Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Scorpia Rising

The last in the Alex Rider series. The final mission, will Alex survive it and see 16? That seems to be the question in Anthony Horowitz's final Alex Rider novel. Alex has a reprieve of several months where he has lived like an ordinary student with his friend Jack Starbright as his guardian. Things are so "normal" that Jack is seriously thinking about leaving Alex and going to take care of her ailing parents. Unfortunately, things do NOT stay normal for very long. Once again Alan Blunt, outgoing head of MI6 and his assistant Mrs. Jones make a visit to Alex and Jack in order to talk him into being put undercover in a school in Egypt. At first Alex is not prone to do them any more favors until his best friend is shot. Alex is lead to believe that students at Cairo College could be in danger, so he regretfully decides to go to Egypt. Jack, however, demands to go with him or there is no deal. They arrive in Cairo and spend a couple of really fun days exploring and having a good time. Alex goes to school, makes friends very quickly and starts to fit in pretty well. But he absolutely abhors the spying he has to do while he is there. A little after a week, things begin to fall apart as Alex follows the target he has been assigned to a boat on the Nile River. Once he boards the boat and starts following Gunter, Alex discovers a dead body and then must survive the boat exploding. The action is nonstop after this and Alex decides that he has been lied to and is going to leave. I will not spoil the story for readers of this review but be prepared for a shock. Horowitz had Alex go out in a blaze of glory. Lots of action and some excellent surprises and one not so much. The additional characters are colorful and pretty much one dimensional but were still very interesting. If readers enjoyed the series they will read Scorpia Rising with regret because there will be no more adventures for their teenaged James Bond. I get hooked on series and when they are fun to read with lots of action, I find that I wish they could go on forever. I know he ended the series at a good time. I am sure he thought about all the television series that went on past their prime. Still, I will miss Alex, Jack, Smithers and even Mrs. Jones. This is a good read and won't take to long, simply because you have to know what is going to happen next. The cover is enticing, so pick it up and happy reading!

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