Stormbreaker (Alex Rider)

Stormbreaker  - Anthony Horowitz I can see why the Alex Rider series is such an intriguing read among a teen audience, especially boys. It features a solid protagonist facing many obstacles in the midst of pressing circumstances, and some interesting gadgets that he has to use in the mix of his newfound identity. However, I thought the first novel in the series, "Stormbreaker" reads a bit rugged and isn't as convincing as some of the novels that follow it. I understand since this is the first novel that sets everything to task, however, so I can give it some credit. After his uncle, Ian Rider, dies, Alex knows something's amiss about the way his uncle died. This is confirmed when he checks the junkyard close by and sees his uncle's car riddled with bullets, and experiences a near miss with death himself. Then, he finds that his uncles profession wasn't a banker at all, but rather a spy. And his uncles former employers want Alex to finish the job his uncle started. Talk about being thrown into a tricky situation. Between training and attempting to hide his identity, Alex struggles to keep himself afloat in the crossfire, and there are genuine sequences of peril that keep this novel moving along fast, fluid, and quite pleasantly in spurts. Yet, reflecting about it a bit, I realized that there are moments that come across a bit clunky, such as not-so-subtle references to James Bond, and the fact that this novel is supposed to take place in England, it doesn't necessarily use British terminology. The antagonists, as well, I expected to be more menacing, but given the target audience, I know why this wasn't the case. Mr. Grin seemed like a lightweight version of Batman's "Joker" - and not quite as amusing/menacing as his moniker would give him. Still, I would be remiss if I said I weren't entertained during the time I read this book. It was a quick read, though it took me longer only because I juggled the read with some of my other library books and school (among other activities).Worth reading once, and definitely worth looking into the extended series.Overall score: 3/5