There aren't many fourteen-year-olds who have to deal with death as much as poor Alex Rider. Stormbreaker kicks off with the death of his uncle, his guardian ever since his parents died just weeks after his birth. This event is a catalyst for some huge changes in Alex's life, forcing him to confront both his own mortality and that of his fellow countrymen. You might think that a teenager wouldn't be able to handle this, but we come to learn that these struggles are actually exactly what Alex needs to become a man.
Questions About Mortality
- How does Ian's death affect Alex? Does this change as the story unfolds? Use the text to support your answer.
- What are the differences between how MI6 and Alex view death? Again, text it up.
- Is it wrong for MI6 to send Alex to likely death? Why or why not? What does Alex think?
- How do Yassen Gregorovich and Mr. Grin—both contract killers—differ in their approach?
Chew on This
The death of Ian Rider is the first step on Alex's journey to manhood.
MI6 is portrayed as insensitive to the lives of their agents, as evidenced by their decision to send a fourteen-year-old to near-certain death.