Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: Scorpia Rising

Scorpia Rising (Alex Rider #9)Scorpia Rising

Series: Alex Rider, #9
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Reading Level and Genre(s): MG Adventure, Thriller
Features: Espionage
Publisher: Philomel Books
Publication Date: March 31, 2011
Source: Purchased
In his time as a British spy, Alex Rider has taken on countless enemies. While he's never come away unscathed, he's always completed his missions. But there is one enemy that just won't stay down, there terrorist organization that murdered his parents and forever changed Alex's life: Scorpia.
     Back and more powerful than ever, Scorpia has its sights sets on the turbulent Middle East, and Alex must risk his life in one of the most volatile regions in the world. His mission? Put Scorpia out of business.
     But this may be the one mission Alex won't be coming home from. You've been hoping this day would never come, but you won't be able to tear yourself away from the final chapter in this international #1 bestselling series.
This series has always been one of my favorites. It's different from what I usually read. That is: fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, the like. But sometimes I enjoy middle grade books more because they're just more fun, more adventurous. I began reading this series in seventh grade, and I'm disappointed to see that this is the end.

Alex Rider is supposed to be history. He's not supposed to enter MI6, ever again. But Scorpia's back. And this time, they're cooking up a plan to lure MI6 and bring the entire country of England to humiliation and devastation. And it involves the sacrifice of Alex Rider. Before he can help it, he's once again thrown into a "harmless" mission. (That is bull, Alan Blunt.) Alex has obviously grown up. He seemed to used to enjoy his other adventures at least a little bit. He felt like the superhero. But now he's sick of it. He wants to live the life of a typical schoolboy. Not only is Alex more mature, but I think the book itself is for slightly more mature readers. There is the use of one swearword (censored out) and it's much darker. There's more psychological thrill in it and some scary, cruel villains.

There's many, many plot twists thrown into this story. Some that shouldn't even have surprised me, and yet, I couldn't help letting my jaw drop. Cunning, Mr. Horowitz. I really hate it when the authors put in a really big clue about suspicious behavior or something that's obviously going to be harmful to the protagonist, and they forget about it or ignore it. It makes me want to scream at the book and warn them before they get themselves killed. I also hate it when there are scenes where the hero is searching through the bad guy's office. I. Hate. Those. You have no idea how nervous those scenes make me. Are they going to be caught? Are they going to find anything? Are they going to be killed? Ahhhh.

There are scenes that had my eyes glued to the page and my heart pounding. The suspense, the action... it wouldn't let me stop reading. And I wanted to. I need sleep. Badly. But I couldn't stop. Alex didn't fail to impress me with his quick thinking and awesome moves, but his lack of emotion and character made him so different. He usually faced his opponents with snarky comments. And while there were a couple in this one, he seemed much more defeated.

The ending finished off well, and I think Alex was finally put where he wanted to be. As a reader, I was disappointed. I wanted more adventures, but it has to end somewhere. The ending made me sad, and almost teary. To think of everything that poor Alex had gone through. It even made me a little angry. Darn British intelligence. 

One more thing: Smithers is amazing. He just makes me laugh. When I picture him, I see a bouncy, jolly, fat man carrying a little suitcase in one hand and a slice of cake in the other. And he has a total WHOA moment in the end. He never fails to impress me. I want to see more of his gadgets.

This is one series you should pick up if you love action and adventure. This series is definitely not lacking in either. It's fast-paced, and an easy, enjoyable read. Fans of James Bond and the twisted world of crime and espionage, meet Alex Rider. I loved it through and through, and I can't wait to read more from Horowitz.

Favorite/Teaser Quotes/Excerpts:
"What exactly am I meant to do?" Alex asked. His face brightened. "And what gadgets have you got for me, Mr. Smithers? I'm sure you've got an exploding camel or something."

And yet, as Alex sat down, it occurred to him that the house told him very little about the man himself. It could have belonged to anyone. What did he actually know about Smithers, now that he thought about it? Was he married? Was he gay? Where did he live when he was in England? What did he do in his spare time, apart from cooking himself Victoria sponges?

He searched out another button on the remote control. Outside, the fountains stopped, and even as the last drops of water splashed down, they released a cloud of yellow smoke instead. The gunmen began to stagger across the lawn, covering their eyes and coughing. "Tear gas!" Smithers explained. "Shame this isn't England or I could have had them with my exploding gnomes."

"You want gold? I make you good price."
"Please-come in, my friend. No need to buy!"
"You English? Jolly good chap!"

(Yes, every single one of those involved Smithers! I couldn't help myself!)

Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.


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