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4.8 out of 5 stars125
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 30 September 2013
Yassen, a vicious assassin in the employ of Scorpia (a consortium of vile international crooks), is given the order to kill Alex Rider, the fourteen-year-old hero of several of Horowitz's wonderful stories for children. He, Yassen, settles down, the night before his evil mission, to read his diary, the story of his own life, beginning when he, too, was 14. We are off.

Could anyone else have made a paid assassin into a sympathetic character for young readers? I doubt it. But Horowitz pulls it off. We follow the young Yassen on his journey through life, from the disaster which destroys everything he knows, including his parents, his best friend and his grandmother, to his becoming one of the most successful killers in the world. And that journey is appalling. But, somehow, Yassen retains his humanity through most of it.

Horowitz's writing style is perfect for teenagers (and even for elderly readers like me). He is never patronising. He resists the temptation to which so many other writers for children (and even adults) give in to lecture and educate. He just tells a story beautifully and grippingly.

Why should we adults be given rubbish written by Dan Brown, Jeffrey Archer etc. when children are given pearls like this?

This is yet another triumph for the man who must, surely, be our finest living author of children's books.

Charles
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on 7 October 2013
My 10 year old son devoured this book! He was bursting with enthusiasm when he was reading it and has declared it one of his top 5 all time reads! He hadn't read the Alex Rider books but that didn't matter and he now wants to go on to read the Alex Rider series.
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on 1 December 2013
I liked the different style in which this Alex Rider book was set, from the perspective of a killer. However more action scenes wouldn't have gone a miss.
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on 13 October 2013
It was exciting and gave some great insights into the events that preceded the original books. I would recommend it to Alex Rider fans
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on 13 November 2013
if you are a anthony horrowitz/ alex rider fan even if you arent this book is essential and is a must have. AWWEEESOOOMMMME!!!!
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on 20 November 2013
Excellent book great to see how yassen gregorovch Became the deadly assasin he is throughout the series. I think the author is really clever to show us the background of yassen so well done Horowitz I salute you!
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on 28 November 2013
This is a good book for Alex Rider fans, it tells yo so much but it also uncovers so secrets about the relationship between Alex and Yassen . It also revealed a secret about John Rider that Yassen knew.
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on 1 November 2014
This book is definitely for any fans of the Alex Rider books as it offers a fresh view of some of the events in the series. Russian Roulette follows assassin Yassen Gregorovich and his transformation from an innocent boy to ruthless assassin. I felt that the book was slow in many parts but once Yassen comes into contact with Scorpia the book becomes a fast paced thriller that you won't want to put down. I am hoping that Horowitz turns this into a series as he could easily write about Yassen's life as an assassin between his first contract and the events of Eagle Strike (Alex Rider Book 4). All in all a good read that will satisfy any fan of Alex Rider.
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on 10 November 2013
My daughter enjoyed this book, just like she has enjoyed all the other Alex rider books. Unfortunately for me she finished reading it in 2 days! and now wants another one!
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on 27 November 2014
Exept for maybe Scorpia Rising this is my fav book in the series. It just has that something all the other books dont, a dangerous feel to it, I mean people actually die, its not a perfect story with a perfect end (ok, maybe it does BUT its not like Alex Rider endings. Yassen Gregorovitch was my favourite character from where he kills Ian in the first book. I really wanted to know more about him and here it is. It explains alot, and the story lines superb.

All in all its simply one of the best books Ive ever read.
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