|Country||United Kingdom (UK)|
|Genre||Spy fiction, thriller(Adventure)(Action)|
|Publisher||Walker Books (UK)
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Game Boy Advance
Alex Rider is a series of spy novels by British author Anthony Horowitz about a 14-15 year old spy named Alex Rider. The series is aimed primarily at young adults. The series comprises nine novels, as well as four graphic novels, three short stories and a supplementary book. The first novel, Stormbreaker, was first released in the United Kingdom in 2000 and was adapted into a motion picture in 2006 starring Alex Pettyfer. A video game was released in 2006, based on the film. The novels are published by Walker Books in the United Kingdom. They were first published by Puffin in the United States, but have also been published more recently by Philomel, also an imprint of Penguin Books. The graphic novels are published by Walker in the United Kingdom, and by Philomel in the United States.
It was released in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2000 and in the North America (US) in 2001. Alex, the main character, is recruited by the British secret service after discovering his uncle's assassination. Once recruited, he goes undercover as a scholar winning a prize to explore suspicious rumors of some sort of virus at Herod Sayle's manufacturing plant in Cornwall.
Point Blanc was published in the United Kingdom in 2001, and in North America in 2002 under the name Point Blanc. Alex investigates Dr Hugo Grief, a South African scientist who runs Point Blanc, an academy in the French Alps. Dr Grief is replacing the sons of rich, influential people with clones of himself, which have been modified to look like the boys themselves, through plastic surgery, so that he himself will be in these positions of power. It's a matter of life and death for Alex, who must escape from the academy and report back to MI6.
Skeleton Key was published in 2002. After foiling a Triad plot to fix the 2001 Wimbledon tennis tournament by knocking out one of their assasins with a carbon dioxide tank, Alex is in grave danger of assassination. Forced to leave the country, MI6 sends him on a mission to Cuba with two CIA agents (one of which believes that he isn't helpful), where he is the only one of the three to survive. He encounters a former Soviet general, Alexei Sarov, with ideas for a nuclear holocaust, starting at the Russian nuclear submarine base in and world domination.
Eagle Strike was published in 2004. Damian Cray, a world-famous pop star, hopes to destroy the world's drug-making countries by hijacking the United States' nuclear arsenal. Suspicious of him, Alex takes Cray on without the help of the skeptical MI6. Cray releases a state-of-the-art games console called the 'Gameslayer'. Its first game, 'Feathered Serpent', is much more than it seems. It is up to Alex to discover the connection between the pop star, the video game, and the bombing of his vacation home. In the end, he wil uncover a much larger plot, one involving the US government and the world's security.
Scorpia was published in 2004. Following the advice of the assassin Yassen Gregorovich, Alex tries to find the criminal organization "Scorpia" to find out the truth about his father. He is soon whisked into Scorpia where he discovers his dark side. There he must choose between the path his father took and the country he loves. Along the way, he learns more than he ever dreamed of. He learns that the country isn't what it seems.
Ark Angel, published in 2005, follows Alex's second mission for the C.I.A. He investigates Nikolei Drevin who builds a hotel in outer space called "Ark Angel". Drevin secretly tries to destroy Washington D.C., the capital of the U.S.A and targets the Pentagon, hoping to destroy files on him that the U.S. have acquired. Alex must fight for his life in this novel.
Snakehead was published in 2008. Taking place immediately after Ark Angel, the novel sees Alex recruited by ASIS, Australia's secret service, to infiltrate a Snakehead organisation by posing as an Afghan refugee. Alex meets his godfather, Ash (Anthony Sean Howell), and confronts the organization Scorpia for the second time.
Crocodile Tears was published in 2010. While taking a holiday with Sabina Pleasure in Scotland, Alex is rudely interrupted by an assassination attempt that nearly kills Sabina's father. Alex is determined to find the culprit behind the attack, which leads him onto the trail of a very dangerous enemy.
Scorpia Rising, the ninth and final novel, was published on 21 March 2011. In the book, Scorpia is hired to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece. Scorpia's plan includes the laying of a false trail to Cairo and blackmailing London into returning the Marbles. MI6 falls for the trap and Alex is sent to Cairo, where he is dismayed to find that Scorpia has been pulling the strings all along.
- Stormbreaker Released 4 September 2000. Adapted as a graphic novel.
- Point Blanc Released 3 September 2001. Entitled Point Blank in the United States. Adapted as a graphic novel.
- Skeleton Key Released 8 July 2002. Adapted as a graphic novel.
- Eagle Strike Released 7 April 2003.
- Scorpia Released 1 April 2004.
- Ark Angel Released 1 April 2005.
- Snakehead Released 31 October 2007.
- Crocodile Tears Released 12 November 2009.
- Scorpia Rising Released 21 March 2011 in Australia, 22 March 2011 in the US and 31 March 2011 in the UK.
- Alex Rider: The Gadgets (17 October 2005)
- Alex Rider: The Mission Files (6 October 2008)
- Alex Rider: Secret Weapon (9 February 2003)
- Alex Rider: Christmas at Gunpoint (1 January 2007)
- Alex Rider: Incident in Nice (9 November 2009)
- Alex Underground
- Resistance to Interrogation, an extra chapter in Stormbreaker
- A Taste of Death (March 2012), released for World Book Day.
- Russian Roulette (1 October 2013)
- Stormbreaker (21 July 2006) (titled Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker in the United States)
- Alex Rider: Stormbreaker (25 September 2006)
So far Alex Rider has received critical acclaim with Guardian newspaper calling it "Explosive, thrilling, action packed". It also sold 12 million copies in total for the entire series. Horowitz was praised with Daily Mirror commenting "Horowitz is pure class, stylish but action-packed...being James Bond in miniature is way cooler than being a wizard." and The Times saying "Horowitz will grip you with suspense, daring and cheek- and that's just the first page!...Prepare for action scenes as fast as a movie!". Clearly Alex Rider has been a very successful series. The Daily Telegraph says "The perfect hero.. genuine 21st century stuff.", www.coolreads.co.uk said "Furious fast paced!". The audiences have been very positive giving it 5 or 4 stars. Sunday Times says it "Brings a new meaning to the phrase 'Action Packed'." Independent on Sunday says "Every bored schoolboys fantasy, only a thousand times funnier, slicker and more exciting...genius.." and Financial Times reporting "Addictive pacey novels". Daily Express says "Adults as well as kids will be hooked on the adventures of Alex Rider...Harry Potter with an attitude" and finally Books for Keeps concluding "An ingenious, fast paced action-adventure."
In the years following the release of Stormbreaker, many other book series by British authors aimed at young readers and featuring teenage spies as their main characters have been published, notably A. J. Butcher's Spy High, Joe Craig's Jimmy Coates, Charlie Higson's Young Bond, Robert Muchamore's CHERUB & Henderson's Boys, Sam Hutton's Special Agents, Andy McNab & Robert Rigby's Boy Soldier and Chris Ryan's Alpha Force & Code Red. While it is unknown how much Anthony Horowitz's books have influenced the writing and publishing of these books, one can safely speculate that the success of the Alex Rider books contributed to some extent to the commissioning and/or acceptance of some/all of these book series by publishing houses.
- Official website of the books
- Archive of Official website of the film by Internet Archive
- Official Penguin website of the books