Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Review: Never Say Die by Anthony Horowitz

Never Say Die (Alex Rider #11) by Anthony Horowitz
Publisher: Walker Books
Released: 1st June 2017
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
The world's greatest teen spy is back in action in a thrilling new mission: destroy once and for all the terrorist organization SCORPIA.

Following the events of
Scorpia Rising, Alex relocates to San Francisco as he slowly recovers from the tragic death of his best friend and caregiver, Jack Starbright, at the hands of terrorists working for SCORPIA. With Jack gone, Alex feels lost and alone, but then, out of the blue, he receives a cryptic email--just three words long, but enough to make Alex believe that Jack may be alive. Armed with this shred of hope, Alex boards a flight bound for Egypt and embarks on a dubious quest to track Jack down.

Yet SCORPIA knows Alex's weakness. And the question of whether Jack is alive soon takes a backseat to a chilling new terrorist plot-one that will determine the lives of many.

From Egypt to France to Wales, from luxury yachts to abandoned coal mines, Alex traverses a minefield of dangers and cryptic clues as he fights to discover the truth.
(from Goodreads)

As a huge fan of the Alex Rider series when I was younger, I was a both very excited and very concerned when I heard there was going to be a new book. While I did think Scorpia Rising had quite an open ending, I was also so afraid that one of my favourite childhood series would be ruined! Luckily, this was not the case and I ended up really enjoying Never Say Die.

The book started four weeks after the end of Scorpia Rising. Alex was living with the Pleasures and adjusting to life without Jack, but anyone could see he wasn’t doing well. He was withdrawn and quiet, his grades were slipping and didn’t feel like there was any place he fit in. I felt for him because it was obvious he missed Jack and was going through a really hard time without her. The Alex of the previous books was always witty and clever; despite spending so much time out of school, he was always a good student. Seeing him stop caring about his education and friends was sad as a result. Then, something happened to give Alex reason to believe Jack wasn’t dead. And just like that, he was back to his old antics trying to find her, against the advice of everyone he knew, including Mrs Jones who didn’t believe Jack was alive.

I have to admit, going into this book as an older reader, rather than the intended audience, meant having to have a little more suspension of disbelief than I used to when reading this series. I also think things with the Pleasure could have been wrapped up a bit more, but overall, I was impressed. Alex really felt like Alex; his character didn’t undergo any strange personality changes or turnarounds like can sometimes happen when authors return to series they haven’t written for a while. I have always been fascinated by the way Alex thinks and gets himself out of difficult situations, and I think that was just as present as it has ever been in this book.

In terms of the actual story, I did guess some parts but I thought it was interesting where it ended up, especially the ending (sneaky old Mrs Jones, I knew she had something she was hiding). While I missed characters like Smithers (the gadgets!) and wished Sabina had been in a bit more, I really really enjoyed this book as a whole and I’m honestly ready for the next one (there will be a next one, right?).

If you’re a fan of the series, read this book. If you’re new, well you’re going to have a lot of fun catching up.

1 comment:

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