Alex Rider

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Alex Rider is a popular series of spy novels written by British author Anthony Horowitz. Six books have been published to date. The books revolve around an orphan teenager, Alex Rider, being recruited by MI6 to be sent out on various missions. The first book, Stormbreaker, was first released in the United Kingdom in 2000 and has been made into a major motion picture. The books are published by Walker Books Ltd. in the UK and by Puffin in the United States.


[edit] The books

[edit] Stormbreaker

Main article: Stormbreaker (novel)

The book begins with Alex Rider learning about his uncle death, Ian Rider. After Alex uncovers the true cause of his uncle's death, by the famous assassin, Yassen Gregorovitch. The British Military Intelligence (MI6) reveals to him that his uncle was an MI6 agent. They blackmail Alex into helping them investigate a wealthy businessman named Herod Sayle, who Ian Rider was investigating before he was killed. What Alex got out of it was he could keep his housekeeper, Jack Starbright, because her visa expired seven years ago. Sayle is a millionaire who plans to release a new computer system called Stormbreaker and is giving every school in the United Kingdom numerous computers for free, all in exchange for a British citizenship. However, MI6 is suspicious. Alex soon uncovers the real plot - Herod Sayle plans to kill every British schoolchild, loading each Stormbreaker computer with a lethal dose of smallpox. Using various disguised weapons that MI6 provided for him, Alex manages to stop his horrifying plan. Stormbreaker has been recently made into a movie, with young British actor Alex Pettyfer starring as Alex Rider.

[edit] Point Blanc

Main article: Point Blanc

Billionaire Michael J. Roscoe, head of an electronics company, and Viktor Ivanov, a high-ranking Russian general, are murdered; both sent their sons to an exclusive academy in the French Alps called Point Blanc. MI6 blackmails Alex Rider into investigating the incidents by becoming a student at Point Blanc. He becomes Alex Friend, "son" of Sir David Friend, a wealthy man who runs supermarkets.

Soon enough, Alex discovers the real plot. Dr. Hugo Grief, director of the school, has been working on Project Gemini (in astrology, the Gemini sign is depicted as twins in the horoscope chart). In the 1980s, Grief was in South Africa during apartheid and cloned sixteen copies of himself. When the boys were at Point Blanc, he had a plastic surgeon surgically alter his clones to resemble the real boys. After a short while, the clone and the real boy are swapped and sent back home. As the fathers die and pass on their inheritance — assets controlling mines, supermarkets, and more — Grief will amass more power.

Alex escapes and returns with a Special Forces unit to liberate the school. As a last act of revenge, Alex rides a snowmobile off the ski ramp, slamming it into Grief's helicopter and killing him. When asked what happened to Grief, Alex replies: "It looks like I 'sleighed' him."

[edit] Skeleton Key

Main article: Skeleton Key (novel)

In the third Alex Rider book, Alex is invited by MI6 to be a ball boy at Wimbledon, to investigate a strange break-in in which nothing was stolen. On the assignment, he meets a ball girl named Sabina Pleasure and becomes good friends with her. She invites Alex on vacation with her family, and also shows romantic interest in him. Despite MI6's confidence, Alex discovers that the Big Circle, a Chinese Triad gang, is rigging the games by drugging the contestants. After an unsuccessful attempt on Alex's life, MI6 and the CIA tell him that he should go out on a vacation to Skeleton Key, an island off the coast of Cuba. They promise him two weeks in the sun and say he is only needed so two CIA agents Troy and Turner can successfully enter the country for a simple spying mission.

Soon after they arrive, Alex discovers some frightening truths. After finding a Geiger counter disguised as a Game Boy, he finds out that the CIA agents are looking for a nuclear bomb. An old Russian general living in Skeleton Key, Alexei Sarov, bought some weapons-grade uranium, and the CIA agents attempt to infiltrate his palace. Unfortunately, they are killed, and Alex is taken prisoner. There he finds out that Sarov wants to adopt him, since Alex resembles Sarov's late son, who died during the 1979 Afghanistan war. Shortly after Alex is captured, the Russian president arrives at Sarov's palace for an informal vacation.

Sarov soon reveals his plans: depose the president, set off the bomb in a nuclear submarine shipyard in Murmansk, spread chaos throughout the world, and reunite the USSR. Alex is taken by plane to the submarine yard with Sarov and his men. On the way there, Alex activates a stun grenade and attempts to escape. However, an arrogant security guard named George Prescott stops him from calling the police. Conrad, Sarov's right-hand man, kills Prescott and they continue to Murmansk.

When Prescott grabbed the phone, he didn't hang it up. Although the police believed Alex's talk was a hoax, they alerted MI6 when they heard Conrad kill Prescott. MI6 subsequently alerted the Russian authorities, and the Russians pull together an army to take the submarine yard and prevent the bomb from going off. While the soldiers are fighting Sarov's men, Alex throws the keycard away, rendering the nuclear bomb useless. Sarov, who sees Alex throw the card away, approaches him with the pistol. After Alex says he would rather die than be adopted, Sarov shoots himself in front of Alex. Alex is badly shaken up by the incident, but at the end of the novel, Sabina invites him on a holiday to France.

[edit] Eagle Strike

Main article: Eagle Strike
Book 4: Eagle Strike (2003)

Alex's adventure starts when he sees Russian contract killer Yassen Gregorovich while vacationing in France. However, Yassen — working for villain Damian Cray — has been sent to blow up the house Sabina Pleasure's family is renting. Everybody survives, but Sabina's father, Edward, is badly hurt. Although MI6 refuses to support his evidence, Alex is now back into the spying game, although alone with a gift sent by Smithers, and he begins investigating Damian Cray. Some initial research yields that he is a multi-billionaire pop star that has spent thousands of dollars on his new video game console, the Gameslayer.

Alex goes to Paris to meet a photographer who worked with Edward Pleasure, and then to Amsterdam where the base of Cray Software Technologies is. Cray puts Alex into a life-size version of his first Gameslayer game, which is how he recorded his so-called 'pain synthesis'. Alex escapes and returns to London with a USB drive, a vital piece of equipment for Cray's plan Eagle Strike, where he finds that Sabina Pleasure has been kidnapped and will be released for the ransom of the drive. Alex attempts to gain the release of Sabina in exchange for the chip, but Cray outmanuvers him and keeps both Sabina and Alex close by.

Cray creates a decoy with a burning Boeing 747 about to crash land that is "full" of harmful nerve gas. During the confusion that arises, Cray, Yassen, Henryk (Cray's Dutch pilot), Sabina and Alex (unwillingly) take over Air Force One, since the President is in England. Here, Cray reveals the full extent of his plans. He plans to launch nuclear weapons at several drug plantations in order to eradicate the drug trade. Cray plugs in the USB drive and launches the missiles at the world. (In real life, this would be impossible as the President can only order strikes-the US Military must carry them out.)

Once on board, Cray orders Yassen to kill Alex and Sabina. Yassen refuses, so Cray kills him. Cray then shoots Alex, so Sabina attacks Cray, who overpowers her and prepares to kill her. Alex gets up (he was wearing the bulletproof jersey Smithers gave him) and pushes Cray out the window, where the villain is sucked into one of the engines, forcing Air Force One to crash land. Henryk, the pilot, is so nervous that he crashes the plane and breaks his neck.

Before he dies, Yassen reveals to Alex that his father was a killer like himself, as well as a friend, and Alex needs to go to Venice and find Scorpia to find his destiny. "Go to Venice, find Scorpia, find your destiny"

[edit] Scorpia

Main article: Scorpia

This book is about Scorpia, a terrorism force that strikes like a scorpion - always dangerous and deadly. Meanwhile, Alex Rider, acting on Yassen's advice, goes to Venice with his friend Tom. He meets up with Scorpia, where they reveal that MI6 assassinated his father. He decides to join Scorpia, following in his father's footsteps, and is first job is to kill Mrs. Jones. This attempt is thwarted; however, Scorpia has another threat, a weapon which they dub Invisible Sword. Alex and the British government piece together the details and send Alex, once again, to stop the plan from execution. At the end,when all of Scorpia's plans are ruined they send an asassin to kill Alex. Alex gets shot but not killed.

[edit] Ark Angel

Main article: Ark Angel

The book revolves around a mysterious terrorist force called Force Three. They are an eco-terrorism group, killing all those who stand in their way. It is soon revealed that Force Three was merely invented by a rich Russian named Nikoli Drevin. He is also helping finance the construction of Ark Angel, a project to build a hotel in space. However, Alex Rider soon discovers that Ark Angel is actually a carefully planned plot to destroy Washington, D.C., and must move quickly to stop it from happening.

[edit] Snakehead

Main article: Snakehead (novel)

This book has yet to be released, but Anthony Horowitz revealed some details about the seventh installment on his personal website. He says he plans to travel to Darling Harbour in Australia, Thailand and Lombok, making them probable locations for the book. He also noted that past characters would return but that new characters such as the Australian Secret Service personnel and "a Chinese gangster" would appear. Since Alex received a letter from Sabina Pleasure in Ark Angel, saying she might visit him on Christmas, it is considered likely that she will make an appearance in the book. It was further reported in The Times on September 7th 2006 that the story would involve a plot to poison chocolates sold in vending machines in The Tube. On his website Anthony said that he may put Alex into a cage fight. Anthony Horowitz is still working on the book. It will come out in November 2007.

[edit] Characters

Alex Rider (character)

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series
Stormbreaker - Point Blanc - Skeleton Key - Eagle Strike - Scorpia - Ark Angel - Snakehead
Other media
Stormbreaker (film) - Alex Rider: Stormbreaker (video game)
fi:Alex Rider

Alex Rider

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