Stormbreaker: Alex Rider Adventures, Book 1

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Stormbreaker: Alex Rider Adventures, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
British teen spy saves England in exciting thriller.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 21 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 70 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

You can save the world through brains, guts, and martial arts, even if you're a kid.  

Positive Role Models & Representations

Alex is an extrememly competent kid who frequently and rashly risks his life. There are virtually no admirable or even decent adults anywhere, on either side.

Violence

Lots of violence: shootings, murders, explosions. Alex is chased, shot at, punched, drugged, and left to drown or be killed by a giant jellyfish, which then gruesomely kills a woman.

Sex
Language

A couple of mild epithets.

Consumerism

Numerous products and stores mentioned, depicted as cool.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A soldier smokes, a man drinks wine. Alex is drugged by a villain at one point.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stormbreaker is the first of the 11-volume Alex Rider Adventures series that was adapted for a 2006 movie and a 2020 TV series set to debut November 13 on Amazon Prime. It's the story of an ordinary 14-year-old British boy enlisted to work as a spy for M16. It has all of the violence, though none of the sex, of a James Bond movie, with loads of action, intrigue, gadgets, and nail-biting suspense. There are explosions, murders, and shootings. Alex is chased, shot at, punched, drugged, and left to drown or be killed by a giant jellyfish, which then gruesomely kills a woman.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byFireball G. April 18, 2018

Some iffy parts

I have read this entire series and there are some things i think people should know. As said in another review the book Eagle Strike Uses the word p**n and tal... Continue reading
Adult Written byjohnny11 September 24, 2020

Amazing but for mature audiences

I'm shocked to hear that there's 8 year olds out there reading this. Exciting and gripping, a thrill ride from start to finish, but not kid-friendly.... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byTechnicallyPicky November 23, 2015

Operation Review

Okay, this is for 12+ in my opinion. Yes, the first book was for younger children, maybe 10+, but later on in the series the books are more iffy in certain part... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old December 18, 2020

Brilliant fast-paced books for 11+

Alex Rider is really violent. I won’t give anything away but this is not suitable for young kids. It is sad. People are murdered in too many ways to mention. Wo... Continue reading

What's the story?

Alex Rider has lived with his uncle Ian since his parents were killed in an accident when he was an infant. Now Ian has died in an accident as well, but as Alex looks deeper, he finds that everything he knew about his uncle was a lie. He wasn't a banker, he was a spy for Britain's MI6, and his death was no accident. Now MI6 wants Alex to spy for them as well, and they won't take no for an answer. Though he is only 14, he discovers that his uncle was training him for spying his whole life. Billionaire Herod Sayle is donating his state-of-the-art computers to every school in England. But MI6 is suspicious of his motives, and Ian was killed while investigating him. Now they want to send Alex in to find out what's going on behind the guarded fences of Sayle Enterprises.

Is it any good?

This thriller is like a Bond movie for kids -- full of action, suspense, thrill-a-minute adventure, gadgets, and a super-competent kid who saves the world through brains, guts, and martial arts. It's very well done and especially good for reluctant readers. It will keep kids enthralled. Don't bother with suspending disbelief: You'll have to stick it in a bag filled with concrete and sink it in the nearest river (or perhaps put it in a tank with a giant poisonous jellyfish, as is done to Alex at one point). But young readers will eat up every second and beg for more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Alex is used and mistreated by the supposed good guys in Stormbreaker. Why are spies often at odds with their superiors? How does that add to the appeal of the story?

  • Which parts of the story are more or less realistic? Which parts are the coolest?

  • What were the reasons for the villain's madness? What makes a good villian in a thriller? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mystery and adventure

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate