoyed it, and i'll definitely keep reading it, because i have faith in this book. I believe that the next books will build up his existence, his life and perhaps we will get some more feelings from him.
" said.

"This is the start of the phenomenally successful Alex Rider series written by the equally successful Anthony Horowitz (the man has written so much its difficult not to either be influenced by it or to be distracted by it, after all I have his two officially sanctioned Sherlock Holmes books... ok must resist).

Where was I ah yes this is the first in a series of book which charts the exploits of a seemingly normal school boy Alex Rider who is destined to much more. The series runs in to numerous titles (there are 9 titles of Alex's exploits) and has recently returned with a leaner darker edition (which I have yet to get).

But this book although aimed at the teenage audience I think is so well written that it does not feel like it. Now I try not to give away spoilers however since this book appears everywhere (when I go around the charity book shops there are always copies there, its more a case of what condition are they in) and the film has seen its fair share of air time too, however if you still were able to miss all this its a challenge not to give it away. Sufficient to say that the film presents are more realistic version of the boy and his adventures while the book allows you to "bend" the facts and imagine more. To that end I think that the villains and set pieces are more impressive in the book (yes I will admit I am biased book over film every time).

So my opinion - its a great opening title, however I am sure there are bigger and greater adventures awaiting out there and with the rest of the series stretching out ahead I am sure I will not be disappointed
" said.

"Following the death of his spy uncle, Ian Rider, 14 year old Alex Rider is recruited into the MI6 to complete his mission. After eleven days of intense SAS style training, Rider is set on his first mission where he investigates the work of Herod Sayle and his Stormbreaker computers. Weaving through old tin mines and underwater caverns, Rider uncovers the unfortunate truth behind the Stormbreakers, a bout of lethal smallpox encased within. At the press of a button all the children of the UK could face a dismal end.

Having already watched Horowitz's Foyles War, I had high hopes of his Alex Rider series, however I was left a little disappointed by the literary content, but that may only be due to my age. However with it's James Bond-esque action scenes and gagetry it is sure to entice reluctant young readers in KS2. For use in the classroom I feel it would be a good book to have at hand to get the boys reading, furthermore the gadgets mentioned in the book can be the basis for children to design and make their own mock ups.

'Stormbreaker' is most certainly a book aimed towards boys, and it's simplicity is easy for even the most reluctant readers to follow and it might even spur them on to continue with the Alex Rider series. In regards to age range I would encourage ten year old's to give it a go, unless there are any precocious readers. There is a lot of death and violence which may not rest well with younger audiences.
" said.

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