Posts Tagged ‘Terrorism’

Nightshade by Anthony Horowitz.

March 10, 2020 Comments off

alex rider (2)Nightshade by Anthony Horowitz. Pub. Walker books, 2020.

Released 2 April

This is book number 13 in the Alex Rider series and this time it is serious. Alex is a little out of his depth as he tackles a secret organisation called Nightshade which uses children who have been kidnapped at age 4 or 5 years.

These children have been brainwashed into forgetting their past and trained to be ruthless and efficient killers. One of their number known to MI6 as Freddy is captured while assassinating an agent in Brazil but shuts down and cannot be broken. MI6 know that there is a secret plan to destroy London and that Nightshade are the culprits.

Freddy who is a heartless killer is locked away in a secret high security prison on Gibraltar and Alex is given the identity of another villain from the past called Julius Grief with the job of befriending Freddy in order to find out when and how the destruction of London is to be achieved.

How Alex attempts this is astonishing and beggars the question is he finally out of his depth. To make things personal Mrs Jones, Alex’s master at MI6, had her two children kidnapped at ages 5 &6. Could they now be members of Nightshade? Alex also has his doubters in MI6.

Brilliantly conceived story, action packed and thrilling to read. I can tell you no more but if you are a fan you will relish this novel and if you are discovering Alex for the first time live long and prosper.

The best action novel you will read this year.



Love Hate & other filters by Samira Ahmed

January 26, 2018 Comments off

love & hateLove Hate & other filters by Samira Ahmed. Pub. Hot Key books, 2018.

Some powerful novels for young adults come out of Trump’s America these days, most related to the social upheaval that his been inflicted on America because of racial, religious, political and terror related events. This is one of them and it is very good.

Maya is 18 years old, she is a Muslim Indian whose parents are successful dentists in small town America. They are unashamedly staunch traditionalists who came to America with some taboos packed tightly into the corners of their immigrant baggage. They want the best for their daughter and to control her life in the traditional Indian way.

Maya is an American girl and with American aspirations who wants to make movies. She has a video camera with her all the time and films family events. She is very quick witted and literate in a Jane Austen sort of way and she is attracted to the star football player of her high school, Phil, and he is attracted to her. Their rom com relationship is one of the highlights of the novel as is Maya’s relationship with her traditionalist mother.

When Maya tells her mother she does not want an arranged relationship with Kareem, who is delightful by the way and understanding, and wants to go to film school in New York, the family is in turmoil. The mother fears she will wear mini skirts and eat pork.

It gets worse. Between chapters there is another plot going on. A suicide bomber is plotting , preparing and ultimately commits the  terrorist act killing hundreds including children. People take it out on Maya and her family, they are assumed guilty by association as everybody considers the bomber was Muslim.

Read this novel it is fascinating. I was hooked from the first chapter which describes a traditional Indian wedding with it’s Bollywood overtones. The wit and depth of feeling is compelling. One of the best.


Homelanders series Book 2: The Long Way Home by Andrew Klavan

The Long Way Home by Andrew Klavan. Pub. Thomas Nelson, 2010.

Whew! Just finished this in two sittings and it is action writing at it’s best. Boys are going to love this second book in the Homelanders series and sequel to The Last thing I remember reviewed earlier on this blog.

Charlie West was tried and convicted of the murder of his former best friend Alex. He has also been captured, tortured and escaped from and an   Islamic terrorist group called the Homelanders. He is wanted by the terrorist group and by the police but he cannot remember a thing about it.

All this happened in the last book and this book develops the plot along the way but does not provide all the answers that the reader demands. Who are these terrorists? If Charlie didn’t kill Alex who did? Why can’t he remember anything? How can you have a relationship with a tidy bit of tackle like Beth and not remember a thing?

Alex knows the answer to these questions lies in the past, in his old home town and so he makes his way back there with the police and the Homelanders in hot pursuit. There he meets up with Beth and his old friends and tries to solve the riddle.

Brilliant action which at times is dulled down by Klavan’s discussion of what is freedom and liberty and does it exist in America?  Can America always be right and its enemies always be wrong?  Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? But it doesn’t matter the action is enough.

Great reading for boys in particular who have loved the Alex Rider series and Robert Muchamores Cherub series.

Wide appeal from Intermediate and High School students. Part 3 The Truth of the Matter is out in November 2010.