Action-packed from page one, this first installment of the popular Alex Rider series is a fun spy read. Alex's parents were killed in a plane crash when he was a baby and he was being raised by his now deceased uncle. The leaders of the MI6 spy organization threaten to send Alex to a home for orphans if he does not agree to help them. Alex is confident and courageous – a good thing, since he is frequently in perilous situations. To name a few, he is almost crushed in a car at a junkyard, attacked by flamethrower-carrying men on quadbikes, shot at by men armed with machine guns, and thrown into a tank with a giant killer jellyfish. Readers will envy Alex's spy gadgets, including a specially equipped Game Boy and exploding zit cream. This book inspired the 2006 movie titled Operation Stormbreaker.