Study Guide

Stormbreaker

By Anthony Horowitz

Stormbreaker Introduction

What's that in the sky? Is it a bird? A plane? No—it's the bestselling spy novel, Stormbreaker.

Stormbreaker introduces the world to Alex Rider, a teenage super-spy and heart-throb extraordinaire. After the untimely death of his uncle, Alex begins to discover clues about his family's past—and what he learns shocks him. To make a long story short: Alex becomes a spy, gets roped into an international conspiracy, and has to put his childhood karate lessons to the test. Big time.

Along the way, Alex learns a lot about what it means to be an adult. With his uncle gone, Alex has no choice but to take his life into his own hands, showing remarkable tenacity, toughness, and, shall we say, swag along the way.

Anthony Horowitz has been cranking out young adult novels since the 1980s, but never reached mainstream success until the publication of Stormbreaker in 2000. The novel won numerous awards, including the Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book Award and California Young Reader Medal. Since then, it has spawned one film adaptation, eight sequels, and one prequel. In other words, Horowitz is busy.

So read it for the action, if that's what you like—you won't be disappointed. Or read it for the thrilling, page-turning tension—nothing wrong with that either. No matter the reason, though, you'll walk away with a hearty respect for this tough teenager. And at the very least, when you close the cover, you'll find yourself wishing you had a few of his handy spy gadgets to play with.

What is Stormbreaker About and Why Should I Care?

Stormbreaker is basically an action movie in book form—do we really have to convince you to read this one?

But that said, you're going to get a lot more than just killer action scenes and crazy villains from Stormbreaker. Don't get us wrong—Alex Rider takes on his fair share of big baddies and evil henchmen over the course of the novel. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, and at its core, Stormbreaker is all about the importance of believing in yourself.

For the most part, Alex is your average fourteen-year-old kid. He would rather hang with his friends than save the world; he would rather play soccer than face the fact that his uncle has been murdered; and he'd rather live a normal life than join the exhilarating, but deadly, world of spies. Unfortunately for Alex, though, such ordinary teen years just aren't in the cards.

Alex overcomes the obstacles in his life because he believes in himself, no matter how many people think he can't do a job or criticize him for his age. We've all heard that age ain't nothing but a number—and the story of Alex Rider proves it.

Stormbreaker Resources

Websites

Alex Rider Homepage
Want to learn more about Britain's most famous teenaged super-spy? Look no further.

Horowitz's House
Okay, not his house, per say, but his home on the web.

Movie or TV Productions

Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker (2006)
Because becoming a spy at the age of fourteen isn't enough, in 2004, Alex graced the silver screen, too.

Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker Trailer
Want to get a taste of Alex Rider's big-screen debut? Then check out the official trailer for the movie.

Articles and Interviews

Quickfire Interview: Horowitz
Check out this brief conversation with Stormbreaker author Anthony Horowitz.

A Chat with Horowitz
This interview, coming off of the release of a Yassen Gregorovich-themed prequel, touches on Horowitz's early interest in spy fiction and his love for Sherlock Holmes.

An Interview with Horowitz
This interview with Horowitz focuses on his ability to build high-octane suspense in the Alex Rider series.

Video

Detectives Are Cool
Although this interview focuses on Foyle's War, a television series produced by Horowitz, it contains a few nuggets for us Alex Rider fiends.

All Good Things Must Come to an End
This in-depth interview gets into Horowitz's feeling on the Alex Rider series overall, as it was recorded soon after the final novel in the series was released.

Audio

Singular Spies: James Bond 007 and Alex Rider MI6
This chat with NPR focuses on the connections between Alex Rider and the legendary James Bond.

Horowitz on Sequels
Horowitz knows a thing or two about sequels—he wrote ten books in the Alex Rider series, after all. Check out this interview where he goes in-depth on his approach.

Images

London Science Museum
Were you left wondering what the London Science Museum looks like? No worries—we've got you covered.

Looking Very Writerly
Check out Horowitz—he's got a real brood going on here.

Variations on a Theme
Sometimes books come out with all kinds of different covers. In the case of Stormbreaker, though, they all look an awful lot like this one.