(Cover picture courtesy of English I Book Reviews.)
Teen superspy Alex Rider’s world shatter when he discovers that the father he never knew may have been an assassin for Scorpia, the deadliest terrorist organization in the world. And now Scorpia wants Alex on their side, and will stop at nothing to get to him.
Alex Rider’s doubts about MI6 have resurfaced in this book, this time with extraordinary consequences. Just like Yassen told him before he died in Eagle Strike, he seeks out Scorpia in Italy. This leads to a whole series of dangerous adventures, interesting characters and incredibly tough decisions. Will Alex choose between working for Scorpia like his father supposedly did or will he continue to work for MI6, an organization that has manipulated him again and again?
Scorpia is probably the best book in the whole Alex Rider series because Alex finally acquires some depth. He’s still a bit too perfect for a fourteen year old boy, but he is more of a three dimensional character now than before. The villain, Julia Rothman, is better than many of the villains in the previous novels, but she will still never make my list of good villains.
As for the plot, it’s very fast-paced and showcases Anthony Horowitz at his best. He has achieved the perfect balance between description and dialogue for an action novel and there is never a dull moment in Scorpia because of this. As usual, he has done his research well and transports readers to each exotic location in the novel very well.
I give this book 4/5 stars.
(Cover picture courtesy of Infinitas Bookshop.)
When an investigation into a series of mysterious deaths leads agents to an elite prep school for rebellious kids, MI6 assigns Alex Rider, fourteen-year-old reluctant spy, to the case. Before he knows it, Alex is stuck in a remote boarding school high atop the Swiss Alps with the sons of the rich and powerful, and something feels wrong. Very wrong. These former juvenile delinquents have turned well-behaved, studious—and identical—overnight. It’s up to Alex to find out who is masterminding this evil plot, before they find him. The clock is ticking—is Alex’s luck about to run out?
You honestly can’t accuse Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series of being completely original. In fact, it has a few allusions to James Bond, which anyone who has watched Octopussy can tell you. Smithers, the man who supplies all of Alex’s gadgets, was named after the man in Q’s makeshift office in India during that movie. The plots of the books take elements from James Bond movies, but Horowitz never strays anywhere near plagiarism. In fact, he puts his own spin on the familiar franchise.
Alex Rider is not a great character by any stretch of the mind, but he is not a complete cardboard cutout either. He really doesn’t want to put his life on the line again after the events of Stormbreaker, but is once again manipulated into spying for MI6. This time, the stakes are even higher and Alex is in more danger than ever before. Anthony Horowitz keeps his descriptions at just the right length to convey this concept and creates an aura of suspense throughout the novel. Really, this is a book that deserves its place at the top of YA literature for boys. It’s basically a less violent, less sexual James Bond series for young male readers.
I give this book 4/5 stars.