When I was about eleven, my mother asked me to read a book she had heard about, with the goal of seeing if it was appropriate for my eight-year-old brother. The book was Stormbreaker, the first in the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. While my brother did end up eventually reading most of the series, I'm the one who purchased them all and re-read them numerous times.

Usually when I buy books, especially series, I get the same editions. For example, I have all three of the Song of Albion books by Stephen R. Lawhead as first edition hardbacks with matching covers. I have the Harry Potter series in paperback with the original UK children's covers. Most of the series I own match, both in format and cover. The Alex Rider series is unique within my library because none of the books quite match. I own the paperback film edition of Stormbreaker, the first in the series. Of the rest of the series, I have two hardcovers, one a UK edition with the original cover, and one a US edition with a brand new cover. The others are all in paperback, one with a unique cover, and the rest with coordinating covers, though all different because some are US and some are UK editions. Normally, having a mis-matched set would drive me nuts. The Alex Rider series isn't normal to me though.

Every book in this series represents a different time in my life. Almost every other series I own I read during a specific phase of life, or potentially crossing between two different phases. I discovered Alex Rider at the age of eleven, and have had a new adventure of his to read while living in Alaska, England, Maryland, and Texas. The last book in the series came out in 2013, and wasn't about Alex. It was about Yassen Gregorovish, the assassin who played so significantly in Alex's life. He's one of my favourite characters in the series, and I loved the book, but it wasn't about Alex. The last true adventure that belonged to Alex was released in 2011. Honestly, I fully expected to never see Alex on the page again. Even getting Yassen's story was a wonderful surprise.

It feels like ages ago now that I got the notification that Never Say Die, a brand new Alex Rider novel, was available for pre-order. Since placing that pre-order, I've been waiting eagerly for the moment I'd get to catch up with one of my oldest fictional companions. Yesterday, I got home from work to find the box waiting for me. I've loved a lot of books, characters, and authors over the years, but there isn't any other series that's stayed with me quite like Alex Rider. I've been following his adventures for thirteen years. Childhood, teen years, and now adulthood, I've been able to enjoy new Alex Rider novels. Thank you, Anthony Horowitz, for bringing Alex back. Someday I hope to bring stories to the page that will follow future readers throughout each phase of their lives.

If you need me, I'll be having a reading date with Alex.