Nightshade Revenge (Alex Rider)

Nightshade Revenge  (Alex Rider)

By Author / Illustrator

Anthony Horowitz


Spy stories

Age range(s)



Walker Books Ltd








When his best friend Tom is abducted, Alex Rider is given an ultimatum by Nightshade - a sinister cult of assassins with a score to settle. But what twisted evil are they planning, and how is it connected to a revolutionary new gaming system?  With no idea who to trust, Alex finds himself dragged into a nightmare world - where nothing is real but the game could kill you.  The clock is ticking and Nightshade is closing in...

The world's bestselling teenage spy takes on a new and daring mission.  This much-awaited new book in the bestselling Alex Rider series continues Alex's fight against the deadly assassins encountered in the last book, Nightshade. Alex still has unfinished business with this sinister group made up of brainwashed children, not least trying to reunite MI6 chief Mrs Jones, along with her long lost son and daughter. The adventure takes us deep into the life-changing world of augmented reality, where even Alex will struggle to succeed against the technology. A thrilling new challenge for the world's best-loved teen superspy.

See also:   Nightshade (Alex Rider).   Praise for Nightshade:  "Pacy and ingenious." The Sunday Times.  "Anthony Horowitz is on cracking form here: the plot is gripping, the characters - both familiar and new - are fully fleshed, and it sparkles with his characteristic wit. We could do with Alex Rider now..." Daily Mail 



"The simple truth is that Alex Rider has done you nothing but harm. It's time you got him out of your life." Alex rider is back for another mission that will force him to confront the deadly Nightshade organisation once more and question who exactly he can trust. While trying to get his around his mock exams, his best friend Tom is abducted while out skateboarding. It's not long before Alex realises that Nightshade is behind this, and they have an ultimatum for Alex to help one of their members - Number Nine - escape from prison if Alex wants to see Tom again.

What should be the end is just the beginning for Alex as he is determined to track down Nightshade once more - but where do you find a secret organisation, and do several deaths related to a new computer game sensation 'Eden Fall' have anything to do with them? Alex will need all his brains and brawn if he is to find out, and are the last words to him from Number Nine a threat, or a clue: "Revenge is golden … remember that".

This is a thrilling jet-setting Alex Rider adventure from Anthony Horowitz, with a great combination of action, mystery and adventure and a few clever gadgets and weapons to help him along the way. Though this isn't the first in the series, I felt that it didn't matter if you haven't read the previous books. The story is strong and there are enough brief mentions to previous scenarios and situations in previous books to help give context and enjoy this novel. And there is much to enjoy! There are daring, audacious and dangerous deeds Alex has to undertake. The whole prison breakout got my heart thumping and, on occasion, I was holding my breath wondering which way the situation would unfold. Alex's actions to try and stop a plane from taking off are also full of brilliant drama, and I feel Horowitz's writing is never stronger that when writing action and high tension scenes like this for Alex, as he puts you right in the heart of the action.

The adventure is set in three countries as Alex heads from England to France then the USA on the hunt for Nightshade, which also helps keep the story moving. Fans of the series will recognise many of the characters in the book, including Mr Smithers who has an amazing solution for getting Alex over a large perimeter wall, much to Alex's distain!

Alex is definitely maturing and I felt questioning what he really wants to be doing with his life in this book, something many teens will relate to. Perhaps change is in the air, as it is the same for other characters like Mrs Jones. Freddy (Number Nine) was the character I really enjoyed as I was never entirely certain whose side he was really on! I found the Eden Falls computer game thread fascinating, especially the use and development of augmented reality headsets. The game sounds great though its corruption and misuse becomes rather frightening.

Another excellent Alex Rider adventure awaits for you in Nightshade Revenge, full of action, tension, drama and the occasional cannon. Whether revenge really is golden for Alex or Nightshade, you will have to read this and find out!

320 pages / Reviewed by Stephen Leitch, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 11+


With exams and skateboarding the main things on his mind, Alex Rider hopes he has left the world of MI6 behind him, apart from visits to Freddy Grey, 'Number Nine' of the organisation, Nightshade, whose activities Alex helped put an end to. However, when his best friend, Tom, is kidnapped whilst the two are skateboarding, Alex finds himself being manipulated into helping the group free Freddy from his prison. Determined to save his friend, Alex swings into action whilst also uncovering sinister goings on in the gaming world.

Stormbreaker, the first Alex Rider book, was published in 2000 and there are (depending on how you count them!) 14 books in the series. My son loved reading them and I have known many 'reluctant' readers take to them with great enthusiasm. Part of their appeal must be their Bond-like predictability of plot with young Rider managing the impossible and coming out on top every time which makes for an engaging and pacey read.

In Nightshade Revenge, Alex shows his loyal, courageous nature once more, rising to the challenges of finding and rescuing his friend, whilst showing great empathy for those caught by the machinations of the evil organisation, Nightshade. There are chases and gun fights, gadgets and peril - all the ingredients which make this series so popular, and it is easy to slip back into Alex's world and enjoy the escapism the story offers. There is a very moving section at the end of the story and things are certainly changing in Alex's world, both in MI6 and personally. Sabina and her family are moving back to England from America, perhaps rekindling their previous relationship, so who knows what the next Alex Rider book has in store for its devoted fans!

320 pages / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+