In an interview on Here & Now, YA author Anthony Horowitz described his character, Alex Rider, as "a reluctant spy" and "quite an ordinary kid."
The fictional Alex is 14 years old and the youngest MI6 agent in Britain's Secret Intelligence Service. He became a spy only after his uncle Ian, an agent, was killed. Alex Rider's adventures cover eight books. The first book in the series is Stormbreaker [YA HOR], and Crocodile Tears is the latest.
The interview with Horowitz is interesting in the way he explains his use of violence and death in the series. It's worth listening to, especially since he has nice things to say about librarians!
The "Alex Rider Adventure" series is popular with teen readers and might be a good holiday gift for any hard-to-please young men on your list.