Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz is about a 14 year old orphan named Alex Rider who lives in Britain, near Chelsea. Alex's uncle, who was also his "adopted" parent, because his own parents are dead, is Alex's only family. When Ian Rider, the uncle, dies in a car crash, Alex is caught off guard. Alex knows his uncle too well to know that he would die in an accident. Ian was always prepared. He always wore his seatbelt and took every other tedious precaution.
Driven by curiosity, he finds his uncle's car in the local junkyard, except for one thing is wrong. The car is smashed in the front, but the front windshield and driver's door is covered with bullet holes. He is then taken to his uncle's work, who supposedly worked in a banking establishment. Little does Alex know that Ian Rider worked for MI6, the famous "James Bond" spy service, which explained his uncle's continual business travels. The head of MI6 recruits Alex to complete his uncle's mission, because as a 14 year old, he would not be as suspected of spying.
Alex is sent to spy on a man named Herod Sayle, an Egyptian millionaire who lives in Britain. Sayle is going to donate thousands of super-computers called "Stormbreakers" to every school in Britain, as a token of gratitude to the country that took him in when he was a poor boy in Egypt. As Alex carries out tasks given by MI6, he begins to see the remnants of the trail his uncle has left for a successor to follow. But, his youth eventually led to his capture by Sayle's men. Sayle's personal assistant, "Mr. Grin", named for the hideous scars on his face due to a knife trick gone horribly wrong, is in charge of interrogating Alex. During the process of him talking to Sayle (not Mr. Grin, who cannot talk), Alex learns the reason for donating the computers. Sayle had been abused as a boy in school for being a poor and out-of-place Egyptian boy. His biggest enemy, or bully, is the current prime minister. He wants to humiliate the prime minister by having him activate all the computers, which would seem to be a wonderful occasion across the country.
Little does he know, each computer, when activated, releases smallpox into the room. So when the prime minister activates every computer at one time, he causes thousands of deaths of the nation's children.
After telling Alex this, he throws Alex into a giant tank with a Portuguese Man O' War, the world's biggest and most dangerous jellyfish. After a daring escape from the tank, he boards a plane taking off for London. It is there, that he makes a daring encounter with Mr. Grin, the pilot. Over the museum where the minister is staged to activate the computers, Alex must make a choice. Save the country, or save himself?
1. Why did the author kill off all of Alex's family? That is kind of cruel, and wasn't necessary.
2. Why is Sayle so determined to humiliating the prime minister to have the minister personally activate everything? He could have just had the prime minister just approve of the activation.