BOOK REVIEWS

Skeleton Key (Alex Rider Adventure) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-03 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:0142406147
LANGUAGE: English

" As a stand-alone book this one was decent. However, this is part of a series and they are all starting to follow nearly the same path. Even the part about the crane has been used in this series already. Doubt if I'll read the rest of this series. I want to stop while I can still give fairly positive ratings. " said.

"Alex has just returned from a mission and he wants his life to get back to normal. Unfortunately, the M16 needs him again almost immediately – they want him to go undercover at Wimbledon. When he uncovers and foils a multimillion dollar gambling scheme (and takes out a member of the Big Circle – a Chinese gang), the Big Circle puts a hit out on him. M16 decides the safest place for Alex is on a CIA mission – to the Skeleton Key. He is placed with a couple of CIA agents and they are to pose as a family on vacation. They don’t trust him initially because of his youth, but Alex saves the life of one of the agents, and works out part of their mission for himself. When the agents are killed in action, Alex takes over their mission and discovers that a General Sarov is planning to detonate a nuclear bomb in Russia – which will destroy much of the surrounding area immediately, and poison the rest of the world. Alex vows to stop him.

This was another exciting installment in the Alex Rider series. Alex has got it all, well, ok, most of it – brains, looks, moves, even girls – but he doesn’t have a family or a normal life. I think that tension is going to come up more and more as the pressures of being an M16 agent continue to build. By the end of this book, Alex is exhausted, and he’s experienced some really difficult things – not only constant danger, but the suicide of General Sarov. It takes its toll on him. The M16 intends to continue to use him without regard to his mental state – so long as it doesn’t interfere with the quality of his work.

These books are action-packed, exciting, and quality reading. It’s as if Anthony Horowitz took James Bond, made him young and transplanted him into Alex Rider. Boys love these – from 5th grade on up into high school. Alex is a great character and he’s everything we all want to be (capable, strong, independent). If you have kids who like the Maximum Ride series (James Patterson), suggest these as readalikes – they are so much better!
" said.

"This is the third book in the Alex Rider series.

These Alex Rider books are spies books, basically Alex Rider, a 14 year old, is involved in missions, and has to play his part as spy there, even when he doesn't want to, when he just wants to be a normal kid, doing what normal kids should be doing.

It's really interesting to see how he gets involved in all of that, because he lives in London and the MI6 sometimes finds missions in which Alex fits perfectly. Some agents hesitate because he is too young and because he may get hurt, but in the end, they always send him to those operations and he always ends up facing such troubles.

I think the way Anthony Horowitz works with this idea is pretty believable, he justifies the use of Alex in those operations, otherwise i think the story would feel just plain stupid, but actually is good. These books are entertaining.

In this third installment of Alex Rider, he starts helping a guy of MI6 to look for a guy in a tennis game, it's not an official operation, this agent just tells him to pretend he's working there and look for a suspicious Chinese guy. Turns out, Alex finds him, and this Chinese guy is part of a dangerous Chinese triad, and now Alex is in great danger with the triad.

So, the MI6 contacts Alex, and tells him, they have to send him away to protect him, and the CIA in the USA is requesting help from someone younger, a kid. They want a kid, because they want to send some agents to an island called Skeleton Key near Cuba and they don't want to raise any suspicions, they want to enter the island looking like a family with the kid. So, they see it as the perfect situation to send Alex away, promising all the time, he won't get hurt, he won't have to do anything at all with the mission, just show up and pretend those agents are his parents and that's it... well, we may already guess that's not gonna be true, of course.

Even though, these books are entertaining, they are full of clichés. As i already mentioned in my other reviews of Alex Rider, the villain always tells the whole plan, so Alex knows exactly what he's planning and could inform to the authorities eventually, they never kill Alex while they can, etc.

In this book they also introduce a new character, which will become a love interest, i can predict that. Her name is Sabina Pleasure... seriously?... i mean, really? seriously? PLEASURE??? what's up with that name!... oh well...

I don't like either how Anthony Horowitz tends to generalize things in many of his books, like for example, Alex was in Cuba and he was standing out a lot there because can you imagine how a British boy could look around many dark skinned Caribbeans??. The same thing he said in Evil Star in the Gatekeepers series when they were in Peru. First off, not everyone in Latin America or the Caribbean is dark skinned, and come one, why does he even have to state that... i feel some sort of racism in there.

The second book of Alex Rider ended in a way that was supposed to make you confused about if Alex was dead or alive, and in this third book, it wasn't even mentioned... yeah, Alex is the hero, yeah Alex has good luck, yeah, now Alex is a super star spy, so yeah, it was obvious he was not gonna die!!, but still i think if the second book ended like that, the author should have mentioned it at least.

The series is action packed, fast paced, entertaining, it feels like watching a movie, so maybe this is a good read for someone looking for something spy-like, i don't know..

but for me, I'm done with Alex Rider, and i won't continue reading the rest of the books in the series.
" said.

" Read with one of my students. It was OK, 2.5 " said.

" Rating: 3.5*The Alex Rider series is a fun read although it is a bit far fetched at times (especially the parts where Alex a 14 year old boy manages to escape near death situations while his adult counterparts mostly fall victim to them)! Overall a fun read and quite action packed! " said.

"Kids, especially boys, are going to love this series. It's a spy novel with a 14 year old boy as the hero (and I mean hero in all aspects *eye roll*) who saved the day world from a crazy military man who wanted to clean up the world with his nuclear bombs. Yes, a 14 year old boy saved the world.

I appreciate the fun it presents but it didn't reel me in. It's a classic 'it's not you, it's me' dilemma. I own the whole series so I know I'll read the next books eventually. However, I'm not compelled to pick up the next book right away. I have other more fun- truly more fun- books to read ;) If you've got kids fixated with playing crime busters, they would adore this series to bits!
" said.

"3.5 For me, I think this one is the weakest in the series, if not simply the least memorable. I don't mind the formulaic plots, or the cliche spy movie stuff ('Before I kill you, I shall tell you my whole plan' etc) because that's the nature of this genre. It's 007 at age 14. But this book is altogether way too similar to the first book. The idealistic bad guy, the scarred sidekick, the plane ride of doom, the whole thing, really.

We do of course meet Sabina, who is fun. And we get to see Alex dealing with the fact that he has never had a real family. That's really the saving grace of this book; we start to see the effects this life is having on Alex, and that MI6 doesn't particularly care.
" said.

"Alex Rider has been through a lot in his life. He has been almost electrocuted by a giant jellyfish, been held prisoner twice, and has stood face to face with evil. But none of his prievous experiences will even come close to this one. One day after soccer practice, Crawley, a man who works for MI6, appears, asking Alex to be a ball boy and keep an eye on the Wimbledon tennis tournament and watch for anything supspicious, since there had been a break in. Immediately, he spots a guard who is up to something supscious. After foiling the mans plan to sabatoge the tournament, Alex thinks that he will be able to sit back and relax on his vacation with one of the ball girls from the tournament, Sabina. While on this vacation, though, he is attacked by another man from the same gang that the mysterious guard was from. The two heads of MI6 propose to have him work for the CIA briefly on a mission while they try to let the gang that attacked him know that he is under their wing. With rumors of nuclear bombs, a Russian president making a visit to an old Russian general, Alex plunges headfirst into a mystery that is not what it seems." said.

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