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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

A Teenage Recruit To MI5

Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz is one of the most successful writers in the country and the Alex Rider series, of which Stormbreaker is the first, shows exactly why. Fast-moving and action-packed, it's the story of a teenage boy who is recruited into MI5 and who foils a plot by a crazed hi-tech villain to unleash a smallpox virus on Britain.

It's not really my sort of thing, altogether too macho for me, as well as a little sexist and xenophobic. But I can see its merits and there's no doubt about its appeal to teenage boys. Anthony Horowitz should be commended for this, if for nothing else. So much of children's publishing is aimed directly or indirectly at girls that the world needs Stormbreaker to redress the balance.