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


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Skeleton Key (Alex Rider Adventure) + Point Blank (Alex Rider Adventure) + Eagle Strike (Alex Rider Adventure)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Alex Rider Adventure
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (February 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142406147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142406144
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

More About the Author

Anthony Horowitz's life might have been copied from the pages of Charles Dickens or the Brothers Grimm. Born in 1956 in Stanmore, Middlesex, to a family of wealth and status, Anthony was raised by nannies, surrounded by servants and chauffeurs. His father, a wealthy businessman, was, says Mr. Horowitz, "a fixer for Harold Wilson." What that means exactly is unclear -- "My father was a very secretive man," he says-- so an aura of suspicion and mystery surrounds both the word and the man. As unlikely as it might seem, Anthony's father, threatened with bankruptcy, withdrew all of his money from Swiss bank accounts in Zurich and deposited it in another account under a false name and then promptly died. His mother searched unsuccessfully for years in attempt to find the money, but it was never found. That too shaped Anthony's view of things. Today he says, "I think the only thing to do with money is spend it." His mother, whom he adored, eccentrically gave him a human skull for his 13th birthday. His grandmother, another Dickensian character, was mean-spirited and malevolent, a destructive force in his life. She was, he says, "a truly evil person", his first and worst arch villain. "My sister and I danced on her grave when she died," he now recalls.
A miserably unhappy and overweight child, Anthony had nowhere to turn for solace. "Family meals," he recalls, "had calories running into the thousands&. I was an astoundingly large, round child&." At the age of eight he was sent off to boarding school, a standard practice of the times and class in which he was raised. While being away from home came as an enormous relief, the school itself, Orley Farm, was a grand guignol horror with a headmaster who flogged the boys till they bled. "Once the headmaster told me to stand up in assembly and in front of the whole school said, 'This boy is so stupid he will not be coming to Christmas games tomorrow.' I have never totally recovered." To relieve his misery and that of the other boys, he not unsurprisingly made up tales of astounding revenge and retribution.


Anthony Horowitz is perhaps the busiest writer in England. He has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. He writes in a comfortable shed in his garden for up to ten hours per day. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he has also written episodes of several popular TV crime series, including Poirot, Murder in Mind, Midsomer Murders and Murder Most Horrid. He has written a television series Foyle's War, which recently aired in the United States, and he has written the libretto of a Broadway musical adapted from Dr. Seuss's book, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. His film script The Gathering has just finished production. And&oh yes&there are more Alex Rider novels in the works. Anthony has also written the Diamond Brothers series.



Customer Reviews

Characters Alex Rider- a teenager secret agent.
mike
I recommend this book and this series to anyone that reads.
Timothy
I think this book is a very great action packed book.
Jeff Paquette

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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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 amazon.co.uk.com 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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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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Format: Kindle Edition
Skeleton Key is the third book in the Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz.

At age 14 Alex Rider is the youngest MI6 agent. Think James Bond but without the women and with lower tech gadgets like bubble gum, games boys and action figures that do amazing things.

My children enjoy this series and for me it’s the perfect kind of book to listen to on a busy day. It’s a simple, easy to follow story so I can blog, clean and run errands while listening to it.

Content: Basically a clean read, one instance of profanity and a few people do get killed.

Rating 3.5 Stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Skeleton Key is about a fourteen-year-old spy named Alex Rider. Alex works for MI6. It is a spy company in London, England. He is really useful to MI6 because he is young and no one would suspect a fourteen-year-old as being a spy. Alex is a very brave and adventurous boy. He is sent on another mission to stop a Russian General, Alexei Sarov. Alex usually works for MI6 in London, but in Skeleton Key he is sent to help the CIA in America. Two CIA agents and and Alex go to Skeleton Key, an island right near Cuba. This is where Sarov lives. All three of them are supposed to look like a family just enjoying themselves on vacation. The CIA is suspicious about Sarov and believes he has a nuclear bomb. Sarov wanted to use this bomb to conquer the world. Read the rest of the book to find out all about the action and adventures that Alex Rider experiences in trying to capture this evil man. This book was great because of all the action that is has. It keeps your attention and is hard to put down. This is the third book in the Alex Rider series and I think that this book was the best!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
Alex Rider has worked for MI6 but now the CIA. Alex is to pretend that he is the son of two CIA agents when they go on a mission on an island called Skeleton Key. Alex was told that this would just be a surveillance mission but when the two CIA agents go missing he thinks it is something else. He figures out that General Sarov, a man who lives on the island, has a nuclear bomb and is planning to blow up part of Russia. Can Alex stop him before it's to late.

Anthony Horowitz is a great author. He is good at getting you interested in the book at the very start. At the start of Skeleton Key Alex is a ball boy at the Wimbledon Tennis Cup. He is suspicious of a guard because he is always around when the players drink water out of a certain place. Alex figures out the problem and takes the guard out.
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