Skeleton Key (Alex Rider Series #3)

Skeleton Key (Alex Rider Series #3)

4.5 446
by Anthony Horowitz

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Alex Rider has been through a lot for his fourteen years. He's been shot at by international terrorists, chased down a mountainside on a makeshift snowboard, and has stood face-to-face with pure evil. Twice, young Alex has managed to save the world. And twice, he has almost been killed doing it. But now Alex faces something even more dangerous. The desperation of a

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Alex Rider has been through a lot for his fourteen years. He's been shot at by international terrorists, chased down a mountainside on a makeshift snowboard, and has stood face-to-face with pure evil. Twice, young Alex has managed to save the world. And twice, he has almost been killed doing it. But now Alex faces something even more dangerous. The desperation of a man who has lost everything he cared for: his country and his only son. A man who just happens to have a nuclear weapon and a serious grudge against the free world. To see his beloved Russia once again be a dominant power, he will stop at nothing. Unless Alex can stop him first... Uniting forces with America's own CIA for the first time, teen spy Alex Rider battles terror from the sun-baked beaches of Miami all the way to the barren ice fields of northernmost Russia. Come along for the thrilling ride of a lifetime.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alex Rider, "the world's only teenaged secret agent," embarks on a third adventure in Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz. This time out, the British teen goes undercover as a ball boy at Wimbledon in the first stage of an assignment that leads to a showdown with a dastardly villain armed with nuclear weapons. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Third in the "Alex Rider" adventures, this offering—for those who don't know—is Horowitz and Britain's extension of Ian Fleming's James Bond, but for kids. Yes, fourteen-year-old Alex is a member (unwilling and unpaid) of MI6. Hauled from school at the whim of his masters, Alex begins this adventure by saving Wimbledon from a Chinese betting conspiracy. When the irate tong puts out a contract on our young hero, he is wafted to an island off Cuba to help the CIA track down a missing nuclear bomb. Things go from bad to worse, naturally, and when Alex's CIA "parents" are murdered, he finds himself in the clutches of an evil ex-Soviet general bound to destroy the world for revenge. Can Alex handle it? Silly question. For this black-belt, scuba-diving, horse-riding, crane-driving super teen nothing is impossible. All of the Fleming touches are borrowed, including MI6's tiny lethal toys, the characterizations of his intelligence "keepers"—and of course, the love interest. In this case she is tellingly named Sabina Pleasure. Overkill? Not in the context of the rest of the plot. Ian Fleming may be turning in his grave, but it's Tom Clancy who needs to keep an eye on young Alex. 2003, Philomel, Ages 10 to 14.
— Kathleen Karr
This book delivers another nonstop action adventure starring Alex Rider. It is a fast-paced read that certainly will make readers hold their breath until the very last page. The book reads like a movie with its attention to imagery and detail. Nevertheless, readers of the first two Alex Rider novels might feel disappointed by the lack of attention to the cliffhanger from the second novel. VOYA Codes: 3Q 4P M (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2003, Philomel, 272p, Anna Banana), Teen Reviewer
Third in the Alex Rider series, this suspenseful adventure follows Stormbreaker and Point Blank, but it isn't necessary to have read the other titles to enjoy this one. Alex's uncle and guardian was a spy for Britain's MI6; now that he's dead, 14-year-old Alex has been reluctantly pressed into continuing his work. Like a teenaged James Bond, Alex dispatches bad guys with his quick wits, special skills (such as karate and expert skateboarding), and helpful gadgets from MI6, like a disguised grenade and bubblegum that can expand to crack any lock. Here Alex sniffs out a plot by a Chinese triad and saves the Wimbledon tennis tournament, surfs a monstrous wave and survives a deadly attack by a Jet Ski—and that's just in the first few chapters, before the main plotline kicks in, concerning a Russian general who is in possession of a nuclear bomb. The general resides on Skeleton Key, a Cuban island, and the CIA borrows Alex to help find out what this madman is up to. Naturally, nothing less than the future of the world hangs in the balance, and it's up to Alex to defeat the general, as well as to survive a exploding ship, a shark attack, and various attempts on his life. There's action every step of the way, and the book barrels right along. Alex even acquires an admiring girlfriend in between escapades, to make his character even more Bond-like; but this is a pretty chaste relationship, and the gore is relatively minimal, too. There is some xenophobia here, however: the Brits are the good guys, the American incompetent, the Chinese and Russians evil. This adventure series is highly popular, though, and this new outing will please Alex's many fans. (An Alex Rider Adventure). KLIATTCodes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2003, Penguin Putnam, Philomel, 208p.,
— Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 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.

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Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Alex Rider Series, #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)
630L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 15 Years

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Skeleton Key (Alex Rider Series #3) 4.5 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 446 reviews.
Roxanne-Elizabeth More than 1 year ago
The alex rider series is great!! Anthony Horowitz is a great novelist. This is actually the first of the series I read even though it's the third book in the series. It starts off with Alex Rider an average 14 year old boy except he's saved the world 2 times before the age of 16, pretty amazing!!! At a school soccer game he is greeted by an old frenemy who is from M16 britains spy agency. Alex learns that he is being invited to the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. I'll leave it at that because I can see you're already interested!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anthony Horowitz is by far one of my favorite authors. He writes so that you visualize every aspect of his writing. The Skeleton Key is one in a series that has me hooked. I think guys would like this series better than girls just because the hero is a boy and there is a lot of fighting and shooting. I know a couple of my friends at school who are reading this series right now and they like it too. This book is possessed and won't let you put it down until you have finished the last word. The humor is great in these books and the endings are too. The middle of the book is the best. Anthony has a talent. Read the books.
whyhellothere More than 1 year ago
For English class, this book was my choice for a novel project. It was terrific! It fast-paced and it took many different turns. When it seems everything is figured out, for the better or the worse, something changes. Skeleton Key keeps your attention to the last second. Being the third book it the series, I thought it wasn't going to be as good as the other two books.Boy was I surprised when it was! "Skeleton Key" starts off with the bad-guys. The villain, General Alexei Sarov, bought one kilogram of weapons grade Uranium. Then, it goes back to Alex rider, a 14 year old spy. One of the workers for the spy headquarters, M16, asks him to go to Wimbledon. Alex accepts the offer, but once he is there he finds out there a bag people, part of a Chinese gang, who were sabotaging the other players. Alex found this out, but then the gang was after him, so he had to leave the country. M16 sent him on a mission, to accompany two CIA agents, so that they could destroy General Sarov's uranium. Will they succeed? At every point in this book, I couldn't help but wonder what was going to happen next. When you hear the words "spy book" you think of something gory and gross. That is not what Skeleton Key is like at all. It is for anyone who likes fast paced books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Review of Skeleton Key By: Anthony Taormina . Anthony Horowitz Is a great writer and all of his books are very action packed. Although of all of his series of books I think that the Alex Rider series is the best of them all. It explains how hard it would be to be a member of MI6 along with being a teenager. I feel like this book reflects on young men being in the Military because they need to get their priorities straight when it comes to Life. Skeleton key is a good example of this. Skeleton key is about a young boy named Alex Rider who goes undercover With a couple of CIA operatives. He also goes undercover because he is going to be attacked by a terrorist organization was trying to kill him. It is also about how it feels to have a father and a mother for the first time in his life. And Alex personally doesn't know how to feel about the topic. The end of the book was very sad as to what happens but all in all it was a great book and I highly recommend it.
Michael Lopez More than 1 year ago
A book with cliffhangers and twists that never end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alex Rideris called to another mission by the M16. however this time he is going to the caribian with two FBI agents. wile on the missionthey get killed, leaving Alex Rider to save the world once again. i would highly recomend this book for all middle-high school action lovers. however it is the third book in a series so i segust you read the other books first but the series is defineitely worth the read -Silas Collins
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book had a good start but then the center of the story started off wrong with the alex kid it should have turned out withhim dying when the boat caught on fire
Anonymous 26 days ago
Anonymous 6 months ago
In the third book of the series Alex has settled back into normal life when Crawley turns up asking for his help. Despite Alex's reservations it isn't even a proper mission and Alex is talked into it.A break in was found at Wimbledon but nothing was taken or added.He gets to spend a fortnight as a ball boy at Wimbledon whilst keeping an eye out for anything suspicious. And soon enough he See's a Chinese security Guard acting oddly , he follows the guard as much as possible and soon realises that the guard is watching the player whilst talking on a fake mobile but then he makes a basic mistake the guard realises he's being followed and tricks Alex into following him to a deserted part of the complex and then tries to kill him. Fortunately Alex survives but now the Chinese Triads are out to get him. He gets attacked whilst surfing with friends in Cornwall and almost drowns. This turns out to be perfect for MI6 who use it as a new way to get him to accept a mission whilst they try to stop the triads killing him, he's left with little choice over a mission that seems to be just relaxing in the sun whilst C.I.A agents investigate a ex- Russian general Alexei Sarov on the island "Cayo Esqueleto" aka "Skeleton Key ". Something is wrong but as usual no one is giving Alex the full picture. Worse the CIA Agents take an instant dislike to him,test him ruthlessly and the blame him for a meeting that went horribly wrong despite him saving Troy's life.nAs the agents prepare to go into the generals fortress of a house through an underwater cave everything goes bad. The agents disappear, Alex goes looking for them and gets attacked by a shark whilst simultaneously finding out why the agents didn't return then he got captured by the general's men. Still in the dark over what's happening the General confuses Alex even more by offering to adopt him and have him as a son as he changes Russia and the world forever with the use of a single nuclear bomb. What can Alex do to stop the plan as the seconds tick away to the end of the world? Although the storyline of this book is very good and certainly there are good ideas concepts and events throughout i didn't find this book as gripping or exciting as the first and was actually bored in some places. That said it is still an ok book in a pretty good series so don't be discouraged from buying this and any others.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite part... A long hair blonde, British, brown eyed, teenager MY age!!!! I totally loved this book and the ones before and after it. I especially loved the movie Stormbreaker!! Alex Pettyfer is my celebrity crush!!! (The actor that played Alex)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I roll my eyes and leave.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Skeleton Key is a great book from the Alex Rider series. In my opinion its the best, I would know because I've read all of them. If you liked this book, keep reading the series! It gets even better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is full of adventure and exite men
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does anyone know where part one is?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great last part tho the smashung the nook was a bit extreme ~ Jack
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The internet never ceases to fail me when I actually need it. Anyway remember to leave comments and Samuel Knight res 1 and any questions at res 2. Also regarding my contest I've decided to change the date. Now anyone can enter at anytime. Post any entries at res 7. This part will be in Julia's p.o.v. With all of the talk about Marcus's past I figured that it's backstory saga time. So these next few parts are all going to be backstory. On with the story! --- I overheard part of the conversation that Sam and Jose were having. It made me think about my journey to camp.... I was seven years old when I ran. My house was robbed in the middle of the night and my dad sacrificed himself for me. He just said the same thing to me over and over again. "Don't worry Julia I won't let them get you. Here take this knife. It'll keep you safe." I took the prism shaped container. I clicked the switch and pulled out the silver blade. The inscription on it read "The battle is never over." It was my dad's most prized possestion. He walked downstairs and faced the intruders. I ran into my room and hid under my bed. I heard my dad scream and I walked downstairs with the knife. He was on the floor with fang holes in his neck. I knew he was dead. I looked around and the entire room was covered in what looked like sand. I was scared out of my mind so I ran. Immediately after I left my house I ran into this group of kids. They were way older than me. I remember noticing how strangely they were dressed. They were all wearing armor and they each had a golden sword. One apologized for running into me. I backed away slowly trying to get away. "What's wrong little girl." "Your swords are scary." The girl who I later found out was the leader of the group did a double take. "You can see our swords?" I nodded. She talked with her group and they took me back to their camp. The place I would later call home. Life at camp was simple at first. I learned all about the gods and demigods. I learned how to fight. I learned Latin. It was a paradise. I served the Legion for another five years. Then that day came. It seemed like a simple mission. Get in, grab the demigod, and get back to camp. Well things took a turn for the worst right away. I walked into the school trying to blend in. I walked into the demigod's class and I had to stop. Not only could I tell who he was right away. It was love at first sight. I found out his name was Marcus Daymen and it took some convincing, but I managed to get him to come with us. Then we ran into another problem. Hall monitors. We tried to sneak by them, but soon enough we were surrounded by five angry looking hall monitors. Then they spoke in unison. "Return the son of the sky to us at once!" Wait a second, five people speaking in unison. All of them standing in a line. Before I opened my mouth they melded together and hydra was standing before us. --- CLIFFHANGER! Well what'd you think? Let me know. Next part at Alex Rider book 4. - SK
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book is great. It has plenty of action,suspense and thrills to satisfy your appitite! READ IT!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alex rider is sooo amazing!