Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Skeleton Key (Alex Rider Adventure) Paperback – February 16, 2006
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
Anthony Horowitz, in addition to being an international bestselling author, is also the writer and creator of the multi-award-winning television series Foyle’s War. He lives in London, England. Visit him online at www.alexrideradventures.com and www.anthonyhorowitz.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHorowitz.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
“Skeleton Key” is the third book in the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. It is a spy novel that follows British teenager Alex going on yet another mission. It is obviously meant for a younger audience since the main character is a 14 year old boy. Surprisingly, for a young adult novel, there were some moments where I didn’t think Alex was going to make it out alive. Overall, I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Unlike other kids’ films and novels where a happy ending is inevitable, Alex is caught up in trouble within the last 50 pages of the book and seems as if the resolution is further away than you think. I personally like this because suspense makes a topic more interesting than it already is. The action scenes got my eyes glued to the pages because it created these amazing images in my head.
One of the small things I didn’t like is how it was told in third person perspective, as I would rather have Alex directly voicing what he is doing. “What will Alex do?”, maybe we would know if it was him documenting the story. Besides that, I didn’t have any other problems with this.
It’s a unique concept having the MI6 taking in a child on a secret mission. It’s something we would never see in the real world, so it’s very fascinating to see Horowitz’s interpretation of what it would be like. After acting as a ball boy at Wimbledon and being attacked by a man part of a Chinese triad, MI6 says that Alex isn’t safe in England and is sent over to the U.S. to work with acting parents who are actually CIA agents and has to act like an American as much as he can. He has to resist the urge of referring to cookies as “biscuits” and math as “maths”, all while maintaining an American accent. Alex has to act like a regular son in a regular family in order to keep his cover and not get compromised. By doing this, Alex’s character that he is acting as has a lot of background information in case anybody asks him any questions about his “home or school life”. These questions would include what high school he goes to or how his dog is back at home, for example. In reality, all of this is just a story and absolutely none of it is true. This shows how prepared the CIA and MI6 are when putting Alex in this mission. Alex was told that he would just have to sit back and not do anything and to “think of it as a vacation” but we later found out that this wasn’t the case. From there, they are sent to Cayo Esqueleto, or Skeleton Key, a fictional key off the coast of Florida, where they are to break into the mansion of General Sarov, who used to be a Russian general, to steal a nuclear bomb he allegedly has. It’s definitely something that a middle or high school student would enjoy reading because it’s not quite at the level as Tom Clancy’s books, but is a good start if they want to continue reading spy novels into their adulthood.
Alex definitely isn’t your average 14 year old boy. Some of the things he does in this book are insane and the reader would be stunned when reading this for the first time. I’ll admit, there were some moments that I didn’t expect, even if I read the first two books and experienced the cliché “hardcore” action moments Alex had when facing off master villains. His age makes up for him doing incredible things multiple times because like I’ve said, your average 14 year old boy doesn’t usually fight off evil leaders that claim they are going to “take over the world”.
This is definitely a must-read if you’re a fan of action, spies, and even mystery. There are no age limits to this book either. It’s for everybody, despite the age of the main character. Dive into the life of a spy.
Sarov, formerly a general in the Russian Army, describes himself as "friends" with Boris Kiriyenko, president of Russia. Sarov's assistant, Conrad wants to kill Alex, but Sarov doesn't allow it for two reasons. First, Alex reminds Sarov of his own son who died in war, and second, he wants to adopt Alex. In the first book, Alex Rider, Stormbreaker, you find out that Alex's parents died in a plane crash, and in the beginning of the story his uncle, Ian Rider, dies in a shooting. So from Sarov's perspective the opportunity to adopt him is wide open.
Sarov, very angry and upset that communism has ended, believes that Russia is no longer a world power. In order to restore what was the USSR, Sarov thinks he needs to set off a nuclear bomb. His plan includes setting the bomb off on some other nuclear explosives. The blast will cause many countries of the world to perish, including Alex's home country, England. Alex knows he has to save his country and he tries to escape twice, but is always re-captured by Sarov.
In order to prevent President Kiriyenko from stopping him, Sarov drugs his drink, and then sets off to Murmansk, Russia. When Sarov and Alex land in Murmansk, Alex knows he has one more chance to stop Sarov and save the world. Alex used expanding gum, given to him by Mr. Smithers the weapons specialist, to break the handcuffs that a guard put on him. He makes his move. Alex needs to disarm the bomb but he doesn't know how much longer he has.
Sarov's assistant Conrad sees that Alex has escaped and attacks. Conrad shut off the magnetic crane he was using to deposit the bomb on an old submarine, but the arm was still moving. Conrad was a "terrorist" if you will, and one day a bomb he was carrying exploded in his arms. Since then Conrad has had metal plates inserted into his body to sort off help him. It just so happens that those plates are magnetic and the big plate on the crane is magnetic. So when the plate swooped over them, Conrad stuck to it. It was just in time too because Conrad was about to choke Alex to death. Alex is badly wounded but he makes his way to the crane and climbs up. After accidentally dropping Conrad into the ocean, Alex picks up the nuclear bomb and moves it over the the dock. He then leaves the crane to disarm it. Alex eventually finds the card Sarov used to arm the bomb, and disarms it. Shortly after the bomb was disarmed Alex hears someone say, "Why?!". Alex turns around to see only that he is face to face with Sarov. Alex throws the card into the ocean. Sarov pulls out a gun and lifts it up and fires, but not at Alex. Sarov shot himself.
After returning to England Alex goes to the hospital. When he returns home, Alex is still bewildered by what he saw Sarov do. So in order to clear his head he goes for a walk. They sky is cloudy and grey. But eventually he hears a car roll up and out of the car comes Sabrina. She invites him to a dinner with her and her family. They begin to walk down the road, and as they were walking a little patch of blue sky appeared.
I thought the book was very exiting, action packed and will leave you on the edge of your seat. I would not however recommend this book to a younger person due to quite a bit of gore and gun threats. But other than that I thought the book was written in great detail. I have read a couple other Alex Rider books from the series, and I thought they were very entertaining.