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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fourteen and a quarter years old. Coke is his tipple, it of little consequence whether shaken or stirred. Special gadgets this time are no ordinary mobile phone, key ring and bubble gum. Having antagonized Triad members (about 19,000 now after him), he has been despatched by MI6 to help the CIA - destination an island just off Cuba. Yes, Alex Rider is back for a third adventure - very exciting it is too.

More formidable villains! General Alexei Sarov is determined to restore Russia to its former glory - a nuclear bomb should do the trick. His henchman Conrad is a force to be reckoned with - he somehow reassembled after blown up, nothing about him even approximately matching.

Alex himself remains enormously appealing, he as ever the reluctant hero being shamelessly used by top brass who should know better. Without relatives, he longs to be part of a real family and to enjoy a more normal life. Millions of readers hope otherwise.

Horowitz's 2010 edition Afterword tells of the research that goes into the locations chosen. Prepare for revelations about what lies beneath Wimbledon's tennis courts!

Warmly recommended.
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I am currently working my way through the Alex Rider series at school with one of our reluctant readers. Well, he was reluctant until we discovered Alex Rider together. Stormbreaker, the first in the series, was the first novel he finished reading. We are now half way through the second (Point Blanc) which he tells me is even better than the first. I know this because I couldn't wait for him, and already finished it, and then went on to read this book, Skeleton Key, which is the third in the series.

The books are brilliantly conceived. Alex is a likeable hero, despite being brilliant at many things he is also quite insecure and a bit stroppy, as any fourteen year old would be. He is easy to identify with, and he is the driving force of the books. Everyone else really does have walk on parts compared to Alex, even the villains.

The chapters are short and easily managed by children with poor attention spans and/or reading difficulties. They are also action packed. There is very little extraneous description or deep thought here. The most descriptive passages are usually reserved for fight scenes and descriptions of vehicles, weapons and gadgets.

The stories are utterly implausible, but no less enjoyable for that. They take classic Bond style plots and recycle them for the appetite of a modern teenager.

I love them.

This story sees Alex falling foul of a triad gang when he agrees to go and help scope out potential problems at Wimbledon, disguised as a ball boy. Forced to flee the country until the heat dies down in England he gets mixed up in a mission with the CIA to discover the whereabouts of a nuclear bomb.

Very silly and very brilliant. I can't wait to read number four.
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on 28 June 2011
I am currently reading this series in order and believe that this third instalment of the Alex Rider series is the best, so far. He is cajoled into being a ball-boy at Wimbledon, fights off the Triad, saves the tournament, surfs the biggest wave in decades whilst still fighting the Triad, gets a girlfriend and all this before the 'proper' mission even starts.

There is a breathless sense of joy about the writing of this book; there is no time wasted in anything other than action and plot. The way Alex is shunted from perilous situation to perilous situation is Flashman-esque (but without the cowardice and lust) and the meat of the main mission is superb in its construction and denouement.

My favourite part of the book is definitely the disdain with which Alex is treated by his CIA colleagues, even after he saves their lives. This brings through the most intriguing aspect of these stories for me; when adulthood is thrust upon someone before childhood has really finished.

I recommend this book to all; it is a truly intelligent action/thriller with plenty of murder, gadgets and heroism. I cannot wait to read the next instalment!
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on 20 June 2015
Great story!
I'm am really getting into the series now because this book splits into to adventures although they both flow and are both the same adventure but seem to be in different places. This book is perfect for any 9-15 year old but some grown-ups find they love it too .
This book is great for boys and girls looking for page turners. The author has put a few little twists in the title but I found inside it was much better than the title gives away. This is a book that is full of new criminal gangsters and new operators and lots and lots of guns,pistols and gadgets.... Enjoy!!!
The above review was written by my 9 yr old daughter who loves the Alex Rider series and has previously reviewed Point Blanc.
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I am going to tell you about an action packed book about a boy called Alex Rider who works for MI5 and he wants to be a normal boy. MI5 sent him to Skeleton Key for a holiday but they lied to him. He gets a fake passport so now one nows who he is and he meets two people called Belinda Troy and Tom Turner who fake that they are his parents. Then they die. They get killed in General Sarov's trap. Then General Sarov catches Alex and askes him to be his son. Alex refuses. Then he finds out that General Sarov is planing to do something bad. I think you should try it. It is very interesting. It includes sharks, assasins and terrorists. There are more books about Alex Rider and you find out how his parents die.
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on 16 February 2012
Another excellent 5 star book! Another good book by Anthony Horowitz. Alex travels to the south of Cuba. He has to stop a Russian from 'making the world a better place'. He gets attacked by a great white, meets the CIA, and has a new 'mom and dad'. Interesting book. Does have 'What the hell do you think you're doing' but very good. This is the last graphic novel. Two facts about it is that the island- Cayo Esqualeto- or something like that is actually made up. The second fact is that Anthony's publishers rejected the hammerhead because it didn't look good in the graphic novel. So it was a great white. Anyway, over 300 pages, so should keep you busy enough!
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on 27 August 2012
Book three in the Alex Rider series seems weaker than its predecessors. The plot sees Alex sent to America to help the CIA infiltrate a Caribbean island, but apart from a couple of action sequences feels bland and bitty.

The characters are generally forgettable and Rider hardly feels like a realistic teenager. There are hints that he is growing up in this book but they don't really fit well with the rest of the story, and his romance is portrayed in quite a ridiculous fashion.

I'm afraid this series has lost its way a little after a good start, and I'm not sure how much further I'm going to bother with it.
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on 12 September 2008
This is a great story, again Anthony Horowitz has us on the egde of our seats.
The story has a very similair theme to the Young James bond book Hurricane Gold. In Skeleton Key Alex Rider and Hurricane Gold Young James Bond, both teen hereos are on a hot tropical island owned by a villian, both villians want to adopt the young teen heros, despite the youngsters trying to spoil there plans. Both villians let the boys go. However both are fast paced and good reading. Its a shame they have followed the same pathm but if you are into Alex Rider, Jason Steed, Cherub and Young James Bond this is still a great book.
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on 23 December 2007
I have enjoyed all the books in the alex rider series and i like this book very much. I find the humor fuuny and unlike some of the sences in some of the cherub books it is sutiabal for all ages. My main critisisum of the Alex Rider series is that he does things that are unrealisic of a 15 year old kid with a BMX. Overall a good series but if above the age of 12 i would strongly recommend the cherub books instead as i find they are much more realisic.
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on 28 September 2013
In Alex's world, it's not been long since he finished his last mission - but someone else is making plans.

This book sees Alex Rider sent off to America with a twist that AH manages with precision skill.

But what waits behind the obvious may completely change the story.

I couldn't put this down easily once i started to read it!
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