THE ALEX RIDER PHENOMENON – GADGETS AND VILLAINS

Today we continue our series of posts about Alex Rider, the superspy who has enthralled millions of readers worldwide.

Alex’s creator, Anthony Horowitz chose to write about a teen supe spy because:

“I genuinely think that 14-year-olds are the coolest people on the planet. It’s this wonderful, golden age, just on the cusp of manhood when everything seems possible.”

As my own son approaches this ‘golden’ age, I have to agree with Horowitz that it’s a special time. I also feel a certain sadness for Alex that he is alone without parents to love and guide him through this important stage in his life.

But this feeling doesn’t last. The Alex Rider books are so full of vitality and action that it’s hard to feel sorry for the teen superspy for long.

THE VILLAINS

Alex Rider faces some formidable foes, but Horowitz has equipped him with the technology and the talents to defeat the most vile villains:

1.  Herod Sayle (Stormbreaker) – A wealthy computer genius seeking revenge on a childhood bully.

2.  Dr Grief (Point Blanc) – An evil mad scientist with plans to take over the world.

3.   Colonel Sarov (Skeleton Key) – A man who wants to bring back communism to ‘save’ his country and the world.

4.  Damian Cray( Eagle Strike) – An insane anti-drugs campaigner.

5.  Julia Rothman (Scorpia) – The ruthless head of a secret organization.

6.  Nikolei Drevin (Ark Angel) – A major criminal with big plans

7.  Major Winston Yu (Snakehead) – A man with major plans to disrupt a peace conference.

8.  Desmond McCain (Crocodile Tears) – Some people will do anything for money.

Anthony Horowitz says that the inspiration for his villains comes from people he reads about in newspapers. And of course many of these bad guys and girls have access to the latest technology.

WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY

I’m convinced that technology is part of the appeal of the Alex Rider books. Apart from the gadgets, there are guns, bombs, Geiger counters, cars, planes and rockets. In many of the books there is also a healthy dose of science.

Horowitz has this to say about his technology:

In Stormbreaker, it’s computer technology. That’s followed by cloning technology in Point Blanc. Scorpia looks at the extraordinary world of nanotechnology, particles so tiny that you could fit a million of them on the dot of this i. When I wrote Snakehead I had to dip my toe into the science of meteorology and the way tsunamis are formed. An in Ark Angel, of course Alex finds himself heading for outer space.

It seems there’s nowhere Alex won’t go and nothing he can’t conquer. I for one am looking forward to reading his ninth adventure, due in 2011.

TO ENTER OUR ALEX RIDER COMPETITION AND WIN FABULOUS PRIZES GO TO  http://content.boomerangbooks.com.au/content/main/anthony-horowitz-promotion.shtml.

THERE ARE TWO COMPLETE SETS OF ALEX RIDER BOOKS TO BE WON!

ALEX RIDER PROMOTION STARTS TODAY!

Today at Kids’ Book Capers we start three weeks of celebrations for super spy Alex Rider’s ten years in print.

Thanks to our friends at Walker Books we have some fabulous prizes to give away.

From now until 11th June, we’ve got some great posts happening here.

Learn about Alex Rider’s life saving gadgets, and the villains who are out to destroy him. Find out about Anthony Horowitz, the man behind the Alex Rider phenomenon.

We’re also talking with literacy expert, The Book Chook on how Alex Rider got boys reading, and we’ve got some interviews and reviews with Alex Rider fans.

Here’s what to expect:

24th May 2010 ANTHONY HOROWITZ – The story behind the stories – where the inspiration for the Alex Rider books came from.
26th May 2010 Interview with Tom 13 about the Alex Rider Books
31st May 2010 ABOUT THE ALEX RIDER PHENOMENON – The villains and the technology
2nd June 2010 LITERACY AND ALEX RIDER PART 1 – MEET THE BOOK CHOOK
7th June 2010 LITERACY AND ALEX RIDER PART 2 – WHY ALEX RIDER GETS BOYS READING

A review of Crocodile Tears by Lachlan aged 12

9th June 2010 Interview with George 15 about the Alex Rider Books and review of Stormbreaker by John 14

*  *  *  TOMORROW AT KIDS’ BOOK CAPERS WE LOOK AT ANTHONY HOROWITZ – THE MAN BEHIND THE ALEX RIDER PHENOMENON!

TO ENTER OUR ALEX RIDER COMPETITION AND WIN FABULOUS PRIZES GO TO  http://content.boomerangbooks.com.au/content/main/anthony-horowitz-promotion.shtml.

TWO COMPLETE SETS OF THE ALEX RIDER BOOKS TO BE WON!