Thursday, April 10, 2008

Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz

Are you looking for a good adventure or perhaps a great Christmas present for a nephew or grandson? Read on. I guarantee no one looking for an exciting adventure escape during a long winter’s evening will be able to set this book aside.
Anthony Horowitz is a writer from England who has become quite popular with young readers, particularly boys. Horowitz has been writing since age eight; his books have been published in more than twenty countries and have sold millions of copies. Although his childhood was neither happy nor adventurous, Horowitz certainly developed an imagination that produces stories with wondrous appeal. Young readers quickly discover that Horowitz thinks that 14-year-olds are extremely cool. Alex Rider, his protagonist in this series, is approximately that age.
After his uncle’s untimely death, Alex Rider is recruited by the British secret service, MI6. Using fantastic gadgets provided for him by “the Firm,” a lot of creativity and his own intelligence, Alex manages to complete the missions he is assigned. Although he always manages to escape, it often seems that he is thought of as expendable by those sending him out.
In Snakehead, the newest addition to the series, Alex travels from the slums of Bangkok, through the Australian outback to the Timor Sea. We catch up with Alex Rider as he crash lands off the coast of Australia after a trip into space. (For more about how Alex ended up traveling in space, check out Ark Angel.) He is then recruited by the Australian Secret Service to infiltrate one of the most ruthless gangs operating throughout South East Asia. The gang, known as the snakeheads (hence the book title) smuggle anything: drugs, weapons, even people. Alex agrees to work the mission for the chance to work with the man he knew to be his Godfather. The nearly constant action and clever gadgets will definitely hold the attention of young readers; the convoluted plot will satisfy even die-hard fans of the series.
The action packed Alex Rider novels begin with Stormbreaker, which is followed by Point Blank, Skeleton Key, Eagle Strike, Scorpia, Ark Angel and now the newest addition Snakehead. Anthony Horowitz has written two other series: The Gatekeepers and The Diamond Brothers Mysteries. Alex Rider’s first adventure Stormbreaker has been adapted for a movie.
Check out Alex Rider in the Young Adult area at the Uinta County Library, 701 Main Street, 789-2770.

Reviewed by Claire Francis

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