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Alex Rider: Nightshade by Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider is sent by MI6 Special Operations to infiltrate a new and sinister organization known only as Nightshade. Alex, just 15-years-old, is on his own, with the fate of thousands of people in his hands. This is the thirteenth adventure in the internationally bestselling Alex Rider series, with 16 million copies of the series sold worldwide. This newest story of young Alex's escapades continues with the action, adrenaline and adventure of previous stories.

While it is part of a series, it is not necessary to read the previous books, with author Anthony Horowitz providing just enough information for new readers, without boring familiar readers with repetitive details. The story was a little bit slow to start, but Horowitz lets readers get settled into the story before unleashing the action. From then on, it is non-stop but it does seem to lack something...more.

While it was action-packed, it was never heart-in-mouth action. There was never a moment where it might appear that Alex might fail the mission, nor was there anything really left of field that he had to overcome. The plotline felt a little overdone and cliche. In saying that, the book is aimed at readers in the upper primary school age, so it may be that they aren't quite as jaded as those of us that have clocked up a lot of reading miles.

There are parts that could be a little bit upsetting for younger readers. There is a lot of fighting and weapons, as well as some deaths, so be warned. It is a relatively easy read though.

While older fans might be a little let down by the lack of action they know from previous stories, Alex Rider: Nightshade makes for a nice introduction to the spy genre for younger readers.

Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell

Walker Books, RRP $18.99


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