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Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz reviewed by Swarith (Grade 9)

A winning combination of action and suspense.

He wasn’t wearing his seat-belt, or so they claimed. But when fourteen-year-old Alex finds his uncle’s windshield riddled with bullet holes, he realizes this was no accident. Step into the world of Alex rider, a fourteen-year-old spy. Anthony Horowitz’s "Stormbreaker" is a page-turning novel that tells a thrilling story about accomplishing difficult tasks when things aren’t working out.

Alex Rider is 14 years old when his uncle and guardian, Ian Rider, is mysteriously killed in a car accident. Alex soon discovers that his uncle had a secret life as a spy for the British Government and that he was intentionally murdered. Alex takes over his uncles’ mission and is trained as a spy. He goes undercover with special gadgets to investigate Sayle Enterprises who have produced a revolutionary new computer called the Stormbreaker with plans to donate one computer to every secondary school in England. But before his death, Ian had warned the British government that the Stormbreakers could not leave the manufacturing plant because the Stormbreakers are filled with a deadly smallpox virus which will be able to kill every student in England. Will Alex Rider be able to stop the terrorist attack, or will he fail and let lives go to waste?

Anthony Horowitz explores the idea of perseverance. He wants us to know that sometimes you must keep trying and face the obstacles to reach your goal. Alex is expected to fail his mission, but instead he succeeds and saves the lives of many people. This connects because in daily life we face many roadblocks or obstacles and we must try to find a way to solve the problem at hand.

With its engaging conflict, "Stormbreaker" makes you want to keep turning the page. Conflict can make the story very suspenseful at parts because the reader will always want to know what brave Alex will do to get out of problems.

Older children who like action-thrilling books, with a twist of suspense, will think this is a great read. This book has many spine-tingling sequels to it. It is an astonishing read and with short, thrilling chapters it is a great read for reluctant readers. A winning combination of action and suspense earns "Stormbreaker" a definite five stars.

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