Stormbreaker

(2001)
Stormbreaker cover

If you like a James Bond mystery you will definitely like Alex Rider, a 14 year old miniature James Bond spy. After finding out that his uncle was killed and not in a car accident, Alex is reluctantly recruited by M16, a British intelligence agency. Equipped with his own special gadgets Alex is off on his first mission. He is sent to Cornwall to investigate a new computer system which Darrius Sayle has created. Sayle is donating a free Stormbreaker mega-computer to every school in Britain. But there is some underlying scheme connected with these Stormbreakers and Alex is sent to stop Sayle and his plans. After finding out the truth, Alex is in grave danger and must return to Britain to stop Sayle and save England. Will he succeed? 

There are some additional characters both good and evil that Alex encounters during his mission. There is the evil publicist, Nadia Vole, and the disfigured mute, Mr. Grim, assisting Darius Sayle. There is Jack Starbright and Sabina Pleasure helping Alex. Both Jack and Sabina are recurring characters in the other books of the series. 

The storyline is simple and the good guy/bad guy characters are easily defined. The story is fast paced and the cliff-hanger chapters leave the book hard to put down. Readers will enjoy Alex and his many talents. He has a knack for finding trouble and numerous ways of escaping it. The book will leave the reader wanting to explore the next one and eventually reading all of the books in the series. 

The recommended age level is for grades 5 through 9.

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