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Snakehead (Alex Rider Series #7)

Snakehead (Alex Rider Series #7)

4.6 382
by Anthony Horowitz

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What goes up must come down, and when we last saw Alex Rider, he was as up as can be—in outer space. When he crash lands off the coast of Australia, the Australian Secret Service recruits him to infiltrate one of the ruthless gangs operating across South East Asia. Known as snakeheads, the gangs smuggle drugs, weapons, and worst of all, people. Alex accepts the


What goes up must come down, and when we last saw Alex Rider, he was as up as can be—in outer space. When he crash lands off the coast of Australia, the Australian Secret Service recruits him to infiltrate one of the ruthless gangs operating across South East Asia. Known as snakeheads, the gangs smuggle drugs, weapons, and worst of all, people. Alex accepts the assignment, in part for the chance to work with his godfather and learn more about his parents. What he uncovers, however, is a secret that will make this his darkest and most dangerous mission yet . . . and that his old nemesis, Scorpia, is anything but out of his life.

From the slums of Bangkok to the Australian Outback to the middle of the Timor Sea, Snakehead is Alex Rider’s most action-packed adventure yet.

Watch a QuickTime trailer for this book.

Editorial Reviews

When last seen in Ark Angel, Alex Rider was bobbing up and down in a Soyuz module off the coast of Australia. Alex's latest adventure is definitely more terrestrial than his recent voyage into outer space, but it is no less dangerous. Snakehead pits him against murderous gangs who smuggle drugs, weapons, and human slaves. An action tale that ups the ante.
The convoluted plot, nearly constant action, and clever gadgets will intrigue readers . . . satisfying escapism for series fans or series newcomers.

Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
Move over, James Bond. Meet Alex Rider, a mature-for-his-age fourteen-year-old British schoolboy turned secret agent. Compared to Alex, 007 is old and decrepit. This is the seventh book Horowitz has penned in the bestselling "Alex Rider Adventure" series, and it is a nail-biting page-turner. Fresh from splashing down in a space capsule, Alex is called upon to help the Australian Secret Intelligence service thwart a plot by Scorpia, an international criminal organization whose name stands for sabotage, corruption, intelligence and assassination. Alex has dealt with Scorpia before, but this assignment is personal. He is to work with Ash, who knew Alex's dead parents and is, in fact, his godfather. If Alex decides to accept this assignment, he is to play Ash's dimwitted son in order to expose a people-smuggling ring. They will need to face-off with Major Yu, who leads the international criminal organization known as Snakehead, which also deals with immigrant smuggling. Alex's straightforward undercover job quickly becomes complicated: he runs into an illegal fight-to-the-death sports ring, almost becomes an unwilling organ donor, and discovers Royal Blue, a weapon with world-shattering potential. Alex also realizes that someone in the operation is one step ahead of him; Yu and Snakehead know everything. Will finding out about his parents be worth risking his life? Snakehead stands alone well, but reading previous books in the series would not hurt. Next time a young adult reader sits down to watch Dr. No or Goldfinger, hit the off button and hand him/her this book instead.
School Library Journal

Gr 5-10- Alex Rider is in for another wild ride in Anthony Horowitz's latest title (Philomel, 2007) in this popular series. The story opens as Alex splashes down in Australian waters at the conclusion of his space-age espionage triumph in Ark Angel (Philomel, 2006), convinced he wants nothing more than to return to London and a "normal" life. However, he's recruited by the Australian Secret Service. Paired with a mysterious and vaguely sinister godfather he never knew he had, Alex uses his considerable wits, karate talents, and plain old good luck to take on the Snakehead, a Southeast Asian criminal group allied to Scorpia, his old nemesis. He thinks he's investigating international refugee smuggling but is thrown headlong into a bomb plot to create another South Seas tsunami capable of killing tens of thousands. Master narrator Simon Prebble gives each character an appropriate and distinctive voice; his voicing of Alex perfectly reflects the story's action. His impeccable pitch, diction, and tone make for a flawless rendition. Listeners need not be familiar with the previous titles in the series. An enjoyable international espionage thriller, expertly read by a rare talent.-Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, NY

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Alex Rider Series , #7
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
740L (what's this?)
File size:
358 KB
Age Range:
12 - 15 Years

Read an Excerpt

Alex Rider would never forget the moment of impact, the first shock as the parachute opened and the second—more jolting still—as the module that had carried him back from outer space crashed into the sea. Was it his imagination, or was there steam rising up all around him? Maybe it was sea spray. It didn’t matter. He was back. That was all he cared about. He had made it. He was still alive.

He was still lying on his back, crammed into the tiny space with his knees tucked into his chest. Half closing his eyes, Alex experienced a moment of extraordinary stillness. He was completely still. His fists were clenched. He wasn’t breathing. Was it really true? Already he found it impossible to believe that the events that had led to his journey into outer space had really taken place. He tried to imagine himself hurtling around the earth at seventeen and a half thousand miles an hour. It couldn’t have happened. It had surely all been part of some incredible dream.

Slowly he forced himself to unwind. He lifted an arm. It rose normally. He could feel the muscle connecting. Just minutes before he had been in zero gravity. But as he rested, trying to collect his thoughts, he realized that once again his body belonged to him.

Alex wasn’t sure how long he was left on his own, floating on the water somewhere . . . it could have been anywhere in the world. But when things happened, they did so very quickly. First there was the hammering of helicopter blades. Then the whoop of some sort of siren. He could see very little out the window—just the rise and fall of the ocean—but suddenly a man was there, a scuba diver, a palm slamming against the glass. A few seconds later, the capsule was opened from outside. Fresh air came rushing in, and to Alex it smelled delicious. At the same time, a man loomed over him, his body wrapped in neoprene, his eyes behind a mask.

“Are you okay?”

Alex could hardly make out the words, there was so much noise outside. Did the diver have an American accent? “I’m fine,” he managed to shout back. But it wasn’t true. He was beginning to feel sick. There was a shooting pain behind his eyes.

“Don’t worry! We’ll soon have you out of there . . .”

It took them a while. Alex had only been in space a short time, but he’d never had any physical training for it, and now his muscles were turning against him, reluctant to start pulling their own weight. He had to be manhandled out of the capsule, into the blinding sun of a Pacific afternoon. Everything was chaotic. There was a helicopter overhead, the blades beating at the ocean, forming patterns that rippled and vibrated. Alex turned his head and saw—impossibly—an aircraft carrier, as big as a mountain, looming out of the water less than a quarter of a mile away. It was flying the Stars and Stripes. So he had been right about the diver. He must have landed somewhere off the coast of America.

There were two more divers in the water, bobbing up and down next to the capsule, and Alex could see a third man leaning out of the helicopter directly above him. He knew what was going to happen, and he didn’t resist. First a loop of cable was passed around his chest and connected. He felt it tighten under his arms. And then he was rising into the air, still in his space suit, dangling like a silver puppet as he was winched up.

And already they knew. He had glimpsed it in the eyes of the diver who had spoken to him. The disbelief. These men—the helicopter, the aircraft carrier—had been rushed out to rendezvous with a module that had just reentered the earth’s atmosphere. And inside, they had found a boy. A fourteen-year-old had just plummeted a hundred miles from outer space. These men would be sworn to secrecy, of course. MI6 would see to that. They would never talk about what had happened. Nor would they forget it.

There was a medical officer waiting for him on board the USS Kitty Hawk—which was the name of the ship that had been diverted to pick him up. His name was Josh Cook, and he was forty years old, black with wire-frame glasses and a pleasant, soft-spoken manner. He helped Alex out of the space suit and stayed in the room when Alex finally did throw up. It turned out that he’d dealt with astronauts before.

“They’re all sick when they come down,” he explained. “It goes with the territory. Or maybe I should say terra firma. That’s Latin for ‘down to earth.’ You’ll be fine by the morning.”

“Where am I?” Alex asked.

“You’re about ninety miles off the coast of Australia. We were on a training exercise when we got a red alert that you were on your way down.”

“So what happens now?”

“Now you have a shower and get some sleep. You’re in luck. We’ve got a mattress made out of memory foam. It was actually developed by NASA. It’ll give your muscles a chance to get used to being back in full gravity.”

Alex had been given a private cabin in the medical department of the Kitty Hawk—in fact, a fully equipped “hospital at sea” with sixty-five beds, an operating room, a pharmacy, and everything else that 5,500 sailors might need. It wasn’t huge, but he suspected that nobody else on the Kitty Hawk would have this much space. Cook went over to the corner and pulled back a plastic curtain to reveal a shower cubicle.

“You may find it difficult to walk,” he explained. “You’re going to be unsteady on your feet for at least twenty-four hours. If you like, I can wait in the room until you’ve showered.”

“I’ll be okay,” Alex said.

“All right.” Cook smiled and opened the main door. But before he left, he looked back at Alex. “You know—every man and woman on this ship is talking about you,” he said. “There are a whole pile of questions I’d like to ask you, but I’m under strict orders from the captain to keep my mouth shut. Even so, I want you to know that I’ve been at sea for a long, long time and I’ve never encountered anything like this. A kid in outer space!” He nodded one last time. “I hope you have a good rest. There’s a call button beside the bed if there’s anything you need.”

Cook left.

It took Alex ten minutes to get into the shower. He had completely lost his sense of balance, and the roll of the ship didn’t help. He turned the temperature up as high as he could bear and stood under the steaming water, enjoying the rush of it over his shoulders and through his hair. Then he dried himself and got into bed. The memory foam was only a couple of inches thick, but it seemed to mold itself to the shape of his body exactly. He fell almost instantly into a deep but troubled sleep.

He didn’t dream about the Ark Angel space station or his knife fight with Kaspar, the bald ecoterrorist who had been determined to kill him even though it was clear that all was lost. Nor did he dream about Nikolei Drevin, the billionaire who had been behind it all.

But it did seem to him that, sometime in the middle of the night, he heard the whisper of voices that he didn’t recognize but that, somehow, he still knew. Old friends. Or old enemies. It didn’t matter which because he couldn’t make out what they were saying, and anyway, a moment later they were swept away down the dark river of his sleep.

Perhaps it was a premonition.

Because three weeks before, seven men had met in a room in London to discuss an operation that would make them many millions of dollars and would change the shape of the world. And although Alex had never met any of them, he certainly knew them.

Scorpia was back again.

Meet the Author

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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Snakehead (Alex Rider Series #7) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 382 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just got my nook for christmas and that day i bought this book. Ive read the past books but i just found out a few months go there was a 7th 8th and 9th. Honestly this is on of yhe best series ive ever read. Harry potter was too fake. Twilight is too focused on romance. This is an action packed book and series for just about anyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a really good book that keeps you waiting to see what will happen next. There is lots of action and a big suprise at the end.
Ryan_Everett More than 1 year ago
This is the seventh book in the series. Alex Rider lands in the water by Australia from space, and now he is in Australia but he doesn't have a visa. So while they make him one the Australian Agency wants to recruit him. The only reason he said yes was because his God Father, Ash, was on the mission too. So they have to spy on the evil Snakehead group who have been working with Scorpia. They have to be disgusted as refugees and try to illegal immigrate into Australia. Find out if MI6 is working in this. And find out who is really working for Snakehead. And find out who put the bomb in Alex's parents plane.
KnightRider More than 1 year ago
For the last book in the series, I think Horowitz did a good job. I wanted to keep reading to see what happened. The book also took some unexpected turns and surprised me at the end.
gReiGeDoUt More than 1 year ago
Snakehead, by Anthony Horowitz, is my all time favorite novel. It is the 7th novel in the Alex Rider, preceded by Ark Angel and proceded by Crocodile Tears. This novel, like the other six, follows Alex Rider, a teenage spy working for the MI6(the British secret service). In this novel Alex is in Australia where he is found by the ASIS(Australia Secret Inteligence Service) who wants him to go undercover with another agent to Bangkok. He only agrees becuase he wants to find out about his parents and his co-agent is his godfather. Alex and Ash(godfather) go undercover to Bangkok as Afghan refugees in order to figure out how a criminal organization called "Snakehead" works their smuggling ring. While in Bangkok, Alex meets up with members of MI6 who do not know of his mission and they give him some gadgets to help hime out. They also want him to locate Royal Blue, a stolen bomb. Alex is soon smuggled onto a ship in a container and he locates the bomb but is knocked out and wakes up in a hospital. His past begins to unfold and the novels makes many unexpected turns. Snakehead is an excellence novel filled with action and suspense. It is one which keeps the reader reading and he/she will find it difficult to put the book down. The novel has a very great plot twist and the characters enhance the novel greatly. The way the plot is designed links everything together in the end. This is a must read novel, but the other books in the series should be read first for better understanding. I look forward to the next novel in the series, Crocodile Tears. I reccomend this novel to all young adults who love a novel loaded with action.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is really good any body who has read the first 6 Alex Rider series and liked them is sure to love this one. it is a must read even for people who hate to read like me this is like the only book i read on my own without any force. good as harry potter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was perfect, as is the rest of the series. I loved it and could not put it down. Honestly, this series is the best I have ever read. Alex Rider is outstanding!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well guys I finished the rest of the story. It's going to range anywhere from 5 to 15 parts. It seems just like yesterday I started this. Anyway I'll have time to talk about this later. Next part at Alex Rider book 8. Also quick question does anyone know a three book series? I need to know. This part will be in Jose's p.o.v. On with the story! --- I hated to be the one to interupt, but we had to get moving. "Guys I think we should get moving." Everyone seemed to jump out of their state of thought. Julia stuffed the carving she'd been working on in her pocket. "Jose's right we've been here too long. I'm certain that Marcus will be sending more soldiers after us, so it isn't good to be in one place this long." So we packed up camp. After walking for about an hour I saw something ahead of us. I ran up the road and got a closer look. "Hey guys check this out!" I yelled back to them. They walked up and saw the sign. "Welcome to Nevada!" Max said in excitement. "Wow," Sam said. "It seems like we just started this journey the other day." Sam definitely looked better than he had before. He was holding Emily's hand, but when he finished his sentence he looked to his right. He got that look in his eyes again. I wonder how long it will take before he would quit seeing Marcus. Maybe he has it worse than I did? I pushed the thought aside. "Well we have to keep moving then. We've got to find my sister!" "Don't worry Cary we have time. I know we need to save her, but we have to play it safe and make sure that we're not walking into a trap," Julia pointed out. I could see the disappointment in Cary's eyes. "Besides Las Vegas is a good ways away." We continued to travel for another hour or two, and some birds flew overhead. We thought they were eagles and everyone instantly got ready for a fight. They weren't Roman eagles though. They weren't that large and they were black. We lowered our weapons. One thing was certain though, nothing could be worse right now than the Romans. Hours went by and we decided to rest. Since none of us rested from our last stop we all fell asleep. That was our big mistake. When I came to we were all tied up. I looked around and saw a group of teens all wearing black. They had all of our supplies on their backs. I glanced over at Julia and her eyes were wider than I've ever seen. She was thrashing around like crazy. They walked off in the direction we were heading. When they were out of sight Julia managed to get her gag undone. She started swearing in Latin like crazy. After some work I got mine out. "Julia what's wrong?" "That was the group," she started to cry. "That was the group who killed Rose!" --- Well what'd you think? Let me know. - SK
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Farting on men
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ash killed john rider. He was the one who planted the bomb. That is why all the agents were killed that followed snakehead and why alexes watch wasnt working. It was a great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Acion packed funny at times and epic norhing bad about this book to me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the alex rider series but this book has to be one of the best. In this book alex has to work with the snakeheads and be smuggled in austraillia. Alex meets his godfather and gets to be disguised as afgan refugees. The ending was good and you should pick this book up at a store or on your nook
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Snakehead because, It got a ton of fighting and good details.
Tommy Gallagher More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was an okay book
Kurosaki_Ichigo More than 1 year ago
Daredevil_ODST More than 1 year ago
In the book Alex Rider Snakehead the book starts out with a teenage British teenager called Alex Rider in the middle of the ocean after coming from a space station in space.  The people who found Alex were the Australian secret force.  They said the only way they would bring him back to England is to do a mission for them that requires him to go undercover and break into a secret organization called Snake Head.  Alex is fourteen year old teenager who was forced the join the MI6 after his uncle died in a car crash and the MI6 found him and forced him to join because they tricked Alex that his uncle wanted him to join the team.  The conflict of the book is that the only way Alex could go back home is to complete the assignment the Australian forced him to do, but Alex’s housekeeper Jack doesn’t want him to do it because he is just a kid.  Two plot events that are important from the book are when Alex meets Ash because he is the only person besides Jack that knew his parents.  The other important plot event is when he enter the base of Snakehead and gets into a fight for his life but gets discover and almost killed. What I liked about the book is that it is filled with action and adventure while giving a good story line.  What I didn’t like about the book is that it took a while to find out what happens next because the story line goes by slow, what I mean from this is that you’ll be at one page but have to go another five pages to solve the mystery.  I would recommend this book because I really don’t enjoy reading but this book makes me want to continue reading for hours.  I only recommend starting from the beginning of the series because you won’t understand what is going on.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Post this 3times and get $20
ZJSFX More than 1 year ago
it is a good and action paced book. I like the book. it one of the only books I have ever liked. I would recommend this to many people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do the next one in joses pov