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.
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,
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)
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: JRecommended 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)
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.
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)