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Scorpia Rising (Alex Rider) Hardcover – March 22, 2011
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About the Author
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.
So how did an unhappy boy, from a privileged background, metamorphose into the creator of Alex Rider, fourteen-year-old spy for Britain's MI6? Although his childhood permanently damaged him, it also gave him a gift — it provided him with rich source material for his writing career. He found solace in boyhood in the escapism of the James Bond films, he says. He claims that his two sons now watch the James Bond films with the same tremendous enjoyment he did at their age. Bond's glamour translates perfectly to the 14-year-old psyche, the author says. "Bond had his cocktails, the car and the clothes. Kids are just as picky. It's got to be the right Nike trainers (sneakers), the right skateboard. And I genuinely think that 14-year-olds are the coolest people on the planet. It's this wonderful, golden age, just on the cusp of manhood when everything seems possible."
Alex Rider is unwillingly recruited at the age of fourteen to spy for the British secret service, MI6. Forced into situations that most average adults would find terrifying and probably fatal, young Alex rarely loses his cool although at times he doubts his own courage. Using his intelligence and creativity, and aided by non-lethal gadgets dreamed up by MI6's delightfully eccentric, overweight and disheveled Smithers, Alex is able to extricate himself from situations when all seems completely lost. What is perhaps more terrifying than the deeply dangerous missions he finds himself engaged in, is the attitude of his handlers at MI6, who view the boy as nothing more than an expendable asset.
The highly successful Alex Rider novels include Stormbreaker, Point Blank, Skeleton Key, and the recent Eagle Strike.
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.
Top Customer Reviews
This time out SCORPIA is hired to "convince" the British government to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece. They develop an elaborate plan of deception to implicate Alex in the murder of the US Secretary of State (obviously Hillary Clinton, but unstated) and blackmail the British into submission. MI6 takes the bait and Alex soon finds himself planted in a elite school in Cairo, this time accompanied by his legal guardian Jack Starbright, bringing her into the danger as well. There are also elements of previous episodes in the book. Julius Grief, a malevolent clone altered to look like Alex from Point Blanc has a pivotal role, and Joe Byrne (the book's Felix Leiter) also makes an appearance.Read more ›
The final installment in the Alex Rider series, I think, has the most emotional impact and the most serious voice than the others. Anthony Horowitz still manages to create a nail-biting atmosphere. While reading the book I constantly found myself almost at the edge of my seat, reading as fast as I could to figure out what would happen next. He really is a master at his craft; blending realism and fiction together in a way that flows and makes sense. I hope he writes more young adult books in the future as they are almost guaranteed to be great.
The ending. Oh the ending. So bittersweet and unexpected. Horowitz doesn't end his series as most would: in a word, happy. I have to admit that I was disappointed at the ending, although it was probably very realistic. But admittedly it is an ending that will stick in the minds of the reader for a while and as an author that's something to hope for. The only thing I have to say bugged me about Scorpia Rising is that the dialogue between Jack and Alex seemed almost stilted and awkward, and I'm pretty sure Horowitz didn't do that on purpose.
Overall, throughout nine books, nine different missions, numerous life and death circumstances, a plethora of cool gadgets, and many bad guys, I have been engrossed by the life of Alex Rider. Every book was great and although this book wasn't as fantastic as the others it is still as entertaining and as thrilling as the books that came before.
I salute you Mr. Horowitz.
Read more of my reviews at: theintrovertedreader.weebly.com
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Building Alex Rider series for grandson who finds them "page-turners!" Excellent condition.Published 1 month ago by Frankie
I love the Alex Rider series and I'm so sad to see it come to an end. It's so hard to find a book series I like and when I found the Alex Rider series I was so excited. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Awesome Jameson Awesome Jameson
Is is as good as the rest. Last in the series with Alex as main character. The 10th book (Russian Roulette) is about the assassin (Yassen) and it is as good, if not better.Published 2 months ago by Roadrunner
I was so excited to read the last book, and when I finished I was so mad. I really did like the series, even though they are a little cheesy (I mean he's a 14 year old spy who... Read morePublished 4 months ago by N. Ostrander
Each book has gotten better and better. It was so hard to put them down and get back to work, because you want to know what's next.Published 10 months ago by Tracy Satvisky
The last book in the Alex Rider series is worth a read, but it is very predictable witch is why it get 4 stars.Published 12 months ago by Rolf Heitmann