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.

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TOM TALKS ABOUT ALEX RIDER


Today, we are pleased to welcome 12-year-old Tom to Kids’ Book Capers to tell us why he is such a big fan of the Alex Rider books.

Tom, what did you like about these books?

They were interesting and hard to put down. There was so much action and there were all these different bits of information that fitted together in the end.

Which one of the Alex Rider Books is your favourite?

I really liked Point Blanc.

Can you tell us about this book and why it’s your favourite?

In Point Blanc, Alex Rider is captured and stuck in the mountains and he has to escape. The setting was good and it had a good storyline.

Besides the action, what else do you like about the Alex Rider books?

I like the gadgets that Alex Rider takes on his missions. And I like Alex Rider’s character. He is brave and unique because most kids would jump at being a spy but he just wants to go back to his normal life.

Would you like to be Alex Rider?

Probably not because he gets in so many life and death situations and he is a potential target for kidnapping and assassination and he gets put in a lot of pain.

Also, the training is pretty grueling and challenging.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the Alex Rider books?

After I’d read the first one, I wanted to read the next one straight away. The books kept me interested because they were really unpredictable and I never knew what was going to happen next.

Also, I think it’s much better to read them in order because he often reflects back on things that have happened in other books.

Thanks for joining us here at Kids’ Book Capers, Tom. You’ll be pleased to know that Anthony Horwitz is currently working on the ninth Alex Rider adventure and that should be coming out next year.

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