Mumbo Gumbo's Reviews > Stormbreaker

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
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U_50x66
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Aug 14, 12

Read in August, 2012

I'm new to the "Kid Spy" genre and found this example to be a quick and entertaining read. It will probably appeal most to boys ages 10-15.

Alex Rider is an above-average 14 year old who lives with his uncle after his parents die in a plane crash. His uncle, Ian Rider is said to die in a car wreck at the first of the book, supposedly failing to wear a seat belt. This strikes Alex as extremely odd, since his uncle was a fanatic about wearing a seat belt. Ian Rider was also supposed to be an international banker -- but things just weren't adding up.

At his uncle's funeral, things definitely turned to the mysterious when Alex observed people who just didn't look the banker type. Then when one of the drivers accidentally revealed his shoulder holster and gun, Alex is pretty sure his uncle was much more than a banker.

The key to his uncle's death lay with the wrecked automobile, which Alex seeks and finds. What he discovers starts a chain of events which lands him in a strange position as a kid working for MI6, British intelligence.

His first mission: learn everything he can about the supercomputer Stormbreaker and why Egyptian developer Herod Sayle is donating thousands of them to British schools. MI6 knows that Sayle is up to no good -- but they don't know what he's doing. Alex must investigate, though he is little trained and a kid.

I enjoyed the book. It is rather straightforward with few plot shifts or unexpected sequences. For juvenile literature, it is a enjoyable read. My only real complaint is that I'd have liked a few more secondary characters to brighten things up and a bit more information about the characters who were present. Especially under-represented is Jack, the female American housekeeper who is Alex's only remaining guardian.

There are few noticeable objectionable areas even for younger readers. I think I recall a couple of very mild expletives, but they are hardly noticeable. Good for kids or even adults who want a quick read with a few cool techno-toys and some gunfire and minor explosions -- oh -- and a giant Portuguese man-of-war waiting for a hapless victim.
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