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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alex Rider Explained
This long-awaited novel reveals the biography of Yassen Gregorovitch, the mysterious Russian assassin in the Alex Rider series. Horowitz goes full-on from the beginning, as Yassen's childhood home is a village called Estrov, which happens to exist next to a biological weaponry factory, in which his parents are somehow tangled up. Then an accident occurs and the village is...
Published 15 months ago by VeryBigNobody

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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not Alex Rider
My son and I have thoroughly enjoyed the Alex Rider series for some years, so I was happy to purchase Russian Roulette as soon as it came out. The story chronicles the life of the Russian assassin Yassen Gregorvich, who appears in the Alex Rider series. It charts how, as a child, he escaped from the attack that left his family and friends dead, survived on the streets...
Published 15 months ago by Russell Ball


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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not Alex Rider, September 14, 2013
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My son and I have thoroughly enjoyed the Alex Rider series for some years, so I was happy to purchase Russian Roulette as soon as it came out. The story chronicles the life of the Russian assassin Yassen Gregorvich, who appears in the Alex Rider series. It charts how, as a child, he escaped from the attack that left his family and friends dead, survived on the streets of Moscow and ultimately came to the attention of Scorpia.

The writing is interesting, but does not have the pace of the Alex Rider series, nor the ability to draw you into the story. It seems at times to be a little predictable, which I think tends to be a trait of 'back-written' in-fill stories. There is some information about how Yassen connects with John Rider, but the scope is limited.

On balance, I would say this is a story worth reading. However, it is not a de facto Alex Rider story at all, and intending purchasers should be well aware of that at the beginning.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alex Rider Explained, October 1, 2013
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This long-awaited novel reveals the biography of Yassen Gregorovitch, the mysterious Russian assassin in the Alex Rider series. Horowitz goes full-on from the beginning, as Yassen's childhood home is a village called Estrov, which happens to exist next to a biological weaponry factory, in which his parents are somehow tangled up. Then an accident occurs and the village is infected with anthrax, and the Russian government decides that obliterating the village with air-to-surface missiles is going to be easier than facing the media. Yassen, who was known as Yasha back then, escapes. From there the story is carried on to the Moscow gutters, billionaires' summer houses, and Scorpia's training facility in Malastago. The book fully explains Yassen's meeting with John Rider, Alex Rider, and Julia Rothman.

The result is a high-octane game of Russian roulette, highlighting Yassen's struggles with his conscious and his eventual evolution into a cold-blooded murderer and his torment by the hands of Sharkovsky, a mafiaman who, quite literally, made him put up a revolver to his head.

Recommended strongly if you read the Alex Rider series, even more strongly if you haven't.
Lots of guns, weapons, and blood.
Perfect.

VBG
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the thriller, October 4, 2013
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This review is from: Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin (Alex Rider) (Hardcover)
I am a middle school/high school librarian, and both boys and girls love the Alex Rider series. So, when we found out Horowitz was coming out with an additional novel, everyone was thrilled. While it gives a very open "biography" of how Yassen Gregorovich became the assassin that killed Alex's father, it is rather "slow" and is definitely not the thriller that one anticipated after reading all the Rider series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Reading, September 27, 2013
This review is from: Russian Roulette (Paperback)
The Alex Rider series has been out for a while and is quite popular. The thought of a young man being recruited to play spy is fascinating and while Alex has lots of skills, his life is dangerous enough to keep you on the edge of your seat while reading the books. When I found out this book was available, it was too tempting not to read. This is the story of the assassin on the other side: Yassen Gregorovich. He's Alex's mortal enemy but the same teacher worked with them both...

Mr. Horowitz writes thought provoking stories with lots of politics, black market dealings, assigned killings, and hard hitting action. This is a great series for young boys who find the run of the mill stories boring. These are not boring!

The story of Yassen's youth and the tortures he was put through after the death of his parents is an ugly tale, but life is no picnic. The man who takes control of him first makes him play a game of Russian roulette. He survives that but understands that now his life belongs to the man in front of him. When he finally escapes him, the life he goes into is no better. What's even more ironic is that the man teaching him will be Alex Rider's father in the future.

My favorite part of this story is when Yassen gets even with those who treated him badly in the past. It's not very nice, but they deserved it. His last assignment is to kill Alex Rider. There's a good surprise ending that tells you the series is not done yet.

This series is a good fast paced action-packed suspense story expanding over several books. This book can be read as a stand-alone easily enough. I'd like to see more of Yassen's story but who knows where the author will go next...

Originally posted at Long and Short Reviews
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright, December 27, 2013
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It kind of tied up some loose ends, but in the process it created more loose ends. I would like a next book that answers all of the remaining questions without leaving new ones.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great action book, November 27, 2013
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Awesome book about another world in Alex riders life! One of the best Alex rider books ever! Great ending too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not really a children's book, August 27, 2014
This review is from: Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin (Alex Rider) (Hardcover)
This was the first book in this series that I read, and the only other book (the first one), I read after writing this review. So here's what I thought, coming to this story with no real knowledge of the series:

This book is pretty interesting, though a bit depressing (as books about villains often are). It reminds me a little of Ender's Game--in that it's marketed as a children's book but really isn't. I would not be eager to hand this book over to a child in the suggested age range. There's a lot of death, killing, beatings, drinking and smoking (including by children), a kid vividly dying of anthrax, overt mention of a man having a mistress and wondering what his wife thinks about it, and that's just in the first half of the book. So yeah, I would consider this an adult book, just based on content. The fact that the main character is a teen doesn't automatically make something a middle-grade book. So I would definitely say that's something to consider if you're thinking of giving it to a kid to read.

But reading it as an adult, I found it to be pretty enjoyable. I mean, not fun really, it's bleak and rather sad, but it's interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtually flawless, December 29, 2013
This review is from: Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin (Alex Rider) (Hardcover)
I have read all the Alex Rider novels before this one, and although I have enjoyed reading them, I was never exactly awed by Horowitz's storytelling.
Russian Roulette completely changed my mind. Not only does it connect perfectly with the other books of the series even though it talks about a whole other character, it is extremely descriptive and believable (yes, even the assassin school near Venice).
When reading this book, I could perfectly picture Yassen's world in my mind, thanks to Horowitz's short but precise descriptions of Russia, Venice, France and New York.
The story itself is also very captivating: you cannot help but get attached to young Yasha Gregorovich when reading about how his life deteriorates after the Estrov incident.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in stories about hardship, tragedy, spy and criminal activites.
Also, if you didn't like the other Alex Rider novels, don't let that affect your decision to start reading Russian Roulette, as it is completely different from the usual Alex Rider formula.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, December 9, 2013
Very interesting how it was a diary Yassen or Yasha Gregorvich had a very interesting life and gamble with his life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Zoe's Review - Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin (Alex Rider #10) by Anthony Horowitz, December 22, 2014
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Maci and Zoe (Northridge, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin (Alex Rider) (Hardcover)
Hi – We wanted you to know a little about us, before you read this review – We are Maci and Zoe - twins in the tenth grade and are thrilled to share our love of books with you. Maci plays the trombone and Zoe plays the trumpet in our school Marching Band. When we are not reading, doing homework, or practicing music we like to go on adventures with our Girl Scout troop. We read every chance we get.

I have had this book for a while, but have been afraid of reading it. I really liked the Alex Rider series and I felt if I read this book it would be over. In the end, once I picked it up, it was really good. I love the way things connect between the stories. This book as about a killer who changed Alex Rider. The whole time riding Alex Rider I could not understand Yassen did what he did. This book had a really neat perspective that I really liked. It also had interesting perspectives on Russia. The ending was very satisfying in the day it went a full circle. I recommend this book to anyone who like the Alex Rider series or the book Breaking Stalin’s Nose.
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Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin (Alex Rider)
Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin (Alex Rider) by Anthony Horowitz (Hardcover - October 1, 2013)
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