Monday, October 16, 2017

Never Say Die! Blog Tour

Horowitz, Anthony. Never Say Die (Alex Rider #11) 
October 10th 2017 by Philomel Books
Copy graciously provided by publisher!

Yes, it's the eleventh book in the series. Yes, the first one was published in 2000, before my students were born. BUT, this is the best middle grade series of all time. If you haven't read Stormbreaker, run, don't walk, to the nearest book source to buy or borrow a copy. You won't regret it!

Alex is trying to recuperate from his final mission in Scorpia Rising. He lost his long term nanny/parent substitute/friend Jack Albright in an evil plot by Razim, so is living in California with his friend Sabine and her parents. When he gets a cryptic e mail, he is sure that Jack is alive, so he takes off to Egypt to return to the scene of her death to look for clues. Luckily, Colonel Manzour likes Alex and not only keeps him safe but gives him some helpful intel. A clue on the wall of the prison, as well as some IP address sleuthing sends to him St. Tropez, but it's okay because he has some cash, a credit card, can speak French, and has had his computer modified so it can connect him to Manzour's people for help... or act as a bomb. He finds the evil Grimaldi twins' yacht, and after some trouble there, realizes that the two have Operation Steel Claw underway. This explains a little bit about how a massive transport helicopter went missing, but time is of the essence when figuring out what the Grimaldi's plan to do with the helicopter. After a false start, Alex figures out their plan, and rushes off to the aid of those affected. Will this path somehow lead him to Jack? And what does his career with Mrs. Jones and MI6 look like now?

Like any Alex Rider book, the best part are the descriptions of his adventures. Who else but a 15 year old boy would want to be flung from the ejector seat of a vehicle up to a bus being flown away by a massive helicopter, hang on for dear life, and manage to not get squashed when the bus is deposited on a train? Despite his lack of training, Alex has managed to develop some very useful spy skills, and has a good feeling for what the evil doers might try to accomplish.

We do get a little more emotional development in this, since Alex is searching for Jack. We get a short glimpse of him trying to live a "normal" life, and it's obvious that such an existence is never going to work for our intrepid spy boy. Interestingly, we see a lot more of Mrs. Jones' emotional journey in this volume, which I appreciated. I'm not reading the series for the character development, but after 17 years, I have a vested interest in this character and definitely want to delve into his psyche a bit more!

Horowitz's Stormbreaker opened up middle grade literature to the genre of spy books, and we've seen Carter's Gallagher Girls, McGee's Ryan Quinn, and great series from McNab, Muchamore, Higson, and Gilman. When you think about it, a whole lot of adult like this genre, so it's not a surprise that my students want to escape from everyday reality and read about spy. Personally, I think I would make a great Mrs. Pollifax for the new Millenium. When you think about it, teenagers have a lot to lose. Middle aged librarians whose library jobs might be cut at any moment have nothing to lose. We would be terrifying and ruthless as spies!

Week One:
October 2 – YA Book Nerd – Review
October 4 – The Keepers of the Books - Review
October 5 – Bookstorm Reads – Creative: Favorite Alex Rider Gadgets
October 6 – Hello Jenny Reviews – Promo: Photo
Week Two:
October 9 – Through the Open Window - Review
October 10 – Buttermybooks – Creative: Outfit Inspiration from Cover
October 11 – The Loud Library Lady - Review
October 12 – YA Books Central – Excerpt with giveaway
October 13 – Never Too Many to Read – Creative: Spotlight on book series
Week Three:
October 16 – Ms. Yingling Reads - Review
October 17 – Doodle Mom’s Homeschooling Life - Review
October 18 – BigScreenBooks - Review
October 19 –  Mary Had a Little Book Blog – Spy Kit essentials (what every spy must keep in their bag)
October 20 – Avid Reader – Travel Guide to Egypt

Anthony Horowitz ( is a world-renowned screenwriter for film and television, having received multiple awards. And he is, of course, the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Alex Rider novels, which have spawned a major motion picture and a line of graphic novels. Anthony was also commissioned by the Conan Doyle Estate to write two Sherlock Holmes novels, the critically-acclaimed The House of Silk and Moriarty. Most recently he was commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate to write the James Bond novel Trigger Mortis, incorporating never-before-published material from 007's creator. Anthony lives with his wife in London, England; they are parents to two grown boys. He will be touring the US for the publication of NEVER SAY DIE.

Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. I have never read a book in this adventurous spy series! Will take your suggestion. Thanks.