Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Anthony Horowitz
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Penguin, 2004   ISBN: 978-0142401651

When he is told that his uncle Ian has been killed in a car crash because he didn’t wear his seat belt, Alex Rider cannot help feeling that something is not quite right. The fourteen-year-old boy decides to take a look at his uncle’s wrecked car and is astonished to find that the vehicle is full of bullet holes. Then someone takes at a potshot at him and Alex is forced to accept that his uncle was killed and now someone is after him as well.

Alex soon finds out that his uncle was not the business man he thought he was. Instead Ian Rider - Alex’s guardian after the death of his parents – was a spy and Ian’s old employers, MI6, now want Alex to do a little job for them. They want him finish the mission Ian was not able to complete. Furthermore MI6 make it impossible for Alex to refuse their ‘offer.’

What follows is a grueling training period and then Alex is sent to find out what Herod Sayle is doing in his computer factory and why this man appears to have had Ian Rider killed.

This first book in the Alex Rider series is exciting and written in a style very similar to that found in Ian Fleming’s famous 007 stories. Young readers will find themselves wondering what this very special boy is going to do next and whether he is going to get out of this adventure in one piece. Plenty of action is well balanced with Alex’s discoveries about his own past and that of his secretive uncle.