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Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz

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Author: Anthony Horowitz / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 01 April 2005 / Genre: Crime & Thriller / Subcategory: Adventure Stories / Category: Thrillers / Publisher: Walker Books Ltd / Title: Stormbreaker / ISBN 13: 9781844280926 / ISBN 10: 1844280926

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    8 Reviews
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      07.06.2013 18:09
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      The first book that opened me up to "real" books, it made me realize I liked reading!

      One of my favorite books I've ever read. It was probably one of the first books that I chose to not only read, but also to go on and read the rest of the sequels in the series. One of the first books I read that wasn't either given to me as part of a school project or reading task, and I'm very thankful I found it!

      The plot is based around Alex Rider. Alex loses his uncle, Ian, at the beginning of Stormbreaker (Stormbreaker is the first book of the series, which I seem to have neglected to mention as far) and the book centers around how his life changes through this sudden change of events. Alex lost his Mother and Father at an early age and his only 'family' is his housekeeper, Jack Starbright.
      Ultimately, Alex discovers that his Uncle was an agent for MI6. When MI6 notice an effective niche in their trade and Alex's unfortunately weak bargaining situation, they blackmail him into working for them. As a teenager they feel, should he become and asset for them, he is very unlikely to be noticed and can complete missions much easier than, for example, his uncle. One of the important pieces of leverage they hold over Alex is Jack, and the fact that, in a heartbeat, they could send her back home to the USA.
      Through his duties for MI6, Alex comes into contact with a wealthy but apparently dangerous businessman Herod Sayle, who is the primary antagonist in the book. Along with Herod, there are cameo appearances from Yassen Gregorovich, a hit man and assassin who you should keep a close eye on! Definitely one to watch! Anyway, Alex is put into increasingly dangerous situations by MI6 until the showdown with Sayle arrives and the background behind him and Stormbreaker come to the fore. Can Alex figure it out? Can he save himself? Can he complete the task MI6 have set him? You'll have to read the book to find out!

      When I first read this book, I would have described it as action-packed. However adult readers used to writers such as Andy McNab, Chris Ryan and James Patterson (some of my personal favorites) will almost definitely find it quite pedestrian. Its target audience is definitely the 12-16 year old readers who are in the intervening period between school books and "grown up" books. It would probably appeal more to the boys in that category but offers more than its fair share for the female reader!
      I particularly enjoyed it when I read it (at about 12 years old), because it paints Alex, also a teenager, as a bit of hero and I felt I could (and wanted!) to identify with him! I wanted to be like Alex. Maybe the adult readers will be a tad less naive in this position. Although, if you're looking for a light read, maybe finish in two days? This could be the book for you. Otherwise, its absolutely perfect present for teenagers about to take their first exploration into the weird and wonderful world of "real" books!

      P.S. Definitely don't watch the film, especially not before reading the book. One of the worst films I have ever sat through, to go with one of my favorite books! It more than blotted the copybook for me, and I guess they realized. They haven't released any of the sequels to Stormbreaker in a hurry!

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      03.04.2010 01:14
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      Don't expect any of it to make sense

      Someone recommended this to me on the strength of me liking CHERUB, and therefore clearly liking kiddie spy books. It's on sale in Amazon for £3.50, but I grabbed it second-hand for 50p.

      Basic plotline: Alex is fourteen. His uncle and guardian was a spy, who died in the line of duty, and who ensured Alex was trained in karate, spoke multiple foreign languages etc. When he died the secret services decide that Alex could complete the job he started and blackmail him into it by threatening to put him in a home.

      Unfortunately, I can't buy any of it. At all. First, Alex's motivation is confusing. In order to do the job -- which he doesn't want to do -- he has to pass a punishing training course. No-one wants him to pass, it's not stated that if he tries and fails he'll still be bundled to the kid's home so.. why doesn't he just let himself fail?

      Then, how do they know when he's sent on the job that he won't just doublecross them with the bad guys in return for a life not in a kid's home?

      That's without the technical issues. The idea that the bad guy would set himself up as a HERO by donating ONE computer to every school in England... I'm sorry, the government's not THAT poor. Even in 2005 I think they could manage that. TESCO manages more than that. The explanation of why their shiny computer requires a clean room makes no sense to me and, if they were planning for their awesome machine to KILL all children close to it why were they bringing in a teen to test it in the first place?

      It makes no sense. My suspension of disbelief is nonexistent. And I have two more books here. They can't possibly get worse.. I hope.

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      09.09.2009 22:41
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      Alex Rider becomes a spy and gets the 'baddies'

      I first read Stormbreaker when I was 9 so this was a brilliant book for me. This book is the first in the series of the Alex Rider books. The tagline being, 'Alex Rider - you're never to young to die' which straight away made it seem that this book will be exciting for my 9 year old brain.

      The plot:- Alex Rider's parents died when he was just a baby and now Alex lives with his uncle. One early morning the police knock on the door and Alex and the housekeeper Jack find out that his uncle Ian Rider is dead. Alex thinks that his uncles death is under suspicious circumstances so investigates and this brings him under the attention of Ian Rider's employers who turn out to be MI6.

      Alex is blackmailed into carrying on his uncles mission, but not before some SAS training and being equipped with gadgets made by a very likeable Mr Smithers. Alex has a very traditional spy adventure, even to the point where the 'baddie' tells him the plan. The mission is set in Cornwall and involves a millionaire Herod Sayle who is giving every school in the UK a free revolutionary computer called Stormbreaker. Too good to be true? Most definitely.

      Alex is a good character who is a 'reluctant spy'. His skills and abilities are in no way realistic but this book isn't really about the believable. At some point, the book can get very unbelievable but it is perfect for any child's dream of being a spy. The reluctance of Alex being a spy does give the book a realistic aspect though.

      The other characters are pretty fantastic. Herod Sayle is written as a very bitter rich man with too much money. Jack the houskeeper is very good as the concerned carer. Mr Blunt - the MI6 boss is as cold as you would expect and Mr Grin who works for Sayle is undoubtedly one of the best characters as he is the definition of the bad guys henchmen.

      The style of writing is easy to read. Mainly simple sentences to keep in line with the target audience of older children. The description don't go on to much and the dialogue is straight and to the point. Overall, this book is great if you're a child or if you have always dreamed about being a teenage spy. It's in no way brilliant, but it is exciting and good for a bit of very light reading.

      Author: Anthony Horowitz

      Pages: 236

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      24.06.2009 12:30
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      Good book

      Stormbreaker introduces you to Alex Rider. At the start ordinary school boy at the end teenage spy for the british government. This book is most teenage boys fantasy, being the next James Bond. This is the first book in a set of five that follow Alex.

      Written by Anthony Horowitz. Horowitz is renowned for his childrens books and has won countless awards for his work. Stormbreaker itself ws shortlisted for the 2001 childrens book awards. Horowitz has written many books and all are loved by teens across the world. Stormbreaker has even been made into a feature length film.

      Character bio.

      Alex Rider lives with his uncle in chelsea in London. He lives with his uncle as his parent s were killed in a unfortunate plane accident. At the start of the book though Alex gets the knews that his Uncle had been killed in car accident. Alex life has never been simple or boring from a young age his Uncle has looked after him. Alex though realized that his uncle was training him by teaching karate and different fighting. Also by teaching him different languages. He was training to become a spy.

      Basic outline of book.

      When Ian Rider ( Alexs Uncle) dies Alex finds out that he was infact a british spy. M16 ask Alex if he would become a spy as they need a younger person for a mission. Alex agrees and is thrown into a mission of great importance. There are alot of bullets, killings, nutjob killers.

      Any teenage boy will love this book and even adults will enjoy reading this.

      8 out of 10

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      26.05.2009 23:54
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      Superb for its target audience - fully recommended

      "Stormbreaker" by Anthony Horowitz is a superb story describing a week in the life of fourteen-year-old Alex Rider. At the start of the story, he seems to be a normal schoolboy, but we soon learn that he will have to follow his ancestral destiny and become a spy. He is forcibly recruited for MI6 and is sent to a remote part of Corwall in which Herrod Sayle could be planning something deadly with the invention of the new Stormbreaker computer.

      The key feature of this book, in my opinion, is its hero and main character, Alex. His accessibility to teenagers means that he is easy to relate to and emotionally sympathise with. Any young Wannabe James Bonds will find this book enthralling because the spy hero is exactly their age.

      The story is superbly written by Horowitz, with numerous dramatic twists and moments of extreme suspense which make this book difficult to put down. It is a superb read for male teenagers and young adults, and also any females that are into the spy sort of theme. Its success means that it has been made into a great film, so I strongly recommend this book, because it makes an absolutely thrilling read.

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      18.05.2009 18:09
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      A brilliant action packed book! Recommended 5/5

      I think this book is great! It is an action adventure book and is the first book in the brilliant Alex Rider series written by Anthony Horowitz.

      The book is about Alex Rider, 14 who is a MI6 agent but does not want to be one. He is sent to the south coast to find out about the strange computers named "Stormbreakers" hence the name of the book. When he arrives however he discovers the truth about the computers...

      I think this is a brilliant book and would probably be enjoyed most by children roughly age 10 and up. The book is as fast as an action movie and never stops. This book reminds me of a younger James Bond and also a bit like Harry Potter because a young child/teenager saves people and is not allowed to go about telling normal people about it. Similar to James Bond and most spy films/books it is not very realistic and some of the stuff would never happen in real life e.g. he always escapes and can use Karate against full grown men and never gets hurt!

      I really like the character Alex Rider as well and think that readers of the book can really relate to him and understand him. He is just like a normal teenager and I think this helps the book.

      Once I started reading I found it hard to stop as the book is full of action and all though some parts are predictable they are still quite exciting. Alex has lots of gadgets like other spy stories and these come in use in the story. I would recommend these books to anybody but especially teenagers/ children who are good at reading.

      As I mentioned earlier there are other books in the series which are also great and some are even more exciting! (I will be reviewing these in the next couple of weeks so watch out!)

      The book is available for £4.97 new (paperback) at Amazon and can probably found cheaper and can also be found in box sets for cheaper with the rest of the series! Check out findbook.co.uk to see if it is available cheaper!

      The book was shortlisted for the Children`s Book Award 2001 which shows it is a fantastic read.

      5/5 Recommended for all!

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      02.01.2009 20:12
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      Easy to read, fun YA book!

      Alex Rider is a school boy in London but he's not just any schoolboy. He's been raised by his uncle Ian Rider who's a spy for MI6! Ian Rider is killed in a car crash and Alex is contacted by Alan Blunt, Ian Rider's former boss, who asks him to complete his uncle's last mission.

      Although he's only 14 Alex begins his training and is sent to the south coast of England to find out the truth behind the mysterious computers named 'Stormbreaker'. Equipped with gadgets and cunning Alex races against time to stop the man who had his uncle killed.

      This is an enjoyable easy to read book that will appeal to both boys and girls from age 13. It is fun and a simple story but brilliantly told. Horowitz has easily tapped into the feelings and emotions of a 14 year old and writes the characters well and makes everyone wish they were a spy!

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      14.02.2008 18:20
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      not my sort of book, but others may like it

      This book wasn't my sorta book, though it would interest other viewers! Personally my sort of books are books that include humour, or horror, this tale gripped me to a certain extent but not as long as you'd have hoped for!
      It describes a boy who just loses his dad for some unknown reason, he searches to find out how, he falls into a trap, which is then, he finds out the truth about his dad and he desides to try and get his own back!

      He gets involved with agent stuff and training, in which bullies appear from all adventures, then he goes into his mission and finds out tons of stuff, he cuts it close just before everything would be released, and manages to save the world from an evil guy!
      This was an action adventure, it was gripping but I found some parts incredibly boring! I found it amazing how certain things were working and how the gadgets were working!


      Not my sort of book but might interest others reading it, I would recommend it to people who likes action and adventure books! I've watched half of the film and personally I prefer the book!

      The STORY LINE
      It was basically a young boy who doesn't want to be a MI6 agent but is anyway, and has to go on a valueable mission to find out what is wrong with stormbreakers and what effect it will have, he finds out in the last minute and manages to kill people along the way, He didn't mean to kill them but it was self defence!!! The best bit was when he shot the priminister's finger, is surprised me to know that the security guards did nothing about it!!!


      There was only about 2 main characters
      Alex Ryder who was the boy who turned into a young james bond and Sayle who made the stormbreakers!!! Sayle was made out as the bad guy but we didn't know why untill the end when he reveals all to Alex!!!

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