First Strike by Jack Higgins with Justin Richards

“[Readers] will be sucked in and taken on a roller-coaster ride…teens who are enjoying Anthony Horowitz’s and Ally Carter’s books will get a kick out of Jade and Rich as well.”

– School Library Journal for Death Run


In the latest installment of the series involving the British Chance twins and their secret-agent father, the family once again bonds as they duck bullets and fly through the book’s nonstop action. Two sets of villains (Chinese rebels and American right-wing fanatics) infiltrate the White House during a reception in an effort to steal a box containing nuclear launch codes. Fortunately, the Brits are on hand to save the day. Fans of the twins’ exploits will enjoy this thrill ride, which, like the series’ other titles, is an obvious read-alike to the Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz. Grades 6-9. –Todd Morning


I personally thought that this was a quite good book. Since I am a fan of Alex Rider, I immediately was drawn to the book. I also thought that the cover was kind of cool as well. So, this story was about these two kids who were trapped in the White House while it was under the control of terrorists. One of the kids was helping guard the president and the other one was trying to find a way to stop the people. The two children, Jade and Rich, are similar but different. Jade usually is the bait and gets the persons attention, and she likes to do stuff right. Rich, well Rich is more like Alex Rider. He likes to do stuff in the moment and figure out how to kick-ass.

This story kept you turning pages and wanting to read more. But I have to say this. I don’t know how and why people are comparing it to Alex Rider. Yes it is true, if you finished the Alex Rider series and you are thirsty for more, this is the book, but this is nothing like Alex Rider. First of all Alex Rider is better (in my opinion), second Alex is all alone, while in this book there are two kids. Also in this book the kids have their Dad helping from the outside. In Alex Rider, he really was alone, except in dire situations and usually he could get himself out of it. If this book was Alex Rider, Alex would have saved the day. In this book though kids, their dad, and SAS men, and a whole lot of explosives saved the day. Alex never had a gun. In my opinion, this was not as good as Alex Rider at all, but I still believe that it was a decent spy book. I believe the characters could also have been described a little more. But if you are one of those people who likes explosions, guns, and things like that, this is the book for you.

Also I believe that this is a series. This one is book #4 but I do not believe that it matters the order.

#1 Sure Fire
#2 Death Run
#3 Sharp Shot
#4 First Strike