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Stormbreaker (Alex Rider) by Anthony…
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Stormbreaker (Alex Rider) (edition 2006)

by Anthony Horowitz

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3,7871531,374 (3.89)65
Member:mtome
Title:Stormbreaker (Alex Rider)
Authors:Anthony Horowitz
Info:Puffin (2006), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

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Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

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The book begins with Alex Rider learning that his uncle and adopted parent, Ian Rider, has been killed in a car crash. Unknown to Alex and his housekeeper, Jack Starbright, Ian's job as a banker was actually a front for his role as an MI6 agent. Alex becomes suspicious upon being told that Ian had been not wearing his seatbelt, and discovering that Ian's office has been emptied out. He finds his uncle's car at a wrecking yard, and discovers that his uncle had been murdered. After a near escape from a car crusher, Alex is asked to visit Ian's former employers, a bank called "Royal & General". He breaks into Ian's office, discovering evidence of his uncle's double life, before he is knocked out.

After waking up, Alex meets MI6 head Alan Blunt and his deputy, Tulip Jones. They reveal the truth about his uncle's job, and explain that they had sent Ian to investigate Herod Sayle, a wealthy Lebanese businessman who has developed a revolutionary new computer, the Stormbreaker. Sayle plans to give a free Stormbreaker to every secondary school in the United Kingdom, accompanied by a grand activation ceremony in the Science Museum, supposedly as a gesture of thanks for the country taking him in when he was a child. In his last communication with them, Ian had warned MI6 that the Stormbreakers could not be allowed to leave Sayle's manufacturing plant, but before he could explain, he was assassinated by Yassen Gregorovich, a professional killer supposedly working for Sayle, on the return to London.

Intending to use him to covertly investigate Sayle, MI6 recruit Alex by offering to extend Jack's visa, preventing her from being deported back to America and allowing her to continue looking after him. They put him through a gruelling SAS training camp, before deploying him to Herod Sayle's base in Cornwall, using the alias of another boy who won a competition to visit the plant and be the first child to use a Stormbreaker. To aid him in his mission, Alex is given a grappling hook disguised as a yo-yo, acne cream, and a Game Boy Color which functions as a transmitter, smoke screen and bug detector, by MI6 agent Smithers.

Sayle shows Alex around his mansion, which houses a large jellyfish aquarium containing a large Portuguese Man o' War jellyfish. Alex also meets Mr. Grin, a henchman whose name derives from his time as a circus performer, catching knives with his teeth. An accident left him without a tongue and two large scars which give him the appearance of constant smiling.

Initially the trip goes well, with Alex finding a cryptic diagram made by his Uncle Ian in the canopy of his bed. However, Sayle grows to dislike Alex, after Alex is discovered in a restricted area of the base, and later defeats Sayle in a game of snooker. while investigating the base at night, Alex sees several of Sayle's agents unloading metal cases with great care from a nuclear submarine, with Yassen supervising. When one of the agents drops a metal case, he is promptly shot dead by Yassen. The next afternoon, Alex decides to head to the local library to do further investigations, but finds himself attacked by a pair of armed guards on quad bikes. He survives by tricking the guards into crashing: one collides with an electric fence while the other falls from a cliff face.

While searching the library, Alex finds a map in a book about tin mining which matches the diagram left by Ian. He also learns that Ian had borrowed several books about viruses, and assumes that Sayle plans to use the Stormbreaker network to release a computer virus. Alex investigates the mine and, following the path left by his uncle, discovers a large computer manufacturing facility, where the Stormbreaker computers are being filled with a strange fluid. Alex realizes that the 'viruses' being investigated by Ian were not computer viruses, but biological weapons. Alex is detected, and nearly escapes but is eventually caught and tranquillized. When he comes to, Herod explains to Alex his plan.

When Sayle attended school, he was bullied because of his accent and skin color. The worst bully was none other than the future Prime Minister. As a result, Sayle plans to take revenge on the Prime Minister and Britain with his "April Fools Joke"; when the computers are activated by the Prime Minister, the virus, a potent strain of smallpox, will be released into every school in the country, killing all of Britain's children.

Alex is then left handcuffed to a radiator, until Nadia Vole, an assistant of Sayle's, frees him, claiming that she is a fellow spy who worked with Ian Rider. However, as they head to find a mobile phone to call MI6 and inform them of Sayle's plan, she triggers a trapdoor which drops Alex into the jellyfish tank. Alex eventually gets free by using the acne cream gadget to damage the tank's supporting iron girders, causing it to burst. Unfortunately for Vole, she was directly in front of the tank when it burst, releasing the immense jellyfish and causing it to land right on her, killing her instantly. Snatching up a harpoon gun, Alex rushes outside to find that Sayle's private helicopter has already left, leaving only a cargo plane on the tarmac. Using the handle of the harpoon gun, Alex knocks out a guard, taking his jeep and pistol. As he starts the jeep, several other jeeps start to pursue him as the cargo plane starts to take off. Through some fancy driving and good fortune, Alex manages to cause the destruction of the hostile jeeps. Tying the nylon cord of the yo-yo gadget to the harpoon with the yo-yo clipped to his belt, Alex shoots the harpoon which catches on the underbelly of the airborne plane. Using the gadget, he gets himself on to the plane where he confronts the pilot, who is none other than Mr. Grin. Alex instructs Mr. Grin to fly to London by threatening him with the pistol.

When they are finally over London, Alex realizes that there is not much time left before noon. He spots several parachutes and uses one to jump off the plane. Mr. Grin turns the plane around hoping to ram into Alex. Alex pulls out the Game Boy Color and activates a cartridge disguised as a game called "Bomber Boy" that he left inside the cargo plane. Unable to see, Mr. Grin loses control of the plane and fatally crashes into a dock near the River Thames. Alex crashes through the roof of the Science Museum and dangles from his parachute which had gotten caught on a beam. Alex draws the gun he took from a guard back at Sayle's mansion and fires blindly at the Stormbreaker computer, one hitting the Prime Minister and Sayle himself being struck by two more, though he inexplicably vanishes. Mrs. Jones saves Alex's life by ordering security not to open fire on him. MI6 immediately recalls all the computers, citing "safety issues".

Later, after a debriefing by Alan Blunt and Mrs. Jones, Alex enters a taxi. The driver is in fact Sayle who holds Alex at gunpoint. He leads Alex to the top of a building where he is about to shoot Alex, but is himself shot by Yassen Gregorovich, who lands in a helicopter. When Alex questions Yassen about why he shot Sayle, Yassen explains that Sayle had become an embarrassment to the people he (Yassen) worked for, so he had to be eliminated. Knowing that he is facing his uncle's killer, Alex tells Yassen he will one day kill him, but Yassen brushes aside the comment and tells Alex to drop the spy business and become a normal schoolboy again, before leaving in the helicopter.
  tylerc.b3 | Mar 29, 2015 |
The book was in United kingdom. The book has a bunch of action and mystery. In the begging its kinda slow but then after alex uncle dies, the action starts. Its starts when alex's uncle is killed in a car accident but alex is not so sure so he goes to investigate. Alex notices three bullet holes in the car and notices that his uncle wasn't killed in a car accident. Alex goes and investigates his uncles work to uncover that his uncle is a British spy. So alex is recruited and trains for a week with older spies and after his training is done he gets gadgets and goes to find out what the billionaire who is giving free laptops to the whole country is up to. towards the end alex gets captured and is put into a aquarium with a big jelly fish. alex breaks out and gets on the plane to london where the prime minister will turn on the laptops that will release a poisonous gas in the air that will kill all the children in London. Alex then parachutes down to stop the prime minister. Alex saves the day.
It was a great book. they had really cool gadgets like the game boy and exploding zit cream. ( )
  anthonyh.B1 | Mar 23, 2015 |
This book is about a boy who has lost his dad mom and little brother in an accident and is raised by his uncle who he thinks is a bank manager. His uncle is actually a spy for a top secret UK organization. his uncle dies in a car accident and Alex is told that his uncle didn't have a seat belt on but that's a lie. Alex goes to his funeral and there are 2 mysterious men who he later figures out is his uncles employers. They eventually recruit Alex to go on a spy mission for them but before he can he goes to a boot camp which is the same boot camp the English special forces go to. He has some trouble there but he finally is ready for his mission to a corporation that makes advanced tech and they made a new CPU that they are giving for free to every school in England. but that's very odd because the CPU's cost thousands to make so Alex is sent to figure it out. He arrives and they allow him to stay and test the CPU's he thins there great and nothings wrong but there is something wrong later while Alex is having dinner with Sayle (the man creating the CPU's) he suspicious Vole (one of Sayle's henchmen) steals Alex's phone and tracks the SIM card to his house in Chelsea she is confronted by Alex and they fight Alex wins. The next day Alex's cover is blown and they capture Alex. Sayle tells Alex his plot he his installed a virus in each computer and when they are all delivered they will release and kill all the school children. Sayle leaves Alex to die and goes to deliver they CPU's to the country later Alex escapes and ruins Sayles plan and in the end Alex is a hero.

I enjoyed this book very much and hope to finish the series. I gave this book this rating because it was different than other books with a kid being the hero. Also it was very fun to try and figure out the plot. I wasn't able to keep my eyes off the book. I hope the rest of the series will be as enjoyable as this one. ( )
  nicholasvb1 | Mar 22, 2015 |
If you ever watched James Bond Junior in the early nineties, that's what this is. It's essentially James Bond's nephew filling his shoes with MI6. I enjoyed this a great deal more than I expected to! It's fun, adventurous, thrilling, and approachable (it isn't precocious - even if the protagonist is). The antagonist's motivation was a bit...meh. It was just very juvenile motivation; that being said, if I ever became a criminal mastermind, I'd probably have the same motivation (I'll never accuse myself of being overly mature. As I tell my students, I'm 27 going on four). ( )
  benuathanasia | Feb 13, 2015 |
I absolutely loved this book! It was the first book I read by this author and it prompted me to read every other Horowitz novel since then. It is a spy novel of a teenage boy named Alex Rider, who ultimately ends up joining MI6 in London. The best part about the novel was that it seemed realistic and was definitely not cheesy which was my major concern in reading a "spy book". The kid's life is not only extremely hard, but the situations he is in are actually frightening, dangerous, violent, and even tragic. Horowitz keeps the plot from becoming too "fluffy" with danger, suspense, and death. I thought the book was witty, and had an intricate and exciting story-line. I would definitely recommend it to friends and anyone who likes an exciting mystery and action novel.
  TimSher | Jan 22, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Horowitzprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Daniel, LiamPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Evans, GreyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goyat, Annick LeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindforss, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, NathanielNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
van Ewijck, AnnemarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it's never good news.
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He had torn the fence out of the ground. Alex ran over to the man and examined him. For a moment he thought it might be Yassen, but it was a younger man, dark haired, ugly. The man was unconscious but still breathing. The flamethrower lay extinguished on the ground beside him. Behind him he heard the other bike, some distance away but closing. Whoever these people were, they had tired to run him down, to cut him in half, and to incinerate him. He had to find a way out before they really got serious. (P. 139-140)

"This book is gripping from the first page. A phenomenal book in many ways. It is a must read book."
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Book description
After Alex Rider figured out that his uncle, Ian Rider was a spy, he decided to help his dead uncle complete his mission. He had to do hard and nasty trainings just to get ready for the mission. Alex always became curious when he heard someone say something was going to happen. It always made me nervous because I was afraid that maybe he would get caught by one of the members of the Sayle Enterprises. He's always brave to try out all different sorts of things that his uncle left before when he was still alive. The mission he had to complete was to stop the Stormbreakers, which were computers, to get sent out, because there was computer viruses in those computers. Hope that Alex can complete his mission for his uncle and that way he would know why his uncle died!
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142406112, Paperback)

Ten years ago, Anthony Horowitz introduced the world to Alex Rider . . . and now his debut mission is back in a special fully loaded anniversary edition! Packed with bonus material - including a brand new Alex Rider short story, a letter from Anthony Horowitz, and much more!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:53 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6.

(summary from another edition)

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