Alex Rider: Never say die by Anthony Horowitz
Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406377040
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Spies. Adventure. Alex Rider is a young super-spy who has been utilised in the past by MI6 - but he should really be still at school. In this action-packed thriller, he is driven by the loss of his companion Jack Starbright, to unravel a mystery that eventually leads him into life and death scenarios. His amazing skill and quick thinking gets him out of many awful situations. But this is a spy and action novel and the 'bad guys' will stop at nothing including death and torture to attempt to thwart anyone who is opposed to them. Alex is at great risk, and many others will need him too. Bullets fly, violence is directed at those who get in the way of the nefarious few and technology is used in James Bond-esque ways to solve problems; and the hero is 15 years old!
Anthony Horowitz writes well for the visual generation. His experience as a script writer for television enables him to write plot twists that stimulate the imagination and draw in those who love action and adventure. This is a real page-turner, and unusually for this genre there is no swearing (lots of violent and life-threatening acts, though). Scenarios in the plot are very like a 'James Bond' movie - without the romance. This will fly off a library shelf into the hands of the young teenage readers - enjoyed by male readers first, but realistically it is exciting for any reader that enjoys the action-adventure genre. Note: readers could easily transition from the Alex Rider series into adult spy novels.