What better review to follow Twilight than the male equivalent? If Twilight is every 14 year-old girl's dream come true, then Stormbreaker is every 14 year-old boy's fantasy. I mean, what boy doesn't want to realize he has the makings of a spy? Exactly.
Granted, the book starts off on a sour note. Alex Rider is informed early in the morning that his uncle, his only familial relations and guardian, was killed in a car accident. Not wearing his seatbelt they told him. Throughout the funeral services Alex has a nagging feeling that people weren't telling him the truth about his uncle's death. For one thing, hell would freeze over twice before his uncle would drive around without his seatbelt. Secondly, all the men that swore they worked at the bank with his uncle rub him the wrong way. And one of them brought a gun to the funeral. Determined to get some answers, Alex seeks out the impound lot where his uncle's car was taken and once he sees the BMW he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt he was lied to. Bullet holes riddle the driver's side and there is a rust-colored stain no one needs to tell him is blood. He gets stuck in the car mere moments before the compactor is going to have it's way with the BMW. After a nervous few seconds, his leg gets dislodged and he runs away... straight into the man with a gun from the funeral.
Before he could go the same way as his uncle, Alex karate kicks the muscle man and jets (B-T-dubs... he is a black belt. How fortunate). The "bank," Royal & General, call Alex in to discuss his future as he is now their ward. In true "don't push the red button" fashion, they point out which office is his uncle's but they tell him he can't go in. Somehow this leads to his jumping out a window 15 stories up onto a flagpole just to get into the office... I don't get it but this means that he is resourceful enough to pass their test and he becomes a spy. Or something. He endures some boot camp and gets a tricked out Gameboy Kim Possible style and bada bing, bada boom he's ready for some espionage.
He is posing as a contest winner named Felix who won the privilege of being the first to test out the fancy Stormbreaker, a computer with a round processor. Whatever that means. Anyway, the creator of the Stormbreaker is too good to be true. Upon completing the Stormbreakers, he plans on donating hundreds to English schools amongst other Marty Sue qualities. Despite this, he has a personal army and has been known to consort with a contract killer. Is he a bad guy? Well, I can't tell you that. But I will tell you this, the entire time I read it I felt as if I was reading a script for a blockbuster action movie with a 14 year-old protagonist. Now I know why....
First line of the book:
"When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it's never good news"