Finally got a copy of the new Anthony Horowitz book! Eeeeeeee!
Alex doesn't want to be a spy. It's painful, it worries his guardian Jack, it keeps him out of school and doesn't allow him much time to be with Sabina. But, drat it all, the evil guys just seem to attract him, so he is swept into yet another adventure.
While on vacation in Scotland with Sabina's family, he meets Reverend Desmond McCain and beats him at poker. Bad move. Is it a coincidence that the car he is riding in ends up in a loch? After a narrow escape, he goes back to school, only to have MI6 approach him to do just a "little job" on a school field trip to a genetically modified food lab and a nosy reporter manages to bring Alex's brief but illustrious career to McCain's attention.
The logical thing for McCain to do? Kidnap Alex and bring him to Africa, where a diabolical plan is in place, and only Alex can stop it! I hate to give too much away, because a lot of my joy in this book was clever twists and the characters that popped up to either save or destroy Alex. Horowitz has honed his adventure and suspense writing to a very fine point, and his research into different areas of the world is impeccable.
My only complaint? I wish Alex wanted to be a spy. I'm not buying his reluctance. After eight missions, wouldn't he have come to terms? I'd like to see him embrace his skills and use them to find out about his past. We get tantalizing clues, but I would like more of the back story. And more about Sabina. Couldn't she join him on a mission? Basically, I still want MORE ALEX RIDER!
If you don't have this series and you run a school library, just buy three copies of the entire series. It won't be enough, but it will get you started. Not even kidding. I have TEN copies of Stormbreaker and... have two in right now. But it's early in the week. They'll be gone today!