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4.8 out of 5 stars164
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on 6 April 2004
Scorpia by Anthony Horowitz is a brilliant book! I was anticipating a really good book because the last four have been awesome but this book blew me away. It is a masterpiece. I think you can compare it the James Bond series because its every teenager’s spy fantasy. It’s not fair because it makes the reader instantly want to become a Secret Agent but as if that’s ever going to happen! It’s pure-class and is action packed. I read it all in one sitting because I became so engrossed in it, from the very first word I was totally absorbed into Alex Rider’s dangerous world. I don’t want to give any of the story away because it would spoil the entire book but all I can really say is Alex finds out about his family and there is a HUGE surprise at the ending. Alex Rider is all teenage girls ultimate dream, he is cute, brave and a spy for MI6!
Unfortunately he doesn’t lead a normal life because he is always in danger! In this book Alex finds himself questioning who his father was and what he was like. He discovered in the last book that the answer was in Venice. He was told ‘Go to Venice. Find Scorpia. And you will find your destiny…’
Whilst trying to find out who he is, he stumbles on Scorpia’s plan to destroy the world but this time he doesn’t know whether to join the baddies or the goodies. In fact he doesn’t know which side is which!
Alex doesn’t know whether to trust Scorpia or MI6. Who is the one looking out for him?
The ending is sort of a cliffhanger because something very crucial happens. BUT unless Horowitz decides to write another book then it could be seen as a GREAT BIG SHOCKER. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I will cry if Horowitz doesn’t continue the series. It is longer than the other books but I read it all in one go. I am so sad! It is meant for older readers, perhaps 13 and above, because it is slightly violent but even then its still great fun. Horowitz has taken MI6 to a whole new level!
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on 28 March 2004
I bought this book yesterday afternoon and did not put it down until the early hours of this morning. It is fast paced, exciting and keeps you dying to know what will happen next.
For those who have read the previous four books in the Alex Rider series this book certainly will not disappoint you!
It continues the story of 14-year-old Alex and his search for the truth behind the death of his parents and his work for MI6 as an under age spy.
In this instalment Alex travels to Italy to find Scorpia, which turns out to be an international crime syndicate that his father seems to have been involved with. Alex is offered a job working for Scorpia, however his first job is to kill a member of MI6.
There is also a plan to destabilize the world by destroying the friendship between America and Britain, which involves a lot of children potentially being killed. Alex, as usual endeavours to save the day.
The book continues the tongue in cheek references to James Bond and Horowitz writes with his usual humour as well as having his finger accurately on the pulse of what kids today think is cool.
The only sad part of this book is that the ending suggests that this may be the last instalment of the Alex Rider stories, which is a great shame as they are thoroughly enjoyable and exciting books. I felt really disappointed at the end not with the book, which was excellent, but at the thought that there may not be another to look forward to.
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on 3 October 2004
It's a bit weird to think that I read this book first then got my sister to get me the other four books!! The story is gripping from the start and Mr. Horowitz; you must be the master of writing with suspense. I could hardly put this book down!
Alex must find out the truth about his father after Yassen Gregorovich told him that his father was a contract killer. His journey leads him to Julia Rothman who is the chairman of the sabotage, corruption, intelligence and assasination organization (a.k.a SCORPIA). Can he follow his father's footsteps though?!!!
I hope that there will be a sixth book.. THERE MUST BE!!! Totally worth buying. You won't put the book down till you've finished it!!
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on 27 July 2004
Ok, maybe a bit too much emphasis on the title, but this book had me sitting on the egde of my chair for hours.
Alex Rider has now taken on his own mission in Venice (he's not made by MI6 this time) searcing for a company called SCORPIA.
In Eagle Strike, Alex was told by Yassen Gregorovich that his dad was a killer and that he worked for company Scorpia.
So Alex in this new adventure meets new characters like Mrs.Rothman and Neil (an assassin). This book contains: explosions, ferocious tigers, betrayal, unseemly demands and much more.
Unfortunately, there may not be anymore books (Dammmm Horowitz)!!!
All in all this book was great with Alex being told a numerous of lies and lots of cliffhangers. Probably the best book in the series!! I can only say 1 word....BUY!!!!!!!
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Characterisation has not improved and the same narrative issues remain in this installment of the Alex Rider series. For example, this time Horowitz introduces the character of Tom Harris, who we're told is a friend of Alex's, even though he has not appeared or even been mentioned in any of the previous books. It reinforces my feeling that Horowitz did not have a clear view of his canon when he started writing the series, and creates an artificiality that marrs the books.

Saying that, Horowitz uses Scorpia to continue the story arc introduced in Eagle Strike to more effect. The Scorpia organisation is an interesting one and has a structure that is credible. Mrs Rothman as the 'Project Manager' for Invisible Sword is by turns manipulative and cunning. I was particularly impressed with the way in which she manipulates Alex's need to know more about his father and the use of film footage does allow for a certain amount of doubt in the reader's mind as to what Alex will do.

The central point about whether Alex is prepared to deliberately kill someone in cold blood is less well handled, mainly because we know that he's already killed people in the past (and not had any look at how he feels about it), which makes his current dilemma feel a little forced. There is tension to be had when he finally breaks into Mrs Jones' apartment, but the shock that you feel when he fires the gun is nullified when you discover that she was protected all the time and then Horowitz deliberately lessens that effect later when he says that Alex wouldn't have hit her anyway. In part, I think this is a problem of Horowitz's own making. On the one hand, he can't have a teenager who is also a cold-blooded killer because the parents won't like it (and from a screenplay perspective, it would not be sellable). On the other hand, it's difficult to have a credible teenage spy who refuses to kill.

Where Horowitz does redeem himself is with the shock ending, which I won't give away. I was genuinely impressed that he had the guts to do it and whilst you could argue that it's cynical in the context of the series, it does serve to tie in with what we know of the Scorpia organisation and as such is satisfying.
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on 2 April 2005
Scorpia, the 5th installment of the swift-paced and best-selling 'Alex rider' series, is the best so far (including bk. 6, ark angel). It's the one with the best storyline so far, and the one with the most interesting characters (all characters in the alex rider series are interesting, but some characters in scorpia are more interesting than the likes of Sarov-bk.3, Cray-bk.4 and sayle-bk.1) the more interesting characters in Scorpia being Nile, Rothman and Alex.
SCORPIA is a ruthless organization, and recently ordered the United Kingdom to follow three requests or they would attack london with a weapon called the 'invisible sword'. The united kingdom could not possibly oblige, and Alex rider, who joined scorpia but failed them, has been recruited (again) by the M16 to stop the 'invisible sword'.
You might ask; What is this 'invisible sword' thing?
Theres only one way to find that out. Buy Scorpia and read it, then get Ark Angel. You wont regret it.
People who are starting the series should start from the first book, stormbreaker.
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VINE VOICEon 28 October 2004
From the outset, the Alex Rider books have been action packed, but this one beats them all. The story opens with Alex in Venice, where by chance, he discovers a silver scorpion decorating the side of a motor launch. Following his instincts (and the boat) he arrives at a luxurious palazzo. Determined to discover whether this is the headquarters of the infamous Scorpia (and whether his father was indeed one of their top assassins), he gate-crashes a masked ball ... only to find himself trapped in the same room as a man-eating Siberian tiger. And that's just the beginning!!!
The pacing is exhausting, yet cliff-hangers at the end of each chapter make it impossible to stop reading and get your breath back. One minute fourteen year-old Alex is BASE jumping onto the roof of a top secret research facility, the next he's enrolled in a school for elite assassins supposedly following his father's footsteps. Before long he's on his first mission ... and this time he's armed to kill.
With incredible skill, Anthony Horowitz takes impossible situations and somehow makes them believable. At one point, Alex finds himself attending an emergency cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street. Terrorists, determined to irrevocably damage relations between Britain and the USA, have demanded that America withdraw its troops from every foreign country, or they will use their deadliest weapon (Invisible Sword) to wipe out countless thousands of British children in one foul swoop.
This book is far darker and more chilling than its predecessors. This is probably because, at times, the setting seems uncomfortably close to the real world. Young readers are doubtless aware of the insidious threat of terrorism, and the uneasy political alliance between Britain and the USA. Add to this the fact that Horowitz promises in his introduction that the technology required for Invisible Sword actually exists ... and you've got one incredibly gripping thriller.
If you've read the rest of the Alex Rider series, then you have to read this too. If you've never read one of Anthony Horowitz's books before, then this is perhaps his best ... and well worth reading, even if you're considerably older than the target readership. If you'd like to read the other stories first, I'd recommend the big compilation edition containing all four books in one volume ... it's great value for money.
Finally, the ending is stunning. Some reviewers see it as a cliff-hanger ... but I'm not so sure. I don't want to spoil it by adding my personal theories; read it yourself and make your own mind up!
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on 27 October 2004
Wow!!! The 5th book in Anthony Horowitz's quintology is by far the best one. I wanted it so bad, I had it shiped over from the United Kingdom!(I live in USA.)
In this book, Alex has decided to stop any connection with M16, after they denied his information and cost the lives of many in the last book. Well in this one, Alex is in Venice on a school trip during the summer. He get 'lost' from the group after he sees a silver scopion on the side of a boat. He's been looking for an organization called Scorpia since an assassin told him thats where his father was with. He finds Scorpia, and is offered a new oppertunity, to join Scorpia and with that the enemy.
Alex, after seeing how his father was killed by M16 in a video, decides to join. His first mission, to take out Mrs. Jones, the number two in charge of M16. Alex, after seeing her give the command to kill his father, accepts.
Will Alex make it to her? Will he succede? And why was his dad even a member of this organization? Not to mention that this whole time, Scorpia is planning a attack to destroy the United States and Britians friendship forever...
In this world of spies and assassins, lies and deceit, who can he trust?
I would highly recomend this book to absolutly ANYONE! This has now taken first place on my top books of all time.
A review by artemis11.
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on 27 March 2004
This time Alex Rider is in Venice, not on a mission, but on a school trip. He is in Venice looking for secrets long buried in the past. In the last book, he was told by a dieing man to go and seek Scorpia, and find his destony. As usual Alex is thrown into a adventure head first.
This book is great, it has a great beginning and grips you straight away. The plot and action this time is more extreme than ever. Though the plot sounds a bit fantastical, accodring to Anthony Horowitz it can be true, and such technology is in the world.
The best bit of the book for me was the end though, were as usual he is debriefed by Mrs Jones and Mr Blunt, but this time he learns more............I don't want to spoil it for the reader, there are so many unexpected twists during the book, that you just can't put it down.
By far the best book yet, reccommend this to anyone!
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on 12 April 2004
Review of 'Scorpia' by Anthony Horowitz
The book started off very quickly and went straight into the action which makes this book such a great read. After reading the other books beforehand, I thought it would be hard to reach the high standards of them but Anthony sure proved me wrong by producing a much stronger and action packed book. In this book we see Alex Rider, the teenage spy, caught in yet more trouble as Scorpia and MI6 fight over who he would join. After being tricked by Scorpia, Alex puts his life back in the hands of MI6. The ending of this book is phenomenal and although I didn't expect it, the series couldn't have ended in a much better way.
This book uses the theme of loyalty throughout or lack of loyalty in some places. The book also attacks problems that we as teenagers may encounter like loss of a relative and finding school tough. As the book does this, I feel the book is a great read for people from about 10 to 16 but the older reader would defiantly enjoy this too. I think this book is worth buying as it is very punchy and full to the brim with exciting adventures and people you love to hate. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys daring adventure books with unexpected twists throughout and as The Sunday Times said, 'Brings new meaning to the phrase 'action-packed.'
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