Scorpia (Alex Rider Series #5) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Alex Rider, teen spy, has always been told he is the spitting image of the father he never knew. But when Alex learns that his father may have been an assassin for the most lethal and powerful terrorist organization in the world, Scorpia, his world shatters. Now Scorpia wants Alex on their side, and Alex no longer has the strength to fight them. That is, until he learns of Scorpia?s latest plot: an operation known only as ?Invisible Sword? that will result in the death of thousands of people. Can Alex prevent the...
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Scorpia (Alex Rider Series #5)

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Overview

Alex Rider, teen spy, has always been told he is the spitting image of the father he never knew. But when Alex learns that his father may have been an assassin for the most lethal and powerful terrorist organization in the world, Scorpia, his world shatters. Now Scorpia wants Alex on their side, and Alex no longer has the strength to fight them. That is, until he learns of Scorpia’s latest plot: an operation known only as “Invisible Sword” that will result in the death of thousands of people. Can Alex prevent the slaughter, or will Scorpia prove once and for all that the terror will not be stopped?


When an investigation into a series of mysterious death leads agents to an elite prep school for rebellious kids, M16 assigns Alex Rider, a 14-year-old reluctant spy, to the case.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The fifth entry in the Alex Rider Adventure series by Anthony Horowitz, Scorpia follows 14-year-old Alex to Italy, after he learns that his father was an assassin for a criminal organization, and the teen gets swept up in a murderous scheme of his own. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Alex Rider is no ordinary fourteen-year-old West London schoolboy. He has no parents or any other relatives to speak of, so he's pretty much on his own. And he's been recruited to be the youngest spy for MI6, Britain's secret intelligence organization. MI6 needs Alex to investigate the murders of two of the world's wealthiest individuals. The case leads him to an undercover assignment as the son of one of the world's richest supermarket magnates. Relocated to an elite boarding school in the Swiss Alps, Alex uncovers a dastardly plot by the headmaster, Dr. Grief, who has his sights, no less, on taking over the entire world. Dr. Grief's diabolical plot involves the duplication of the sons of the world's most powerful men. With the help of spy gadgets that might make 007 green with envy, Alex is able to make some harrowing escapes to foil Dr. Grief's plans and make the world safe once more. This is the second in the "Alex Rider Adventure" series. 2001, Philomel Books,
— Christopher Moning
VOYA
This fast-paced book is for the young James Bond and spy-adventure fan. The book is short enough for the reluctant reader and cuts to the chase to hold attention. Other readers might quickly tire of the larger-than-life action scenes and clichés such as the stereotypical mad-scientist villain. Readers who enjoyed the first book will enjoy Point Blank. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Philomel, 208p, $16.99. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer: Anna Yu, aka Anna Banana, Teen Reviewer SOURCE: VOYA, February 2002 (Vol. 24, No.6)
KLIATT
This is the next Alex Rider adventure after Stormbreaker (reviewed in KLIATT in May 2001), which has been identified as a sure bet to interest young adolescents, especially males. The story begins dramatically, but Alex doesn't appear until chapter two, so for highly impatient readers, this might be a slight problem. After that, however, it's all Alex, all action, all the time. He outmaneuvers teenage bullies and South African racists left over from the apartheid days. British Intelligence places him in the worst school situation ever, isolated in the Alps above Grenoble, where he is threatened by a fate worse than death (well, death after the students in biology class dissect him while he is still alive, without anesthetic). Like James Bond, he is given some useful gadgets that save him, and like James Bond, Alex has super-human stamina, courage, wit and intelligence. It's fun stuff for those who like thrilling reading. Category: Hardcover Fiction. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2001, Penguin Putnam, Philomel, 215p., $16.99. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; KLIATT SOURCE: KLIATT, March 2002 (Vol. 36, No. 2)
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Alex Rider, the 14-year-old spy and adventurer from Stormbreaker (2001), Point Blank (2002), Skeleton Key (2003), and Eagle Strike (2004, all Philomel), is back. While vacationing in Italy, he is recruited by the deadliest terrorist organization in the world, Scorpia, away from the world of M16, a British secret intelligence organization. Through a web of lies and deceit, Alex is persuaded to assassinate the deputy head of M16, a former friend and supervisor, while Scorpia plans a secret mission that will kill hundreds of thousands of British children in the blink of an eye. Missing his target and captured by M16, Rider is sent back into Scorpia, but this time as a spy. It is only with the teen's help that M16 can stop the organization's vicious threat. Of course, Alex Rider saves the day, but not without psychological mind gaming and fighting that will bring readers to the edge of their seats and keep them there until the final page. These titles are perfect for James Bond wannabes and reluctant readers. No prior knowledge of the previous books is necessary, as Horowitz drops clues from previous adventures.-Delia Fritz, Mercersburg Academy, PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Fasten your seat belts for the second installment in Anthony Horowitz's spy-thriller series starring 14-year-old British schoolboy and ace agent from MI6, Alex Rider. James Bond has nothing on this crafty kid, and it's lucky Alex is on the job. It seems that mad scientists still infest the planet and still want to rule the world. When readers first met Alex in Stormbreaker (2001), MI6 had sent him to spy school. This time they send him to an exclusive school for the recalcitrant sons of the super-rich. Disguised as the son of a British supermarket magnate, Alex learns that something extraordinarily odd is going on at the school. Yes indeed, the school's owner, the creepy South African apartheid supporter Dr. Grief, intends to take over the world by controlling his wealthy students. But who are his students? Is Dr. Grief using brainwashing, fear, or something more sinister on the boys? Can Alex escape from the fortress-like school before that sinister something happens to him? Horowitz devises a string of miraculous circumstances that keeps Alex alive and spying throughout. Spy thrillers appear too seldom in YA literature. With plenty of cliffhanger action, the Alex Rider adventures might help get young readers hooked. The unabashed fantasy imitates the James Bond movies more closely than the books, but it's all plenty of fun. (Fiction. 11-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101158227
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/16/2006
  • Series: Alex Rider Series , #5
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 32,629
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • File size: 389 KB

Meet the Author

Anthony Horowitz
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.

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.









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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 3

THE WIDOW'S PALACE

That afternoon, the two boys stood in front of yet another grand palace in the heart of Venice.

"It's called the Contarini del Bovolo," Alex said, consulting his guidebook. "It says here that the staircase is shaped a bit like the shell of a snail. And bovolo is the Venetian word for 'snail shell'."

Tom stifled a yawn. "That's fascinating, Alex," he said. "But if I see one more palace, one more church, or one more canal, I think I'm going to throw myself under a bus."

"There aren't any buses in Venice," Alex reminded him.

"A water bus, then. If it doesn't hit me, maybe I'll get lucky and drown." He sighed. "You know the trouble with this place? The entire city's like a museum. A bloody great museum. I feel like I've been here half my life."

Alex couldn't bring himself to agree. He had never been anywhere quite like Venice--but then there was nowhere in the world remotely like it with its narrow streets and dark canals twisting around each other in an intricate, amazing knot. Every building seemed to compete with its neighbor to be more ornate and more spectacular. A short walk could take you across four centuries and every corner seemed to lead to another surprise. It might be a canal-side market with great slabs of meat laid out on the tables and fish dripping blood onto the paving stones. Or a church, seemingly floating, surrounded by water on all four sides. A grand hotel or a tiny local restaurant. Even the shops were works of art with windows framing exotic masks, brilliantly colored glass vases, dried pasta, and antiques. It was a museum, maybe, but one that was truly alive.

And yet, part of him felt guilty for dragging Tom here. Tom would have preferred to go straight down to Naples, but Alex had managed to persuade him to spend a few days, first, in Venice. What he hadn't been able to tell his friend was his real reason for coming here.

Scorpia.

He still hadn't forgotten the last words that Yassen Gregorovich had spoken on the plane even as he lay dying. Night after night he had thought about them, turning over in bed, unable to get to sleep. His father--John Rider--had worked with Yassen. He had once saved Yassen's life. But then John Rider had been killed by MI6, the very same people who had forced Alex to work for them three times: lying to him, manipulating him, and finally dumping him when he was no longer needed. It was almost impossible to believe, but Yassen had offered him proof.

"Go to Venice. Find Scorpia. And you will find your destiny . . ."

The trouble was, he had absolutely no idea what Yassen Gregorovich had meant by his last words. Scorpia could be a person. Alex had looked in the telephone book and had found no fewer than fourteen people living in and around Venice with that name. It could be a business. Or it could be a single building. Scuole were homes set up for poor people. La Scala was an opera house in Milan. But Scorpia didn't seem to be anything. No signs pointed to it. No streets were named after it.

It was only now that he was here, one day before they were due to leave, that Alex began to see that it had been hopeless from the start. If Yassen had told him the truth, the two men--he and John Rider--had been hired killers. Had they worked for Scorpia? If so, Scorpia would be very carefully concealed . . . perhaps inside one of these old palaces. Alex looked again at the staircase his guidebook had described. How was he to know that the steps themselves didn't lead to Scorpia? Scorpia could be anywhere. Or anyone. And after six days in Venice, Alex was nowhere.

"Where shall we go now?" Tom asked.

"I don't know. What do you want to do?"

"I'd like to see a movie. The trouble is, they're all in Italian. I don't know. We could go down to St. Mark's and feed the pigeons. You seem to like pigeons . . ."

And that was when Alex saw it, a flash of silver as the sun reflected off something on the edge of his vision. He turned his head. There was nothing. A canal leading away. Another canal crossing it. A single motor cruiser sliding underneath a bridge. The usual facade of ancient brown walls dotted with wooden shutters. A church dome rising above the red roof tiles. He had imagined it.

But then the cruiser began to turn and that was when he saw it a second time and knew that it was really there. It was a silver scorpion decorating the side of the boat, pinned to the wooden bow. Alex stared as it swung into the second canal. This wasn't a gondola or a chugging, public vaporetto, but a sleek, private motorboat--all polished teak, curtained windows, and leather seats. There were two crew members in immaculate white jackets and shorts, one at the wheel, the other serving a drink to the only passenger. This was a woman, sitting upright, looking straight ahead. Alex only had time to glimpse black hair, an upturned nose, a face with no expression. Then the motorboat completed its turn and disappeared from sight.

A scorpion decorating a motorboat.

Scorpia.

It was only the most slender of connections, but suddenly Alex was determined to find out where the boat was going. It was almost as though the silver scorpion had been sent to guide him to whatever it was he was meant to find. And there was something else. The stillness of the woman sitting in the back. How was it possible to be carried through this amazing city without registering some emotion, without--at least--turning her head from left to right? Alex thought of Yassen Gregorovich. He would have been the same. He and this woman were two of a kind.

Alex turned urgently to Tom. "I'll meet you back at the hostel," he said.

"Why?" Tom began. "Where are you going?"

"I'll tell you later!"

And with that he was gone, ducking between an antique shop and a café, up the narrowest of alleyways, trying to follow the direction of the boat.

But almost at once, he saw that he had a problem. The city of Venice had been originally built on no fewer than a hundred islands. He had read it in his guidebook the first day he'd arrived. In the fifteenth century, the area had been little more than a swamp. That was why there were no roads--just waterways and oddly shaped bits of land connected by bridges. The woman was on the water. Alex was on the land. Following her would be like trying to find his way through an impossible maze in which his path and hers would never meet.

Already he had lost her. The alleyway he had taken should have continued straight ahead. Instead it suddenly turned at an angle, blocked by a tall section of apartments. He ran around the corner, watched by two Italian women, both in black dresses, sitting outside on wooden stools. There was a canal ahead of him, but it was empty. A flight of heavy stone steps led down to the murky water, but there was no way forward . . . unless he wanted to swim.

He craned around to the left and was rewarded with a glimpse of wood and water churned up by the propellers of the motorboat as it passed a fleet of gondolas that were roped together beside a rotting jetty. There was the woman, sitting in the back, now sipping a glass of wine. The boat continued underneath a bridge so tiny, there was barely room to pass.

There was only one thing he could do. He turned around and retraced his steps, running as fast as he could. The two Italian women saw him again and shook their heads disapprovingly. He hadn't realized how hot it was. The sun seemed to be trapped in the narrow streets, and even in the shadows the heat still lingered. Already sweating, he burst back out on the street where he had begun. There was no sign of Tom. Alex guessed he would already set out for the hostel, happy to get a rest.

Which way?

Suddenly every street and every corner looked the same. Relying on his sense of direction, Alex turned left and ran past a fruit shop, a candle shop, and an open-air restaurant with the waiters already laying the tables for lunch. He came to a turning and there was the bridge--so short, he could cross it in five steps. He stopped in the middle and leaned over the edge, gazing down the canal. The smell of stagnant water reached up to his nostrils. There was nothing. The boat was nowhere to be seen.

But he knew which way it had been going. It still wasn't too late . . . if he could only keep moving. He darted forward. A Japanese tourist had just been about to take a photograph of his wife and daughter. Alex actually heard the camera shutter click as he ran between him and them. When they got back to Tokyo, they would have a picture of a slim, athletic boy with long, fair hair, dressed in a Billabong T-shirt, with sweat running down his face and determination in his eyes. Something to remember him by.

A crowd of tourists. A student playing a guitar. Another café. Waiters with silver trays. Alex plowed through them all, ignoring the shouts of protest thrown after him. There was no sign of water anywhere. The street seemed to go on forever. But he knew there must be a canal somewhere ahead.

He found it. The road fell away suddenly. Gray water lapped past. He had reached the Grand Canal, the largest waterway in Venice. And there was the motorboat with the silver scorpion, now fully visible. It was at least fifty yards away, surrounded by other vessels, and getting farther with every second that passed.

Alex knew that if he lost it now, he wouldn't find it again. There were too many channels it could take, opening up on both sides. He had come to a wooden platform floating on the water just ahead of him and he realized it was one of the landing docks for the vaporetti--the Venice water buses. There was a kiosk selling tickets, a mass of people milling about. A yellow sign gave the name of this point on the canal: Santa Maria del Giglio. A large, crowded boat was just pulling out, a number one bus. The school party had taken it from the main railway station the day they arrived and Alex knew that it traveled the full length of the canal. It was moving very slowly but already a couple of yards separated it from the landing dock.

Alex glanced back. There was no way he was going to be able to find his way through the labyrinth of streets in pursuit of the motorboat. The water bus was his only hope. But it was already too far away. He had missed it and there might not be another one for five or ten minutes. A gondola drew past, the gondolier singing in Italian to the grinning family of tourists he was carrying. For a moment Alex thought of stealing the gondola. Then he had a better idea.

The oar was slanting toward him and he reached out, snatching it from the gondolier's hands. Taken by surprise, the gondolier shouted out in Italian, twisted around, and lost his balance. The family looked on in alarm as he plunged backward into the water. Meanwhile, Alex had tested the oar. It was about ten yards long and heavy. The gondolier had been holding it vertically, using the splayed paddle end to guide his boat through the water. Alex ran forward. He stabbed down with the blade, thrusting it into the Grand Canal, hoping the water wouldn't be too deep.

He was lucky. The tide was low and the bottom of the canal was littered with everything from old washing machines to bicycles and wheelbarrows, cheerfully thrown in by the Venetian residents with no thought of pollution. The bottom of the oar hit something solid and Alex was able to use the length of solid wood to propel himself forward. It was exactly the same technique he had used pole-vaulting at Brookland sports day. For a moment he was in the air, leaning backward, suspended over the Grand Canal. Then he swung down, sweeping through the open entrance of the water bus and landing on the deck. He dropped the oar behind him and looked around. The other passengers were staring at him in amazement. But he was on board.

There are very few ticket collectors on the water buses in Venice, which is why most young people in the city somehow "forget" to buy their tickets before they get on board. So there was nobody to challenge Alex about his unorthodox method of arrival or to demand a fare. He leaned over the edge, grateful for the breeze sweeping over the surface of the water. And he hadn't lost the motorboat. It was still ahead of him, traveling away from the main lagoon and back into the heart of the city. A slender wooden bridge stretched out over the canal ahead of him and Alex recognized it at once as the Bridge of the Academy, leading to the biggest art gallery in the city. For a moment he wondered what he was doing. He had just abandoned his friend. He had run the full length of Venice. And why? What did he have to go on? A silver scorpion decorating a private boat. He must be out of his mind.

The vaporetto began to slow down. It had already reached the next landing dock. Alex tensed himself. He knew that if he waited for one load of passengers to get off and another to get on, he would never see the motorboat again. He was on the other side of the canal now. The streets were a little less crowded here. Alex caught his breath. He wondered how much farther he could run.

And then he saw, with a surge of relief, that the motorboat had also arrived at its destination. It was pulling into a palace a little farther up, stopping behind a series of wooden poles that slanted out of the water as though, like javelins, they had been thrown there by chance. As Alex watched, two more uniformed servants appeared. One moored the boat. The other held out a white-gloved hand. The woman took the hand and stepped ashore. She was wearing a tight-fitting cream-colored dress with a jacket cut short above the waist. A handbag swung from her arm. She could have been a model stepping off the front cover of a fashion magazine. She didn't hesitate. While the servants busied themselves with her suitcases, unloading them from the boat, she disappeared behind a stone column.

The water bus was about to leave again. Quickly, Alex stepped off and climbed onto the landing dock. Once again he had to work his way around the buildings that crowded onto the Grand Canal. But this time he knew what he was looking for. A few minutes later, he found it.

It was a typical Venetian palace, pink and white, its narrow windows built into a fantastic embroidery of pillars, arches, and balustrades . . . like something out of a production of Romeo and Juliet. But what made the place so unforgettable was its position. It didn't just face the Grand Canal. It sank right into it, the water lapping against the brickwork. The woman from the boat had gone through some sort of portcullis, as though entering a castle. But it was a castle that was floating. Or sinking. It was impossible to say where the water ended and the palace floor began.

The building did at least have one side that could be reached by land. It backed onto a wide square with trees and bushes growing out of ornamental tubs. There were men--servants--everywhere, setting up rope barriers, positioning oil-burning torches, and unrolling a red carpet. Carpenters were at work, constructing what looked like a small bandstand. More men were carrying in a variety of crates and boxes. Alex saw champagne bottles, fireworks, different sorts of food. They were obviously preparing for a serious party.

Alex stopped one of them. "Excuse me," he said. "Can you tell me who lives here?"

The man spoke no English. He didn't even try to be friendly. Alex tried a second man, with exactly the same result. He recognized the type . . . he had met men like them before. The guards at the Point Blanc Academy. The technicians at Cray Software Technology. These were people who worked for someone who made them nervous. They were paid to do a job and they never stepped out of line. Were they people with something to hide? Perhaps.

Alex left the square and walked around the side. A second canal ran the full length of the building and this time Alex was luckier. There was an elderly woman, a grandmother figure in a black dress with a white apron, sweeping the towpath. He approached her.

"Do you speak English?" he asked. "Can you help me?"

"Si, con piacere, piccolo amico." The woman nodded. She put the broom down. "I spend many year in London. I speak good English. Who can I do?"

Alex pointed at the building. "What is this place?"

"It is the Ca' Vedova." She tried to explain. "Ca' . . . you know . . . in Venice we say Casa. It means 'palace.' And Vedova . . . ?" She searched for the word. "It is the Palace of the Widow. Ca' Vedova."

"What's going on?"

"There is a big party tonight. For a birthday. Masks and costumes. Many important people come."

"Whose birthday?"

The woman hesitated. Alex was asking too many questions and he could see that she was becoming suspicious. But once again age was on his side. He was only fourteen. What did it matter if he was curious? "Signora Rothman. She is very rich lady. The owner of the house."

"Rothman? Like the cigarette?"

But the woman's mouth had suddenly closed and there was fear in her eyes. Alex looked around and saw one of the men from the square, standing at the corner, watching him. He realized he had outstayed his welcome . . . and no one had been that pleased to see him in the first place.

He decided to have one last try. "I'm looking for Scorpia," he said.

The old woman stared at him as though she had been slapped in the face. She picked up the broom and at the same time her eyes darted over to the man at the corner. It was lucky he hadn't heard the exchange. He had sensed something was wrong, but he hadn't moved. Even so, Alex knew it was time to go. "It doesn't matter," he said. "Thank you for your help."

He made his way quickly up the canal. There was yet another bridge ahead of him and he crossed it. Although he didn't know exactly why, he was grateful to leave the Ca' Vedova behind him.

As soon as he was out of sight, he stopped and considered what he had learned. A boat with a silver scorpion had led him to a palace. It was owned by a beautiful and wealthy woman who didn't smile. The palace was protected by a number of mean-looking men and the moment he had mentioned the name of Scorpia to a cleaning woman, he had suddenly become as welcome as the plague.

It wasn't a lot to go on, but it was enough. There was going to be a masked ball tonight, a birthday party. Important people had been invited. Alex wasn't one of them, but already he had decided. He would be there all the same.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 406 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2009

    Intricate plot keeps reader on the edge of there seat.

    In Anthony Horowitxz's thriller, "Scorpia" Alex Rider, a teen spy, will stop at nothing to find his destiny. Scorpia is the name for a top secret criminal organization led by a woman named Julia Rothman. The latest project that the group has been working on is called, 'Invisible Sword." This is a plan that will break the alliance between The United States Of America and Great Briton. Alex knows that Scorpia, holds the secrets behind the mysterious death of his father, John Rider. As the plot unfolds, fourteen year old Alex Rider finds himself joining this criminal organization, in pursuit of revenge for the death of his dad. He is sent to an island off the coast of Italy, where he will receive elite training in the arts of sabotage, intelligence, and assassination. Alex's first mission with Scorpia, is to secretly kill Mrs. Jones who is in charge of another intelligence organization called "MI6" who is responsible for his fathers death. However, unexpected obstacles prevent Alex from carrying out the mission, and he is arrested by MI6. Alex soon realizes that, Scorpia has been lying to him all along, and in reality they had been the ones who had killed both of his parents. He also finds out that Scorpia's latest project, "Invisible Sword" is an evil plot that will kill thousands of twelve to thirteen year olds across England. they will achieve this by creating a new flue vaccination that contains tiny particles called nanoshells that are full of cyanide. Satellite dishes will activate the nanoshells and release the cyanide into the children's blood stream. Now that Alex knows the truth about his father, and what is about to happen to thousands of children, he is more motivated than ever to do something about it. When time is about ready to run out, Alex shows up with a device that will disable the satellites. However, Julia Rothman realizes what he is attempting to do, and breaks the device before he can stop this great atrocity from happening. Alex doesn't give up here though, he climbs to the top of a hot air balloon, killing all the guards in his way, and disables the satellite dishes himself. I thoroughly enjoyed this thrilling novel, because of how exciting and extravagant it was to read and I would recommend it to anyone. the intricate plot and elaborate characters would keep any reader entertained from cover to cover.

    10 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2011

    Perfect

    If there is a better spy book out there, I haven't found it( and that would be a shocker because I've read a lot of them). Read the entire series if you like this book. If you are wondering if the $$$ is worth it for the book, it is.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    Amazing book

    This book was thrilling and kept me on the edge of my seat i recomend it greatly

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2008

    The best book Venice has ever been a part of!

    Conor Mckaig April 28, 2008 Scorpia Anthony Horowitz Scholastic Realistic Adventure How do you describe the average 14 year old boy? Handsome, smart, strong? Alex Rider is all these things, and a little more. Alex Rider, son of the deceased John Rider, is almost normal, sure he lives alone with only a housekeeper and he has no family left, but that¿s all part of the trade. Alex is a spy, he works for the British intelligence agency, or MI6. They, have used him four times already and he has saved the world four times. Whether it¿s a smallpox epidemic, a clone army, a nuclear holocaust, or an explosion that would blow the world in half, Alex is your man, or boy rather. Alex Rider is an only child, if fact he's the only Rider left alive. The handsome 14 year old boy is strong, smart, and a pure bred spy. He also has a knack for saving lives, he has an amazing ability to think on his feet and be very resourceful. He works for Alan Blunt the head of MI6. Mr. Blunt is just that, blunt, he never lets on about his past or his personal life and you get the feeling his only life is MI6. He doesn¿t do it alone though, his deputy head, Mrs. Jones, is just the opposite, she wears her emotions on her sleeve and is always worried that MI6 will get a bad reputation for being the only intelligence agency to have a minor die in the line on battle. On the other side of the law there is Julia Rothman, the last person you would think to see on the governments bad side. She is an attractive woman with more money than the queen, all illegally earned of course. She doesn¿t do the dirty work though, there is another, more vicious killer and his name is Nile. Unlike the river, Nile is ugly and terrible, he has a skin disease that is eating the pigment and turning this terrifying black man into a freak show of dalmatian proportions. These characters are what makes this book so excellent. This story is a roller coaster ride of dips and dives, twists and turns, all beautifully written by the ¿busiest writer in England¿ Anthony Horowitz. The previous Alex Rider adventures do not even compare with this one. As far as I am concerned, it¿s the best book ever written. Once you pick up Scorpia you will not be able to put it down until very last amazing page. But don¿t forget, without knowledge of the first four books you will be a bit behind. This is a must read for anyone who loves a good book.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2011

    Wonderful book for any teen interested in "James Bond" action stories.

    Anthony Horowitz continues the Alex Rider saga when he wrote another terrific book. My son loves the entire series and cannot put the book down once he starts reading! Great for someone who did not like to read before!!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2011

    Action and Adventure

    I am not a typical reader and I hate having to read boring and non intreging novels. Anthony Horrowitz book "Scorpia" helped to turn that around. With the Alex Rider series out there and having read them i think that the series will pull you in and have you on your knees begging for more. starting with "Stormbreaker" all the way through to "Scorpia Rising you will be falling off the edge of you seat pandering what will happen next. "Scorpia" holds a vivid amount of action and adveture. Anthony actually makes you feel as if you were alex rider about to drown, or get shot, or getting away and worring if they are coming out to get you. All you need to do to find out about what happens in this book is to get up off the couch and crab the book "Scorpia" and sit down and read it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Great book!

    This book kept me holding it until the very end. My favorite book in the series!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Scorpia

    Scorpia is a fantastic fiction book by: Anthony Horowitz that is action packed. My opinion of Scorpia is that it is a sit on the edge of your seat book. It is full of action and cliffhangers and I absolutely loved it. Two of the main places the book takes in is Venice and in Europe. Alex Rider a 14 year old boy wants to find out about his father who died on Albert Bridge. He gets mixed up between the criminal organization called Scorpia and the secret intelligence called M16. He nearly dies three times. The major parts are when Alex is in Venice with his friend looking for Scorpia and is in a building called Ca'Cavoda. Another main part is when they are searching for satellite dishes that Scorpias invisible sword will kill thousands of children. At the end Alex is in a hot air balloon trying to figure out a way to disarm the satellites. The author Anthony Horowitz point of 1 view is first person because it is all focused on Alex Riders' thoughts. I recommend this book to people who like action packed and at the edge of their seat books. You will learn that even a 14 year old spy has the same problems as a teenage boy and that there not alone.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    Awesooome!!!!!!!!!

    I love this book! This is my favorite book of the alex rider series. In this book is where alex life really changed and forever will hold in his memory. Incredible book. I looovvee it!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Great!!!

    This is one of the best alex rider books!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

    B

    Good

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    : )

    Great book

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Sooo breathtaking!!

    I never could put this book down my parents always tell me i read way too much and now i have a reason! Thank you Anthony Horowitz i really thank you
    for the amazing bookkk!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Great Book

    You must read this book it is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2012

    CHEVERE, cinco estrellas

    MAGNIFICANTE

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    Great book

    This book is great for anyone who likes spy books i would know because i have read all of them and i havent found a better one yet so if you think you can challenge the alex rider boks call me ( you really shouldnt even try cause you wont find northin better than a goodalex rider book) but this as to be the best book in the series ao far ive been reading some of thereviews for ark angle and some people seem to have changed tjhier mind about thier fav rider book. Its definitly worth the money so . BUY THE BOOK OR LIVE ALONE FOR THREST OF YOUR LIFE YOU WONT FIND A BETTER MATE THAN ALEX RIDER.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Scorpia by Anothony Horowitz

    In Italy, a terrorist group called Scorpia is planning a new attack called "Invisible Sword". The plan is a plot to kill every schoolchild in London. Satellites target poisoned gold-wrapped and fairy dusted cells injected into their vaccines. Scorpia has already killed the English International soccer team, and it is up to Alex Rider to stop Scorpia from killing thousands. Alex finds the satellites and disables them with barley time to spare. But Scorpia has a backup plan: they have installed satellites on a hot air balloon that will fly above London! This way, the satellites are virtually unstoppable. But Alex climbs a rope that is connected to the balloon, climbs it, and disables the satellites before they kill all the children. There are positives and negatives in this book. Some positives are that the book has an interesting plot, and it is a good length. It is a really good book to read when you are about to go to bed because it is a good way to end your day. Some negatives are that some of the dialogue is difficult, and some chapters can venture off topic and become long and boring. Another negative is that it's a book that you cant really read to younger children because they wont understand the dialogue. Anthony Horowitz has an interesting and unique writing style. He uses an action genre but jacks it up with car chases, and firefights. If you enjoy action novels with intense fights, many deaths, and tons of action you should pick up a copy of Scorpia and read it. I would recommend this book to kids of the ages 11 and up. I more recommend it to guys than girls because guys usually like action more than girls. Also, if you like the Artemis Fowl series, you will love Alex Rider

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2005

    Best of the series.

    Yes this may be the best in the series but that does not mean it is not flawed. Most of Alex's adventures are rather farfetched, and while this one is, it is not as much as the others. The story went off in a direction that I felt (before reading) Alex would never go. Rather dark (atleast in comparison to the others) and I was pleased, but towards the end everything that is built up is taken away...and then comes the cliffhanger. There is nothing wrong with cliffhangers, but I felt like this story deserved more. The lack of charactor development also was irritating.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    Kool

    This is my favorite alex rider book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    a great action packed book i have read a few times with an amazi

    a great action packed book i have read a few times with an amazing ending

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 406 Customer Reviews

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