Synopsis of Stormbreaker

Alex Rider is fourteen-years-old knows his uncle’s death wasn’t an accident. They said it was a car accident and he wasn’t wearing his seat belt. When Alex tracks down the car and sees bullet holes he knows it wasn’t an accident. What they didn’t tell him was his uncle was on a top-secret mission. There is no turning back for Alex when he gets sucked into the work of spies and intrigue.

At fourteen he is surrounded by terrorists and has to outsmart people who want him dead. If his courage fails every child in England will be murdered. Stormbreaker is an action-packed book for middle school readers.

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First Impressions

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I was very nostalgic reading this book because I’ve read it many times (the first time in middle school) and it is a great experience every time. At first glance, this seems like a heavy and potentially graphic book for a young teen especially since the main character is only fourteen. This book is more of a thriller and less violent killing. There are a couple of people killed in the book, however, their deaths aren’t gory. I love the action and suspense in these novels. It is similar to a teenage James Bond or Mission Impossible, especially with all the cool gadgets. Plus what teen wouldn’t want to be a spy!

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate so if you click on a link and decide to buy something I will get pennies for referring you. This in no way changes the price for you. It just helps me make a bit for doing what I love.

Stormbreaker Parent Guide

Overall: PG for violence and intense moments, also mild British language
Violence: PG for violence and intense moments karate kick in a junkyard, almost killed by motorbikes in a field, quick mini fights with soldiers, jellyfish kills person, 2 lethal gunshots but no gore.
Language: PG use of British language
Adult Content: G None
Reading Level: Grades 4-8 (suitable for 8+)

Themes in Stormbreaker

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  • Grief: Throughout the entire book Alex is reflecting on the life of his Uncle Ian and whether he knew the real him. He finds connection and closure through finishing Ian’s mission.
  • Doing the Right Thing: There are multiple times when people aren’t nice to Alex and he could have retaliated against them but he instead is nice. Other times he does the right thing even though it is very hard.
  • Bullying: This is a big thing that fueled the antagonist to destroy all the children. He was bullied as a child and is trying to get revenge against his bully.
  • Kids vs Adults: Alex is always being pitted against adults and authority figures, both the people in MI6 who recruit him and the bad guys he is trying to bring down. The only adult ally he has is Jack his live-in nanny and now his guardian.
  • Terrorism: This one is kind of obvious. Alex has to bring down a terrorist but first, he has to figure out their plans. 
  • Spies: This book destroys the notion that being a spy is glamorous. Sometimes it is highlighted in the movies but Alex shows the bad side to it too. This is a theme that continues throughout the series.


“Believe me, It would be better if we didn’t meet again. Go back to school. Go back to your life. And next time they ask you, say no. Killing is for grown-ups and you’re still a child.”

― Anthony Horowitz, Stormbreaker

 “When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it’s never good news.”

― Anthony Horowitz, Stormbreaker

 “I love to kill fish,’ Sayle went on. ‘But when I saw this specimen of Physalia physalis, I knew I had to capture it and keep it. You see, it reminds me of myself.’
‘It’s ninety-nine percent water. It has no brain, no guts, and no anus.’ Alex had dredged up the facts from somewhere and spoken them before he knew what he was doing.”

― Anthony Horowitz, Stormbreaker

My Thoughts About Stormbreaker

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Stormbreaker is one of my favorite books. I recommend this book to any reader looking for adventure or action. It is great for a late elementary/ middle school reader who loves action-packed books. This book has a similar level of violence to one of the first Harry Potter movies. I enjoyed this book and it made me want to be a spy even though the main character hates being a spy. Granted, rereading them now I don’t blame Alex and I would probably feel the same way. 

This book was turned into a movie in 2006. I liked the movie when it came out and thought it was cool that they made a movie out of one of my favorite books. Only the first book was turned into a movie. Unfortunately, the rest of the world wasn’t as in love with the Alex Rider movie as I was. To date, there are 12 full-length books in the series and 12 supporting books like short stories connecting books, guides to all of his gadgets, and mission files with blueprints for all of his missions. 

This series is twenty years in the making and I have nothing but praises to sing for it. Alex always tries to be a good person even in hard situations. He never intentionally hurts someone except in self-defense. I also like how Alex has all the skills he needs to take care of himself so being a spy comes naturally to him. 

What to Read Next?

After this book, you need to read Point Blank, book two in the series. Alex is shipped off to a strange school on top of a mountain in France and has to figure out what is going on. Other amazing books you should read are Ender’s Game and anything on this list of books to read if you like The Mandalorian. Another great resource of similar action-packed books is this post about books similar to Harry Potter

Happy Reading!