Reading further will spoil the prior Alex Rider books, so if you were planning on reading them, DON’T read this review. This review for Never Say Die will be spoiler free, but it’s technically book 11. It can also be read separately to the current Alex Rider series, so if you want to start here, feel free!
Okay, let’s continue!
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.
Title: Never Say Die
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Release: June 1, 2017
Genre: adventure, action, young adult/middle grade
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Link to book here.
I forgot how much I missed Alex’s narrative. It’s simple, effective, but conveys so much detail and cleverness! Ah, I just loved it. The book before this, Scorpia Rising, completely broke my heart, but I adored the ending regardless. Honestly I was more than happy to leave it where it wrapped up (with Jack’s death and Alex’s escape) but… I’m also very glad we got more!
How can you end a ten book series with a major death and emotional destruction without Alex not wanting to investigate? YOU CAN’T. HA.
This was such an action packed book! It was EXACTLY what I wanted. If you pick this book up without reading the others, you can connect to it, so definitely no problems there. (I hadn’t read about Alex Rider for… 10 years…? So I definitely didn’t remember all the prior details! But I easily followed along.) That said, the way Alex moves through the plot may be perceived as “convenient” unless you’re familiar with what he’s accomplished in the past.
Despite some of the plot seeming convenient (which didn’t bother me), Alex still ran into heaps of struggles. There’s a scene where he has a gun trained on him and how he gets out of it is just excellent… I was grinning, thinking: This is the Alex Rider I missed! YES! He’s so clever, I had so much fun with this book!
And, just to continue this praise! The ending surprised me. Horowitz writes his plots so well in my humble opinion, I often don’t see how the details fit together until the end when it’s fully revealed. And I really loved this reveal and where the characters ended up! Some of the dialogue near the conclusion was a little… I want to say childish? But I’m also reading this as a 24-year-old so I’m not the intended younger audience. 😀
Overall, this was an excellent installment in the Alex Rider series! It can definitely be read as a a continuation of the series, or you can start with Never Say Die and ignore the prior books. This sets up the possibility for more in the future which I am PUMPED for! I loved revisiting Alex’s narration (his awesome intellect and fighting skills are huge loves of mine, too!) and I’m so happy I got to read and review this book! I’ll definitely be picking up any to come in the future. They’re so quick, fast-moving in their plot, and surprising!
4 / 5 stars
Thank you Dymocks Books for sending this to me! I won this book proof in a contest. ❤