Stormbreaker: Alex Rider Adventures, Book 1

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

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 56 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

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 & representations

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

Violence

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.

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

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 increas... Continue reading
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... 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, 12 years old May 29, 2016

For kids the age 11 and up, who like action films like James Bond!

Alex Rider is basically a young James Bond. He serves his Country and he works for Mi6! I have read the whole series and I think they are amazing. Alex Rider is... 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 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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love adventures

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