Sunday, November 06, 2005

Skeleton Key

Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz, 2003

Fourteen year old Alex Rider is relectantly drawn back into MI6, this time at the prestigious Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. While making the world safe for tennis fans he incurs the wrath of an international triad and subsequently finds himself on loan to the CIA. They are on the hunt for a renegade Russian general named Sarov who wants to return to the "glory" days of the old Soviet Union and is willing to detonate a nuclear device in order to achieve it.

We see more of Alex's emotions in this book. He wonders what life would have been like if his parents and his Uncle Ian had lived and tries to imagine having loving parents. When General Sarov seems to adopt Alex as his surrogate son, the young spy has to make some tough choices.

Horowitz includes more wonderful gadgets for Alex to deploy at key moments. Alex's humor is lifted right from the Bond template but plays very, very well.

I listened to Simon Prebble's excellent narration (Recorded Books) of this story by . The Amazon reviews by kids demonstrate that this is a real favorite with readers. It is my favorite Rider book too. Now I am off to start the next one in the series, Eagle Strike.

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