The story is about teenager Alex Rider, who lives with his uncle and an attractive and talented young housekeeper, a woman named Jack. As the book opens, we see Alex's uncle, who appears to be a James Bond-type of super secret operative. Alex believes his uncle has a supremely boring and uneventful job at a bank. But when his uncle dies in the course of his job, Alex begins to discover that everything he believed is wrong - and that his uncle had actually been training him, with all the martial arts and world language classes, to become an operative, too.
The group his uncle works for recruits Alex to go under cover and infiltrate the company of a man they believe is hatching a diabolical scheme. Alex is initially skeptical, but in the end he decides to help out, and much action, adventure, and hair-raising excitement ensues.
I can definitely see the appeal of this series to teens. As an adult reading it, though, I did not manage to suspend my disbelief very well. It seemed patently absurd that a group of experienced operatives would see no other way to achieve their goal other than throwing in a teenager, giving him some admittedly cool gadgets, and hoping for the best.
Despite my personal misgivings about the book, I will of course recommend it to teens looking for a fun and exciting read. The story is definitely fast-paced and full of interesting adventure, along with twists and turns that may surprise less experienced readers. The artwork is vibrant and colorful, and it makes the action sequences very clear. There are some intriguing questions left unexplored, which should make readers eager to pick up the next book in this series - and for those who want to know more details Alex and his adventures, there are the text-based novels, as well.
Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel by Anthony Horowitz; adapted by Antony Johnston and illustrated by Kanako Damerun and Yuzuru Takasaki (Philomel, 2006)
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ArtSeblis: "I liked the artwork, which looked like it was a fusion of manga and Western art."
Miss Huang's Top Reads: "it has a rocketing plot, its characters hold your attention, and the illustrations merge perfectly with the text to tell the story."