Title: Alex Rider: Secret Weapon
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Older children’s/middle grade fiction, Short stories, Action, Thriller
Book format: Hardcover
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description: Danger is never far away from Alex Rider.  In this exclusive collection of adrenaline-fuelled adventures, the teen spy infiltrates a terrorist hideout, gets caught up in a high-speed chase and faces the world’s most deadly criminals.  These explosive missions will push Alex to the limit.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is such a good collection of short stories which anyone can enjoy, whether you’ve previously read any of the Alex Rider books or not. ‘Alex Rider Secret Weapon’ is a collection of seven short stories of various lengths. Each of the stories is like a mini adventure following Alex with a couple of them told in the first person rather than the third person view I got used to. I’ve only read one Alex Rider book before this one – Never Say Die, but I was instantly drawn into these stories and have enjoyed every one of them.

From the first story in the collection ‘Alex in Afghanistan’ I was hooked. As with any Alex Rider story there’s a lot of action right from the start and what happens in that adventure was particularly memorable. Every story feels like a mini movie playing out and I especially loved what happens in this one with the escape and the horse! The next story ‘The Man with Eleven Fingers’ is probably my favourite, involving a massive potential threat to London and an ending which I enjoyed. I won’t detail the other stories but each of them has the same gripping and exciting adventure that keeps you wanting to read until the end.There’s an introduction by the author where he explains how he never planned to write another Alex Rider story after the tenth book, but after being asked by his publisher to bring together a collection of Alex Rider short stories he’s written in the past, it inspired him to write new stories and two new books (one of which is yet to be released!). Every one of the seven stories in this collection is its own adventure and are just as packed full of exciting action as the Alex Rider novels.

Although some of the stories mention previous events from the books, it wasn’t hard for me to understand what was going on and the previous events were explained in a way that made it easy for me, someone who didn’t read the previous books, to understand them. Some of the stories are of different lengths, with the longer ones being given their own chapters and chapter headings. I personally prefered the longer stories, they felt like more detailed adventures, perhaps more like the novels, but I also enjoyed some of the shorter stories too, especially the adventure featuring parasailing and the twist at the end of another story featuring Smithers.

Every single story was so fun to read and as I’ve already said, you don’t need to be a fan or even know much about the Alex Rider series to enjoy reading this book. It’s a brilliant mix of short stories which introduce you to the pace and excitement of Alex Rider as well as give you some background into some of the characters and something that happens with Alex and his uncle Ian Rider before he ever started working for MI6. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone of any age if you want to read a great collection of action thriller stories.

Have you read any of the Alex Rider series?  Do you enjoy action adventure books or thrillers?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂