book review

Alex Rider’s Back! Nightshade Book Review & Plot

Ladies and Gentlemen, Buckle In for Alex Rider Nightshade!

Our British teenage spy Alex Rider strikes back again in this new action-packed thriller, Nightshade. Nightshade is the latest YA book in the Alex Rider series by author Anthony Horowitz and was just recently released in bookstores on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Ladies and gentlemen, hop onto our roller coaster adventure and buckle in as we review Alex Rider’s Nightshade. We’re in for a wild ride. 😉

Are you ready for a new adventure with Alex Rider? 🙂 Official book cover of Anthony Horowitz’s new Alex Rider book Nightshade.

Alex Rider Nightshade: Book Review

I’ve been a die-hard fan of the Alex Rider series since I was 10. My childhood bookshelf is lined with the series’ sleek and colorful book spines. During my time as a bumbling teen, young Alex Rider was the hallmark of courage, intelligence, and impeccable coolness kicking ass, busting underground rings, and uncovering dizzily mad operations of world domination and terrorism, all while attending secondary school as – you know – an ordinary UK schoolboy. Even now as a full-fledged adult, I’m not afraid to say that Nightshade still speaks to our youthful adventurous souls and marvelously adds to the rest of the Alex Rider collection. Nightshade does not disappoint.

Alex Pettyfer, actor who plays Alex Rider in the ground-breaking teenage spy movie Storm Breaker.

In Never Say Die, the previous sequel, we witnessed Alex Rider’s personal Odysseus journey to search for his best friend Jack Starbright. As he uncovers the truth of Jack Starbright’s death, he discovers the villainous Grimaldi twins’ plan to kidnap and hold schoolchildren of billionaires and influential officials for ransom. After a successful rescue of the schoolchildren and awarded for his unwavering fortitude, Alex Rider and Jack Starbright return back home, settling into their very-missed ordinary citizenry life. This is where Nighshade picks off, but the shadows of the world still lurk, as a new criminal organization Nightshade rises like a dark phoenix.

Nightshade is quick-paced and jam-packed with action, keeping both old Alex Rider fans and new readers at the edge of their seats. Alex is now 15-years-old, and just as quickly as he thought he could settle back into school life, he is plucked right up by MI6 Special Operations and Ms. Jones for a much personal request to stop Nightshade. Thousands of lives are in danger, and the world’s fate rests in Alex’s hands. Like the other Alex Rider books, Nightshade is a melting pot of 007 James Bond, Cherub, HIVE, Artemis Fowl, and Jason Bourne all mixed into one. Alex Rider Nightshade is certainly a page-turner that leaves readers gripping every page.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Highly recommended for teens and readers of all age, Nightshade can be checked out at this link here or at your local e-library.

Spoilers From Beyond Here: Tread carefully. You’ve been warned. Click below to read more about the plot of Alex Rider Nightshade.

Alex Rider Nightshade: Plot

You’ve been warned. What lies here is a body (of text) on the adrenaline-pumping plot of Alex Rider Nightshade. 🙂 Don’t worry. I won’t spoil it all.

The book’s premise first starts off slow, narrating Alex’s and Jack Starbright’s return to London. Alex Rider heads back to his original British school, trying to finish piles of homework while hanging out with his other best friend Tom after school just like any other regular schoolboy. Life seems to go back to normal now, and MI6, especially Ms. Jones, promised that they won’t involve Alex in anymore spying or secret intelligence work.

The real version of MI6’s headquarters. SIS. Picture taken by James Bowen, Flickr

The scene switches soon. We find ourselves in Brazil’s Rio, where MI6 officer John Crawley is there to meet up with one of his agents and rescue him out. When the two finally meet, John Crawley notices his agent is injured and unusually nervous. Two children, a boy and girl, remote control their metal toy airplane to swoop down in air and slice the agent’s throat. Shocked, John Crawley struggles to save the agent, but the man’s last words were Nightshade. The two children run to a getaway helicopter, but Brazilian soldier forces and some British soldiers swarm them. The girl escapes, but the boy was caught at the fence and hauled to one of Brazil’s prisons.

One of the opening scenes of Alex Rider’s Nightshade book. Freddie Gray, a 15-year-old boy from Nightshade organization, is captured here in Rio de Janeiro.

The boy is revealed to be Freddie Gray, the son of a British head military officer. Freddie Gray had gone missing at age 4, but he does not remember his parents at all. In fact, he seems to be brainwashed by the mysterious organization Nightshade. His cold, stormy blue eyes tells it all. While held in Brazil, he ruthlessly kills and severely wounds several soldiers as he attempts escape. The British bring him back to London, where he is yet again held in prison, this time, the high-security prison where previously Julius Grief, Alex Rider’s evil clone, was held.

MI6 is in hot waters. It doesn’t help that Dominic Royce of the Foreign Office is furious with MI6 Special Operations from illegally exploiting teenage Alex Rider. Dominic Royce orders MI6 Special Ops, John Crawley, and Ms. Jones to not use Alex Rider anymore, but both Crawley and Ms. Jones know that this time, they truly need Alex Rider.

Supermax prison. In Nighsthade, Alex Rider enters a high-security prison as Julius Grief to get close to Freddie Gray.

Behind Dominic Royce’s back and the other departments, Ms. Jones and Crawley recruit Alex Rider for yet another mission, this time, more personal. It is revealed that the girl who was with Freddie Gray earlier was in fact Ms. Jones’s own daughter who went missing long ago. It seems that the Nightshade organization brainwashes kidnapped children to conduct their dirty work, including murders without batting an eye. Wanting to bring back her children as well, Ms. Jones sits down together with Alex for a personal request: go into the high-security prison as Julius Grief, get close to Freddie Gray, and learn all he can about the Nightshade organization and their insidious plans. Reluctantly, Alex Rider agrees.

Can everything go as planned? Can Alex Rider successfully reach out to Freddie Gray? Can he find Ms. Jones’ gone-missing children? Who is truly the Nightshade organization, and what evil plans are they cooking up?

Check out Alex Rider’s page-turner adventure Nightshade today! You can also read Nightshade’s first 4 chapters free at this link.

Curious about the rest of Nightshade’s plot? Definitely check out Anthony Horowitz’s latest Alex Rider book Nightshade or the other Alex Rider series at your closest bookstore, Amazon, or local e-library. It surely cannot be missed!

Also don’t forget about the new Alex Rider TV series coming soon. 🙂

Just some mini Plot Factoids of Alex Rider Nightshade 😉

  • Freddie Gray is Number Nine, with a scar that runs behind his ear down to his jaw. There are a total of 25 children in Nightshade organization.
  • A little stuffed animal monkey is the key to unlocking Freddie Gray’s old memories.
  • Julius Grief’s metal-crafting skills come in handy for Alex Rider and both Alex’s and Freddie’s key to escape out of the high-security prison.
  • The Nightshade is run by 4 Teachers. It’s not just any organization. It’s run like a cult, using religion as pretext.
  • Freddie Gray wants to recruit Alex Rider as Number 26 into Nightshade.
  • William and Sophia are Mrs. Jones’s children, and they are both alive as Numbers in Nightshade.
  • Numbers can communicate with Teachers even without talking to them directly or seeing them. Hmmm, I wonder how.
  • William does not like Alex Rider. Sorry!
  • Nightshade’s operation involves parachutes and the venomous gas V.
  • Julius Grief breaks loose into London. His face is all over the news and newspapers, but wasn’t Julius Grief already dead? 😉
  • The main villain’s name is DR. Who is this doctor?

How old is Alex Rider in Nightshade?

Alex Rider is officially 15-years-old in Nightshade. His age has been mentioned clearly multiple times in the latest book Nightshade, the 12th book of the Alex Rider series. Alex Rider is also the same age as Freddie Gray, Number Nine of the Nightshade organization. In the book Never Say Die, Alex experiences significant character growth as he saves young schoolchildren from the Grimaldi brothers, and for the first time, we see that the young spy is no longer reluctant to engage in esponiage and fighting if it means to help children of his age. In Nightshade, Alex Rider’s age as a fifteen-year-old also holds tremendous significance, as he relates and gets close to fifteen-year-old Freddie Gray.

How excited are you for Alex Rider Nightshade? Have you read it? Share your thoughts with us below!

© Copyright 2020 Moosmosis – All rights reserved

All rights reserved. This essay or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher. 

Please Like our Facebook page to support! 🙂

25 replies »

  1. Wow, I didn’t know you were a fan of Alex Rider, too! Small world. It’s been such a long time since I last read Alex Rider, ahh the good ol’ times. I didn’t even know they had an Alex Rider TV series, but hopefully, it’s better than that Stormbreaker movie.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Same! I’m also really excited for the sequel! Really enjoyed Nightshade, especially with Alex’s character growth and interaction with Freddie and the other kids. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s