Series: Alex Rider
Published in: 2000
Age Range: Young Teens
Alex Rider believes his uncle guardian to be a banker. When he dies unexpectedly, Alex learns that he worked for MI6 and is invited to pick up where left off. His natural gifts are honed by SAS training and he poses as the winner of a competition to gain access to the factory where the new Stormbreaker computers are being made, computers which will be given away to every school in the country. He must find out what his uncle had discovered and prevent Herod Sayle from destroying the country.
Well you've got it all here: the talented schoolboy starts to work for MI6, using gadgets provided by Smithers, up against a short and ugly gloating Lebanese baddy with a knife-throwing sidekick and a penchant for deadly pets. Finally there's a race against time and a dramatic finale. But nothing else.Altho' the hero is 14, the book could be read by anyone with a reading age of 8. Almost everyone's a cliche, as are the set piece fights and challenges facing Alex. There is a certain amount of violence, including karate kicks, attempted murder, and cold-blooded shootings. Alex causes at least three people to die and doesn't seem to give it a second thought, altho' at least he shies away from a cold-blooded killing, making do with knocking the guard out instead.
She signalled, and a man appeared, walking out of the shadows, carrying a tray of equipment which he set down on the table. “Smithers,” he said, nodding at Alex. “Very nice to meet you, old chap.”“What have you got for him?” asked Mrs Jones.“I'm afraid we haven't had a great deal of time, Mrs J,” replied Smithers. “The challenge was to think what a fourteen-year-old might carry with him - and adapt it.” He picked the first object off the tray. A yo-yo.
Tuesday 1st January 2002