Book Review – Alex Rider
In the world of today, we find ourselves facing an abundance of exciting children’s literature with the youngest generation reveling in the works of Dahl and Rowling, their eyes buried in Geronimo Stilton and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. But when it comes to the audience of children just entering adolescence and the journey towards adulthood, few can argue that Anthony Horowitz is in his zone.
With his Diamond Brothers series starring Tim and Nick Diamond absolutely stunning, his own twist on the iconic James Bond has produced what, in my opinion, is an absolute banger of a spy novel series, Alex Rider. Starring the character of the same name, the books follow teenager Alex Rider as he drawn in the spy world by British Intelligence to tackle world-threatening adversaries, usually with the fate of the planet precariously hanging in the balance.
With 12 books of the series already out in the world, and a thirteenth to be published in the next year or two, Alex Rider has caught the eye of many fans of the genre with its film-like action sequences, incredible storyline and flawless narration, that keeps us hooked to the pages till the very end. With the first six of those books already in the bag, I’m on the hunt for the next half dozen with great vigor; once you start reading, you simply cannot stop!
The first entry in the series follows Alex Rider, raised by his British Intelligence officer uncle Ian, receiving SAS Training and going undercover to investigate billionaire Herod Sayle and his offer to donate one of his Storm Breaker computers to every school in Great Britain. What I think personally takes the cake for me is how real the books are, with a persisting theme being that Alex himself is reluctant to act as a spy, as he knows about the risks and the hardships. Instead of being a perfect operative, his individual character has been outlined to be both relatable and enjoyable, which I consider a notable feather in the cap for the series.
Moving on, we come to the second tale, which involves Alex being sent to infiltrate a posh French boarding school with supposed connections to two millionaire murders. As the plot thickens, it is revealed that headmaster Dr. Hugo Grief has made clones of himself alike to Point Blanc’s students, with Alex exposing his dastardly plot. The third novel does the impossible- raising the stakes even more, coupling Alex with Tom Turner and Belinda Troy, two agents from the CIA, to investigate General Alexei Sarov’s activities on the fictional island of Skeleton Key, with his nuclear plans eventually stopped by the teenage superspy.
The fourth and fifth books are where it starts getting really good for me. Eagle Strike plays on an iconic angle; the agency refuses to listen to Rider’s claims that rich entertainer Damian Cray is up to no good. Alex Rider defies orders and exposes Cray’s actions, with the book in a thrilling climax on board Air Force One, and the epic cliffhanger than Alex’s father John was an assassin. The fifth book, according to me, was the best in the entire series. Alex Rider’s mission has just gotten personal as he unleashes the true hero within him against the shadowy Scorpia, learns the truth about his father, and gets into crazy battles and action sequences while he’s at it.
The sixth book was also a masterpiece, especially because it fulfils my dream to see Alex Rider battling it out in space, with his invasion of Ark Angel, a space tourism hotel, legendary. Things go down to the wire as he takes down Russian billionaire Nikolei Drevin and stops Ark Angel from destroying the Pentagon. In other words, Alex Rider cannot be stopped, and its worldwide success has propelled Horowitz himself into the elite league for his genre; the titular teenage superspy’s adventures will win hearts left, right, and centre.
So, if you were unable to pick up the hint even now, I’ll make it simpler for you. Go to your nearest reliable book shop or library, and ask for Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz, maybe even take one of the Diamond Brothers’ books while you’re at it. I know you’re going to love it… I most definitely did!
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