I had never heard of Alexander X or its author before picking this up. It’s not something that would have ever come across my radar. My decision to purchase it was twofold. First, it was an Audible Daily Deal. It’s hard to pass up a less than $4 audiobook, no matter what it is. Second, Alexander X is narrated by Wil Wheaton. In my opinion, narrator really matters when it comes to audiobooks. If you’re going to have someone talking in your ear for 6, 13, 27 hours, it needs to be a voice you like. No matter how wonderful the story, if I don’t jive with the narrator I’ll abandon an audiobook in a heartbeat, promising myself that I’ll try it again one day in a visual format. I have a list of narrators I love, and Wheaton is a name on that list. On the flip side of this, the best narrator in the world can’t save a lackluster story. Happily, Alexander X was a fun, addictive, and pretty darn original story that was paired with a wonderful narrator.
Alexander X may look fifteen, but multiplying that number by ten will get you much closer to his actual age. Alexander is an Immortal. No, he’s not a vampire or any other supernatural being whose unnatural life span comes with mutant healing powers or disturbing cravings. Alexander is your average kid; he just happens to age very, very slowly. There are handfuls of Immortals scattered throughout history and the present, and they have yet to understand what exactly causes them to age so slowly. Some have been around since before recorded history. What they know about themselves boils down to two things. The key to their immortality is some random genetic quirk that they haven’t been able to pinpoint. They also know that, should the world ever discover their existence, those in power would stop at nothing to discover this genetic secret, even if it meant hunting down every Immortal and ripping them apart in hopes of seeing how they work. Because of the danger of discovery, Immortals are always on the move, leaving before those around them begin noticing that they aren’t aging. For someone like Alexander, this is even more difficult. Adults can stay put for decades, but someone with the appearance of a teenager has to move around far more frequently.
Alexander is settled into a new life for the time being. He’s even made some friends, and is playing lacrosse despite the risk involved with being notices. But things start going horribly wrong for him the day of the school’s Homecoming games and dance. He finds himself pursued by someone determined to get to his father, and two of his friends are forced to go along for the ride in order to keep their families safe. Those hunting Alexander will not stop until they’ve captured him, and Alexander won’t stop until he knows why. The chase that ensues is a madcap adventure through both the events of current day and Alexander’s roles in historical events.
This was such a fun read. It was fast-paced and funny and did a great job of balancing action and exposition. It managed to be light and gripping in equal measures. I don’t know that it’s a story that will stick with me forever, but I immediately downloaded the second installment. I can’t wait to see what other adventures are in store for Alexander and the gang.