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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Inspired by Horowitz's millions of fans worldwide, Secret Weapon expands the world of Alex Rider with more thrilling action and pulse-pounding heroics. Follow Alex as he infiltrates a terrorist hideout in Afghanistan, fights to prevent an assassination attempt at a ski resort over Christmas, and much more! The #1 New York Times bestselling Alex Rider is back with more exciting, edge-of-your-seats …

Overall Book Review:

Alex Rider is a young man who now understands that every action has a reaction and a consequence–and he gets to deal with them constantly. With seven stories in one book, it’s easy to stay intrigued. These stories of Alex Rider, 14-year-old kid spy, are fun, engaging, and very believable. Alex is the good guy and the bad guys seem to constantly be hot on his tail. Traveling the world in pursuit of defeating evil has made it hard on Alex to get his school work done. That’s not a problem most spies have. Becasue of his age, he isn’t allowed to carry a gun but Smithers (his “Q”) makes him some seriously fun gadgets that would easily rival even 007. They have saved his life many times. 

With a wonderful dash of daring and mystery, Alex’s hard work could be an encouragement to other teens his age who read about his exploit. He never stops till the job is done. The author, Anthony Horowitz, does a wonderful job describing the places and nuances of this story. From the first page to the last, this book is suspenseful and easy to devour. If Alex Rider had a super power, it would be the ability to use his age to think outside “the box.” This would be an excellent read for the young of heart.

Review of an Advance Reading Copy provided by the Publisher

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  6 mild obscenities. 

Violence/Gore:  Several mentions of the previous death of a teen’s uncle who was a father figure to him; mention of a man who previously traveled to war zones & ultimately became a bad guy & planned terrorist attacks; mention of a previous war where tribesmen would tie up their prisoners & throw them over a cliff; a teen boy almost gets bit by a venomous snake, a little gory; multiple mentions of a bad man who died in a previous mission; a teen boy wishes he could kill a man; a teen boy attacks a man with Karate & knocks him out; a teen boy is in the middle of a gun fight, 12 men dead (he did not kill them), some blood, some detail; a large city is poisoned in a terrorist attack, vomiting, some death; mention of 5 men previously hurt in combat or had seen people killed in combat, some detail; a man hits another man on the side of the head with a gun; a teen boy has a gun pointed at his head; a fight, 2 men shot, 1 man thrown overboard; a man fantasizes about killing a teen; a man remembers being a bully as a kid & enjoying it; a man previously killed a police officer, while in prison has a heart attack, & is murdered; a man attacks a teen, tries to kill him, bad guy shot (by somebody else); a man kidnaps a teen, the man ends up falling to his death, some description; a man dies probably of a heart attack; mention of secretive weapons used in WWII, similar to IEDs; 2 men fight over a gun, teen picks it up & helps stop bad guy; a teen girl is kidnapped; teen boy is shot at, man falls through the ice on a frozen lake, another man gets shot, some mention of blood; 2 creepy clown dreams; teen & man are kidnapped, drugged, & held prisoner; a man holds a gun to teen’s head; teen hits a man with a item knocking him out; teen shoots a gun, man gets a splinter from the floor; man was shot & killed; a mean dog was shot & killed.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

Death of father-type family member, death, murder, murder of police officer, terrorism, war, death of soldiers, child spy, really bad guys, kidnapping, creepy clown, death of an animal, drug dealer, bully, heart attack, WWII IEDs, rogue soldiers.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

A man remembers fondly of taking and selling a lot of drugs starting at a young age; a sleep drug is used on a teen & a man; a truth drug is used on a teen.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Reading a good adventure story has always been a vacation in the theater of my mind. When I’m stressed or just need to get away for a few minutes, I love the opportunity to climb into somebody else’s world. I didn’t enjoy reading until I was in the Air Force and building bombs in Korea; it was a wonderful distraction from the real world. (I tried bull riding, but it wasn’t exciting enough.)