by Anthony Horowitz
Poor Alex Rider. He hasnt had much time to come to terms with the death of his beloved Uncle Ian, who turns out to have been a spy for MI6 who was bringing up Alex to be a spy too. After two thrilling and dangerous missions for MI6, the 14-year-old spy and chronic savior-of-the-world just wants to go to school and be like the other kids. But MI6 wont even give him that. The world needs saving again, and it can only be done with the help of their greatest secret weapon: a spy kid.
This time, the spy kid isnt supposed to do any actual spying. Hes just part of the cover for a couple of CIA agents who need to look like tourists on a Cuban island called Cayo Esqueleto, or Skeleton Key. The American spooks want to know why a former Soviet army officer is buying weapons-grade uranium. They want to know what he plans to do when the president of Russia comes to visit him. And they want to know what the assassin who killed Ian Rider has to do with it.
Alex is only there to complete the cover for the American agents, but as usual, it all ends up depending on him. His luck, instincts, and fast reflexes help him to survive where older, more experienced agents perish. And the fact that he reminds the bad guy of his dead son that a madman who is willing to sacrifice thousands of lives to save Russia, wants to adopt Alex as his own son also puts the young hero in a position to find out whats going on, and perhaps to stop it.
Since the Alex Rider series doesnt end with this book, there isnt much question whether Alex will succeed or survive. Still, its touch-and-go at times, and the danger builds in intensity to the hair-raising climax. Through it all, you want to protect Alex from the horrors he must witness yet you admire his nerve, and enjoy his high-spirited, teen-007 exploits. And when the adventure ends and Alex wants to go back to being a normal kid again, you cant wait to read about the next time that becomes impossible. But you dont have to wait. The next book in the series is called Eagle Strike.
Recommended Age: 14+
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