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Skeleton Key (Alex Rider Adventure) Paperback – February 16, 2006

244 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-10-Fans of Horowitz's Stormbreaker (2001) and Point Blank (2002, both Philomel), and newcomers to the series alike, will not be disappointed with this rip-roaring escapade featuring the 14-year-old spy. Trying to return to a "normal" life as a schoolboy after a mere four weeks since his last MI6 adventure, Alex Rider is recruited right off the soccer field to check out some suspicious goings-on at Wimbledon. This assignment catapults him into a series of life-threatening episodes, such as coming face to face with a great white shark, dodging bullets as he dives off a burning boat, and being tied to a conveyor belt that is moving toward the jaws of a gigantic grindstone in an abandoned sugar factory. Soon the teen is single-handedly taking on his most dangerous enterprise yet. His mission is nothing short of saving the world from a nuclear attack, engineered by the psychopathic and egomaniacal former commander of the Russian army. Alex is armed only with a few specially designed gadgets, which are disarmingly age-appropriate: a Gameboy that doubles as a Geiger counter, a cell phone whose aerial shoots out a drugged needle that is activated by pressing 999, a Tiger Woods figurine that doubles as a small grenade when its head is twisted just so. This page-turning thriller leaves readers breathless with anticipation. When at last Alex returns home, his love interest, Sabina Pleasure, asks where he has been. "Well, I was, sort of- busy," he replies in a classic, understated, James Bond kind of way.
Elizabeth Fernandez, Brunswick Middle School, Greenwich, CT
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. Fourteen-year-old British secret agent Alex Rider, last heard from in Point Blank (2002), is back in another adventure. This time he's on an island near Cuba where he's up against a retired Russian general who plans to set off a nuclear device and, in the ensuing world chaos, take over the Russian government and restore the Soviet Empire. The general takes a shine to Alex once they meet, however, and he offers to adopt him as his son. Of course, this is the man's fatal mistake; Alex is there at the crucial moment to thwart the general's plans. This series unabashedly lifts details from the James Bond formula (minus the vodka martinis and casual sex) and transfers them to a novel for young adults. Yet, the Bond formula is the most successful in entertainment history, and there's no doubting the appeal of this action-packed spy novel. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 0630 (What's this?)
  • Series: Alex Rider Adventure
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; First Printing edition (February 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142406147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142406144
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian & Randy on May 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a teenage spy? If you have, then this is the book for you. Alex Rider is a 14 year old boy who never knew his father. His uncle, John Rider, who worked for MI6, told him that his father died in a plane crash and had been training to be a spy all his life only Alex just didn't no it yet. One day, Alex's uncle dies while on a mission and Alex is contacted by MI6. Soon after, Alex is sent on a number of missions by MI6.

In Skelton Key, Alex starts out by trying to save Wimbledon from a Chinese betting conspiracy and ends up with a contract on his life. Alex heads off to Cuba to help the CIA track down a missing bomb and soon finds himself in the clutches of an ex-Soviet general trying to destroy the world. It's up to Alex to save the world. If you like action and adventure, you should read this book.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tom Harrison on June 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Skeleton Key, the sequel to Stormbreaker and Point Blanc, is surely the best book in this gripping teen spy series. Before you read it, however, make sure you read the others first so as to understand the story.
Just a month after his previous adventure at an exclusive school in the French Alps, sixteen-year-old Alex Rider is attempting to return to a normal life in London. But this is a wish quickly forgotten as an M16 agent recruits him for a mission during a school soccer game.
He is soon over in the USA, and taking on the role of the son of two up-tight and by-the-book CIA officers.
Together, they must infiltrate the home of an ex-Russian army commander. Trouble is, his house is an island in Cuba and Americans aren't exactly welcome in that part of the world.
Armed with some outrageous and extremely useful gadgets disguised as toys, Rider must soon try to win the trust of the Russian on his own, but finds himself in a seemingly losing battle against the rich and powerful man.
Alex discovers the Russian's deadly plot to take over the world, but will a young boy be able to stop him?
A terrific book that will having you struggle to put it down as you dive into the world of international spies, crazy military men and truly gripping suspense.
I gave this book 5 stars, and it deserves 6, so read it now and find out why!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I orginally bought this book off of because its a british book and it came out sooner in england. I was sooooo amazed at how anthony horowitz once again, captures so much action in one book! I absolutlely LOVE this series because its so enjoyable to read and also because it never gets boring! I'm a girl and although this book would probably seem more apealing to guys, i would HIGHLY suggest this book and the rest of its series to any girl out there! If you want to read this book i would recomend reading the first two first (stormbreaker, point blank/blanc)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Skeleton Key The book "Skeleton Key" was written by Anthony Horowitz. The book is about a boy who has been shot at by International terrorists on a mountainside, with a makeshift snowboard and has stood face-to face with pure evil. Twice Alex has almost been killed, trying to save the world. Now Alex faces more dangerous stuff.

The desperation of a man who has lost every thing he has cared for: his country and his only son. This book tells you about the Worlds only teenage International spy. He has a lot of friends on his job. They don't see much of each other.

An evil man has a nuclear weapon and a serious grudge against the free world.

Seeing his own country once again be a dominant power, he will stop at nothing.

Unless Alex can stop him first.

Uniting forces with America's own CIA for the first time, teen spy Alex Rider battles terror from the sun-baked beaches of Miami all the way to the ice fields in northernmost Russia. Alex Rider has many missions that he has to complete. He faces many hard and very dangerous challenges.

There is this one bad guy who tries to kill Alex many times. One time they were in a plane and they were just about to take of when, all of a sudden the runway lights turned off. He wanted Alex and his crew to stay there. His dangerous missions take him all over the world. One of the first missions he was assigned was in England.

Then the next week he was assigned another mission in France. They got a new agent his name is Joe Bryne. He is the Deputy Director of operations in the Covert section of the CIA.

Written By: Aaron Hamby
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Do secret agent books and James Bond interest you? This book has it all! All the secret agent goodies come in this Alex Rider journey. Explosions and gun fires are everywhere in this book. There's also a little mystery in this action-packed book.
In the Skeleton Key, Alex Rider is tricked into another mission in Europe. Alex discovers a Chinese gang, the Triads. Alex is sent to an Island near Cuba as danger gets closer. The CIA must know what a Russian general is up to. Alex Rider defeats many enemies with his useful and disguised gadgets.
I gave this book 5 stars because it has the most action out of all the books I have read. Also, the plot is somewhat realistic. The first chapter hooked me into the book and made me wonder what was going to happen next. The first action scene really caught my attention with the detail. The author described all the movements of the characters, because it helps visualize scene. The explosion descriptions were good.
The protagonist of my book is Alex Rider. Alex was always a good person, even though his parents passed away. After his uncle passed away, he was a hard worker for the MI6, a secret government agency. He does not like talking about his parents or passed tragedies. Alex is friendly and very kind to others. Alex is unique because he is only a teenager, and he already works for the MI6 agency. Alex is clearly a protagonist when he investigates the Chinese gang member at the U.S. Open. The only secondary protagonists could be Alex's fake parents, because they help solve parts of the mysteries throughout the book.
In one scene, Alex's `parents' are being held for investigation. Alex was scared, because he was dealing with real terrorists with real guns.
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