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Customer Review

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great if it had been a stand-alone story, 15 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Russian Roulette (Alex Rider) (Hardcover)
I have to say that it's difficult to rate this book. I averaged the two ratings I would have given it and ended up with three stars. If it were a stand-alone novel, I would have given it 4, maybe 4.5 stars. It was interesting to find out how an innocent boy of fourteen could end up becoming one of the world's deadliest assassins. However, this is supposed to be a part of the Alex Rider series, and in that respect, I would have only given it two stars: it simply doesn't fit in with the background set out in the prior books.

I don't like spoilers, so won't get too specific, but I assume the reader is familiar with Yassen from Stormbreaker, Eagle Strike, Scorpia, and Snakehead. In this book, Yassen and John Rider's relationship and their time with Scorpia simply isn't in sync with the other books, especially with Snakehead and the story Alex's godfather Ash tells about Malta.

In fact, Malta is completely ignored in this book. I've made allowances in the past with the other books when a few small details don't match up between them, but this one I can't. Mdina is such an integral part of canon. Yassen and John are supposed to be partners, all the way until their assignment in Malta 'goes bad'. It's the motive behind Ash's actions in Snakehead, the motive in Eagle Strike for Yassen telling Alex about Scorpia in the first place. It makes the chapter 'Power Plus' in this book simply difficult to accept.

As a fan of the series, I was disappointed with how this book turned out. I really wanted to like it because it was well written. It started out strong, but failed for me in the end.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Sep 2013 14:05:12 BDT
l completely agree and I have spent many hours brooding over the inconsistencies between this and the other Alex Rider books. This book should have followed through to the deaths of John and Helen Rider and the impact that on Yassen. In the back of my mind there is a always the possibility that there will be a follow on book to tie in Yassens return to Scorpia and then Malta. As it stands this book leaves more questions than answers.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Sep 2013 15:01:52 BDT
HP Reader says:
A follow-on book would be great. When I started reading and saw that it was from Yassen's POV, I was looking forward to his thoughts/feelings on Malta and Albert Bridge. There was so much potential there. It was almost as if the last part of the book was hurriedly finished up in order to meet the publisher's deadline or something. The Yassen in this book doesn't even seem like the same person that's in the others, especially the end of Eagle Strike. What happened to "Your father saved my life. In a way, I loved him."? That doesn't sound like words from a person who feels he was betrayed.

Oh well, in the end it's just a book. I had such high hopes though. Thanks for your comment. It's good to know I'm not the only one who feels this way.
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Location: San Antonio, TX USA

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