Nightshade by Anthony Horowitz

Publication Date: 2nd April 2020

The Blurb

Get ready for action, adrenaline and adventure in this explosive, brand new Alex Rider mission by bestselling author, Anthony Horowitz.

In this adrenaline-fueled adventure in the number one bestselling series, Alex Rider is sent by MI6 Special Operations to infiltrate a new and sinister organisation known only as Nightshade. Alex is on his own, with the fate of thousands of people resting in his hands.


The Review

I have loved the Alex Rider books since I first read Stormbreaker with my son 8 years ago, and to think we’re now at number 12!

Nightshade has all of the heart-stopping action, mind-blowing mystery and cool gadgets that we’ve come to know and love, with a particularly sinister undercurrent.

Alex is looking forward to getting back to being a school boy with no more life or death missions to undertake, other than his GCSEs, but when duty calls, he finds it impossible to say no. Before he even undertakes the mission, we see his skills put to use to ward off unknown men waiting outside his school. From there, it’s death defying stunts and jaw-dropping scenes in some truly remarkable settings that are vividly brought to life.

We see Alex grow as a character in Nightshade – his compassion for other children, and ability to see beyond the crimes they commit. The fact that he is pretty much on his own, with no way out of the situations he finds himself in, but for his own resourcefulness, gives him time to reflect on how and his target got there.

I think this is the most uncomfortable I’ve felt for Alex throughout the entire series. When faced with the Numbers, it’s easy to draw parallels with the way he has been treated himself by MI6.

This will sit very firmly on my Year 6 only shelf, and not as a class read, (if my son doesn’t steal it first) due to the fact I think that there is a level of malice, violence and child abuse that just isn’t suitable for the majority of children in Primary. Much like with the later Harry Potter books, Alex Rider has reached an age where his audience needs to be a little bit older too.

Great for fans of:

  • Killer Series by Joe Craig
  • Big Game by Dan Smith
  • The Cherub Series by Robert Muchamore
  • Artemis Fowl by Eion Colfer

Huge thanks to Walker Books for sending me a copy for review.


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