Stormbreaker: Alex Rider Adventures, Book 1 Book Poster Image

Stormbreaker: Alex Rider Adventures, Book 1

British teen spy saves England in thriller!
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Full of action, suspense, thrill-a-minute adventure, gadgets, and a massively competent kid who saves the world through brains, guts, and martial arts, it keeps young readers enthralled. For what it means to be it is very well done, and is especially good for reluctant readers.

Positive role models

Alex frequently and rashly risks his life. There are virtually no admirable or even decent adults anywhere, on either side.


Lots -- 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.

Not applicable

A couple of mild epithets.


Numerous products and stores mentioned, depicted as cool.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A soldier smokes, a man drinks wine.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this has all of the violence, though none of the sex, of a James Bond movie.

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 is going on behind the guarded fences of Sayle Enterprises.

Is it any good?


Doing a serious review of something like this verges on the ridiculous; this is like a Bond movie for kids -- just for fun. Full of action, suspense, thrill-a-minute adventure, gadgets, and a massively competent kid who saves the world through brains, guts, and martial arts, it keeps young readers enthralled. For what it means to be it is very well done, and is especially good for reluctant readers.

Don't look here for literary value, clever dialogue, character development, logic, or sense. Don't bother with suspending disbelief: You 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 the target audience won't have any trouble suspending disbelief -- they'll eat up every second and beg for more.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Alex is used and mistreated by the supposed good guys, the reasons for the villain's madness, or which parts are more or less realistic.

  • Or you could just compare which parts you thought were coolest.

Book details

Author:Anthony Horowitz
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Penguin Group
Publication date:September 5, 2005
Number of pages:192

This review of Stormbreaker: Alex Rider Adventures, Book 1 was written by

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Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written bybrendarose8 September 13, 2013

An entertaining premise is ruined by violence and sexual content.

This book was acceptable, but the rest of the series grows dark and edgy fast. Alex struggles with anger and depression. Images and experiences become increasingly violent. Eagle Strike, the 4th book, is violent. Additionally, it references pornography and prostitution in the red-light district of Amsterdam. A prostitute winks at Alex as he rushes past. I guess your child could read the first 2, maybe 3... but why start when you can't finish?
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent of a 2, 5, 9, and 11 year old Written bykookykids January 30, 2011

I think you should read it ages 10 - 14

I think it's a great book, but the violence is pretty extreme! I would love it even more if less people we shot and the violence was put to a limit. After all i'm only 11 but LOVE to read! I think the book is great, but parents might need to read it first for less advanced readers.
What other families should know
Too much violence
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 parts. Yes, it is similar to James Bond, but it is more toned down. The first book is fairly non-violent, but in later books the violence is amped, there are some bad words ( last book uses f*ck, it IS cencored, not all the way, however).Younger kids could read it, but to understand the technological parts, because there is science young kids couldn't understand, I say 12+. I don't want to give spoilers so this a a vague review, but the books: Scorpia, and Scorpia Rising deal with Alex being an assassin, trying to assassinate, and include very violent and somewhat disturbing deaths( for smaller kids).
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence