Thursday, December 15, 2005

Alex Rider

I read these Alex Rider books back to back because I had to know what was going to happen next.

Eagle Strike by Anthony Horowitz, 2004
While vacationing with his friend Sabina and her family in the south of France, Alex spots the assassin Yassen Gregorovich. Soon afterwards, Sabina's father is injured in an explosion which Alex knows was no accident. The trail to Gregorovich leads him the multi-millionaire philanthropist Damian Cray who is launching a new video game system. I love the way Horowitz names his characters... Cray--computers...get it?

Of course Cray is up to more than just computer games but Alex cannot convince anyone at MI6 of this. He is alone again in an attempt to save the world. The end of the book poses a question that will propel you to find Scorpia as soon as possible.

These books are flat out fun to read. This story does include one of the goofier attempts on Alex's life (he finds himself in the middle of a bullfight) but I love reading them.

Scorpia, by Anthony Horowitz, 2005

At the end of Eagle Strike, Alex learns something about his father. He must find out the truth about his father's life and work so he is off to Venice to try and find a crime syndicate called Scorpia. This time he is on his own without any fancy gadgets or backup. When he meets Julia Rothman, one of the leaders of Scorpia, Alex is drawn into that criminal and terrorist world. He must decide what his future will be and reconcile what he learns about his father. If he joins them can he live with the consquences of the hideous attack Scorpia is planning on the city of London?

I listened to this book instead of reading it so I did not have the luxury of lingering slowly over the last few pages. The end of the book is an absolute shock. Horowitz is definitely writing these books with a bow to Ian Fleming. As a reader of the original Bond books, I was struck by how much the end of this novel echoed the ambiguous endings Fleming often used.
A set of Alex Rider books would make a great gift for a reader in your life.

Horowitz has a new book soon-- Alex Rider: The Gadget, 2006 which includes the blueprints and the technical data for the Alex's MI6 gadgets. People who purchase books with the schematics for the Starship Enterprise would get a kick out of this book.

1 comment:

Michele said...

I've finally got the first Alex Rider book on my To Be Read list - but I'm still enjoying the Diana Wynne Jones offerings in the aforementioned pile. I may get to Alex Rider before I go home for the Xmas break when I will be re-reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time this year !

If I don't get to young Alex, he'll be one of the first "new-to-me" characers I meet in the new year (although possibly not until the Tolkien deadline has passed !)