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ALEX RIDER

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Full Name: Alex Rider
Nationality: British
Organization: MI6
Occupation Agent

Creator: Anthony Horowitz
Time Span: 2000 - 2020

ABOUT THE SERIES

Alex Rider is an agent with MI6.

He is also a 14-year old male who never expected, nor wanted, to become a spy and would likely have looked at you oddly if you had suggested it. Nevertheless, life, and the death of someone close to him, forced the issue and pushed the teenage boy into growing up far too fast.

His parents, John and Helen Rider, died in a plane crash just a few months after Alex Rider was born. Though Rider would not learn of it for many years, his father had been a distinguished agent with MI6 for many years, codename Hunter, and it was that service that would cost the couple their lives. Infant Alex went to live with his uncle, Ian Rider, who became the only parent the youngster would know.

Uncle Ian shared something with his brother - he, too, was an MI6 agent. Using a cover identity as the overseas financial manager for the Royal & General Bank, his trips around the globe on behalf of his employer gave him terrific camouflage for the clandestine work. When he was old enough to travel with his uncle, Alex Rider became a junior citizen of the world himself, learning what life was like in numerous parts of the globe.

He also learned a wide assortment of skills from his uncle as they shared a love of adventure and outdoors activity. Hiking, camping, rock climbing, sailing, scuba diving, and more the two did in exotic lands and at home. He loved his life.

He found he was particularly good with languages. He could grasp a culture and a way of speaking and feel totally at home with it quickly, a talent that made his times in different countries even more pleasurable and would aid him greatly when it came time for his work with British Intelligence.

That arrived with the murder of his uncle. That man's death when Rider was 14 nearly shattered the boy but the resilience instilled in him came through and when the opportunity to fight back came, or more accurately forced its way in, Rider was ready. Well, mostly.

As the series progresses, Rider, a student at the Brookland School in London, lives with his legal guardian, Jack Starbright (don't let the masculine name fool you), and takes the odd mission or two, when exams allow, for not only MI6 but also, less commonly, for the CIA. He gains insight into those who killed first his parents and then his uncle and he finds a way to exact justice.

YOUNG ADULT BOOKS

Number of Books:11
First Appearance:2000
Last Appearance:2020

1 Stormbreaker Stormbreaker
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2000

When his uncle is assassinated, Alex Rider is approached by British Intelligence to help get justice. He must go undercover to check out a possible virus at a factory in Cornwall.

2 Point Blank Point Blank
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2001

The title is the name of an academy in the French Alps where sons of the rich go. They are also being replaced by clones in a scheme of the director, a scientist with dreams of power by controlling the fakes.

3 Skeleton Key Skeleton Key
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2002

Alex Rider has earned the enmity of a Triad by stopping a plot to fix the Wimbledon tournament and now they are after his head. To stay alive, he is sent on a mission to Cuba where survival is hardly likely.

4 Eagle Strike Eagle Strike
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2004

Only Alex Rider is taking a close look at Damian Cray, a famous pop-star who is branching into games with a new one that Rider is certain is dangerous. As MI6 ignores the problem, Rider goes it alone.

5 Scorpia Scorpia
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2004

To learn more of what happened to his father, Alex Rider infiltrates the Scorpia organization but getting so close to such a dark group can only bring out the dark in oneself.

6 Ark Angel Ark Angel
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2005

On a mission for the CIA, Alex Rider finds that wealthy Nikolei Drevin's plan to build a hotel in space is just a part of a deeper plan to destroy Washington, D.C.

7 Snakehead Snakehead
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2007

This go-around, Alex Rider is approached by the Australian Secret Service to infiltrate the Snakehead organization. There he comes across yet again the Scorpia group.

8 Crocodile Tears Crocodile Tears
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2009

Alex Rider is again helping MI6 when the target of their investigation learns Rider is onto him. Captured, Rider is taken to Africa where he learns the evil his target is planning for that continent.

9 Scorpia Rising Scorpia Rising
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2011

Scorpia has a new plan to increase their power and they have fooled MI6 into unknowingly help which means that Alex Rider, working for MI6, is really working for Scorpia.

10 Russian Roulette Russian Roulette
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2013

A prequel - His desire to bring to justice the assassin who caused him so much pain is given a chance to be fulfilled but that means learning that the killer had been personally trained by Alex Rider's own father years before.

11 Never Say Die Never Say Die
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2017

Alex Rider has moved to San Francisco where he is having difficulty dealing with the loss of his friend and mentor. Then a very short message makes him think his friend might be alive and in trouble so Rider goes on the search.
buy from Amazon

11.5 Alex Rider - Secret Weapon Alex Rider - Secret Weapon
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2019

"Inspired by Horowitz' millions of fans worldwide, Secret Weapon expands the world of Alex Rider with more thrilling action and pulse-pounding heroics.
Follow Alex as he infiltrates a terrorist hideout in Afghanistan, fights to prevent an assassination attempt at a ski resort over Christmas, and much more!"
The stories are:
Alex in Afghanistan
The Man With Eleven Fingers
Secret Weapon
High Tension
Tea With Smithers
Christmas At Gunpoint
Spy Trap

12 Nightshade Nightshade
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2020

"Alex Rider is sent by MI6 Special Operations to infiltrate a new and sinister organization known only as Nightshade.
Alex is on his own, with the fate of thousands of people resting in his hands."
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NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:8
First Appearance:2003
Last Appearance:2019

1 Secret Weapon Secret Weapon
short story
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2003

First published in The Funday Times taking place after Skeleton Key and before Eagle Strike. Contained in Alex Rider - Secret Weapon.

2 Christmas At Gunpoint Christmas At Gunpoint
short story
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2007

First published in The Daily Mail taking place before Stormbreaker by several months. Contained in Alex Rider - Secret Weapon.

3 Resistance To Interrogation Resistance To Interrogation
short story
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2008

An extra chapter released for Stormbreaker.

4 Coda Coda
short story
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2008

Released as an extra chapter for Snakehead

5 Alex Underground Alex Underground
short story
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2008

First published as a News of the World Reading Special. Takes place after Ark Angel and before Snakehead.

6 Incident In Nice Incident In Nice
short story
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2009

First published in The Times taking place after Point Blank and before Skeleton Key.

7 Quite A Ride Quite A Ride
short story
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2010

Wanting some R&R a while after becoming a spy, Alex Rider heads to the south of France where his vacation turns out to be a very nasty business.

8 A Taste Of Death A Taste Of Death
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2014

Released for World Book Day - plot unknown

9 The White Carnation The White Carnation
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2014

An extra chapter released for Russian Roulette.

"Every time Yassen Gregorovich saw a white carnation, he was reminded of one of his jobs in Rome. He had been employed by a beautiful woman to kill her own sister that had made life miserable for her. But this hit was not as simple as it had seemed, and Yassen found himself saving a life instead of taking it."

10 Alex In Afghanistan Alex In Afghanistan
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2019

Part of the collection Alex Rider - Secret Weapon.
[plot unknown]

11 The Man With Eleven Fingers The Man With Eleven Fingers
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2019

Part of the collection Alex Rider - Secret Weapon.
[plot unknown]

12 High Tension High Tension
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2019

Part of the collection Alex Rider - Secret Weapon.
[plot unknown]

13 Tea With Smithers Tea With Smithers
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2019

Part of the collection Alex Rider - Secret Weapon.
[plot unknown]

14 Spy Trap Spy Trap
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2019

Part of the collection Alex Rider - Secret Weapon.
[plot unknown]

MOVIES

Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:2006
Last Appearance:2006

1 Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker
Also known as Stormbreaker
Director: Geoffrey Sax
Writer: Anthony Horowitz
Actors: Alex Pettyfer as Alex Rider, Ewan McGregor as Ian Rider, Sarah Bolger as Sabina Pleasure, Damian Lewis as Yassen Gregorovich, Bill Nighy as Alan Blunt, Alicia Silverstone as Jack Starbright
Released: 2006

Reeling from the death of his uncle who raised him, Alex Rider is forced by MI6 to get involved in a mission on which the lives of millions are depending.

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:8
First Appearance:2020
Last Appearance:2020
Network:Amazon

REGULAR CAST
Otto FarrantAlex Rider [ 1 ]
Stephen DillaneAlan Blunt [ 1 ]
Vicky McClureMrs. Jones [ 1 ]
Andrew BuchanIan Rider [ 1 ]

Note: the synopses for these episodes is taken from the Wikipedia entry.
1 Episode One
Episode S1-1, first aired 06/04/2020
Director: Andreas Prochaska
Writer: Guy Burt

Prior to making arrangements to meet the Department of Special Operations' Director Alan Blunt, New York businessman Michael J. Roscoe is assassinated by a Russian professional hitman, Yassen Gregorovich. Meanwhile, in London, Alex Rider lives with his uncle Ian Rider, who is an undercover Department agent posing as a banker, and their American housekeeper Jack Starbright. His best friend at school is Tom. Ian is tasked with investigating the deaths of Roscoe and a Russian man whose children attended a school called Point Blanc. However, Ian is double-crossed by his field agent Martin Wilby and is shot dead by Yassen Gregorovitch. The British authorities claim that Ian was killed during a car accident. Using the Find My Phone function on Tom's phone, Alex finds his uncle's car and discovers that he was not killed during an accident. However, he encounters Blunt and fellow MI6 agent Mrs Jones, who upon realising Alex's skill would like to recruit him. Initially, Alex refuses, but upon the Department threatening Jack with deportation and Alex with living in a foster home, he decides to help them.

2 Episode Two
Episode S1-2, first aired 06/04/2020
Director: Andreas Prochaska
Writer: Guy Burt

After learning the true details of Ian's death from Alan Blunt and Mrs. Jones, Alex is visited at school by a man named Geoffrey Daniels, who claims to be a Foreign and Commonwealth Office official trying to get Alan's subdivision shut down for using a teenager in espionage. Realizing it is a test, Alex refuses to provide him with information. He is then kidnapped by a group led by Wolf, who interrogates him about Ian Rider and Point Blanc. Alex refuses and is tortured with loud rock music and water. However, Alex escapes only to discover that his kidnapping was part of a training exercise orchestrated by the Department and that Daniels is an MI6 agent named Smithers. Later, Alex agrees to work for the Department and infiltrate Point Blanc in order to find those who murdered his uncle Ian. Meanwhile, Wilby meets with Yassen and claims that MI6 is unaware that Ian was murdered by a double agent and linked to Point Blanc and Yassen's involvement.

3 Episode Three
Episode S1-3, first aired 06/04/2020
Director: Andreas Prochaska
Writer: Guy Burt

In order to infiltrate Point Blanc, Alex Rider poses as Alex Friend, the spoiled son of wealthy businessman Sir David Friend and his wife Lady Caroline. He is given a transmitter to MI6, disguised as an MP3 player. Prior to his meeting with Point Blanc's Dean Eva Stellenbosch, Alex spends the weekend at the Friends family mansion. Tom struggles to come to terms with Alex's double life as a spy but manages to meet him at the mansion, where Alex appraises him of the situation. Alex also has to contend with the Friends' spoiled daughter Fiona, who attempts to ambush Alex with her friends during a hunting expedition. However, Alex turns the tables on them. Alex later meets with Eva, posing as the Friends' spoiled wayward son. Fiona, angry from her encounter with Alex, tries to blow Alex's cover but is sedated by an undercover maid. Alex then leaves for Point Blanc and arrives at the school in the French mountains. Meanwhile, Tom begins to put together a YouTube documentary on Alex being a spy.

4 Episode Four
Episode S1-4, first aired 06/04/2020
Director: Andreas Prochaska
Writer: Guy Burt

Upon arriving at Point Blanc Academy, Alex's belongings are searched but he is allowed to keep Smithers' fake MP3 player, which contains a transmitter. At the academy, Alex befriends James, Kyra, and Laura but find that Sasha and Arrash are estranged from the group. Maintaining his cover as a troublemaker, Alex creates a mess while washing dishes. Alex defies Dr Greif, the head of the academy, and is slapped by Eva. Back in London, MI6 realises that Martin's story about Ian's death being linked to North Korea is false and begins bugging him. Martin visits Jack's home and obtains a photo of Alex. The Department close in on Martin but he is assassinated by Yassen. Back at the Academy, Laura becomes sick and is admitted to the infirmary. While brushing his teeth, Alex passes out. He wakes up dazed to find he is being prepared for some sort of operation.

5 Episode Five
Episode S1-5, first aired 06/04/2020
Director: Christopher Smith
Writer: Guy Burt

After being operated, the following day, Alex relates his strange dream to Kyra and James, who tell him they had similar experiences. Laura returns to the group only to have changed, and sits with Arrash and Sasha instead of Alex, Kyra and James, making James angry and confused. James tells Kyra and Alex they have to escape before they become like Laura. Meanwhile, Yassen investigates Alex and encounters Tom in the process. The Department attempts to contact a code on Martin's phone but his superiors realize that it is a security breach and disconnect it. While visiting Point Blanc to brief Dr Greif about the new security protocols following the breach, Yassen has a brief encounter with Alex. Seeking to escape the academy Alex, Kyra, and James break into Greif's office and reset all doors in Point Blanc. During the escape attempt, James is caught by Eva and taken into her office where he disappears. Meanwhile, Michael's son Parker Roscoe assumes control of his father's media company Roscorp, drawing the Department attention. At night, Alex and Kyra attempt to track down James and Eva in the Academy's second floor. They find rooms which match their current rooms perfectly. Shortly later, they witness plastic surgeon Dr. Baxter being murdered by Eva under Dr Greif's orders and Eva revealing that she intends to "deal with Kyra" the next day.

6 Episode Six
Episode S1-6, first aired 06/04/2020
Director: Christopher Smith
Writer: Guy Burt

At breakfast, James returns to the group, now changed just like Laura. He joins Arrash, Sasha and Laura, outnumbering Alex and Kyra. Kyra, knowing she's next, tells Alex they need to escape now, but Alex still needs answers to his uncle's death. Continuing his investigation, he goes to the basement and discovers that the original Point Blanc students have been imprisoned and that they have been replaced by both male and female clones of Dr Greif's. Meanwhile, in London, Tom's YouTube video draws the attention of the "Parker Roscoe" impostor, who wants to find out about Alex Friend. Parker and his minder Mr. Langham interrogate Tom, who is rescued by the Department after Jack alerts them to Tom's whereabouts. Parker's clone impostor is arrested. Alex is soon captured by Greif, who reveals his plans to reshape the global order using his clones to control key industries. Alex is then tortured but manages to escape with the help of Kyra and escapes the academy in an improvised snowboard, promising to come back for Kyra. Despite escaping from the school guards, who ride snowmobiles, he is knocked down by a truck on a road at the bottom of the mountain.

7 Episode Seven
Episode S1-7, first aired 06/04/2020
Director: Christopher Smith
Writer: Guy Burt

The truck driver calls an ambulance for Alex who is taken to a hospital, which is reported to Dr. Greif and Eva. Eva travels to the hospital to make certain of Alex's demise, however, MI6 in disguise fake Alex's death. Alex convinces the rest of the Department's team including Mrs. Jones and Wolf to help him rescue the other students. Back in London, Blunt and Smithers learn that "Parker" is a clone of Dr. Greif who has undergone extensive surgery and bone restructure in order to look and sound like the real Parker. They use a voiceprint of Parker's modulated voice to convince Dr. Greif that Tom has been eliminated. MI6 storm the academy, subdue the guards, and capture the clones. Alex is lured by the Kyra clone into a trap with Eva but manages to kill her in a laboratory explosion. Wolf and his team find the real Kyra, who has freed the other students. Dr. Greif is taken prisoner (but refuses to cooperate), the clones are jailed and Alex returns home. However, back at an empty Point Blanc, Alex's clone imposter emerges.

8 Episode Eight
Episode S1-8, first aired 06/04/2020
Director: Christopher Smith
Writer: Guy Burt

Seeking revenge against Alex, the Clone Alex travels to London. Meanwhile, Kyra learns that her parents are dead and escapes the Department's safehouse. She visits Alex's school where they talk about Point Blanc before parting ways. Putting his plan into action, the Clone Alex ruins Alex's relationships with Tom and a girl named Ayisha. Meanwhile, Dr. Greif is assassinated by Yassen to conceal his true employers. Still troubled by his recent adventure and frayed friendship with Tom, Alex tells Mrs Jones about his encounter with a man with a scar. Mrs. Jones realises Yassen Gregorovitch, whom the Department thought dead, is still alive and that SCORPIA, known for causing terrorist incidents, has come out of hiding. The Department also realizes that one of Dr Greif's eight clones is missing. At the school prom, the Clone Alex beats up and apprehends Tom, demanding that Alex meet him. Alex fights his Clone imposter on school grounds as the Department arrives. Tom manages to subdue the Clone Alex, who is arrested by the Department but breaks free. Yassen assassinates the Clone imposter, saving Alex's life. While Alex wants to return to a normal life, Blunt appears to have other plans for him.

COMIC BOOKS, GRAPHIC NOVELS, AND MANGA

Number of Stories:5
First Appearance:2006
Last Appearance:2015

       So far the first five Rider adventures have been turned into graphic novels. The plotlines remain totally true to the books though allowances are needed because of the limited space. More are said to be on the way.

1 Stormbreaker Stormbreaker
Published by Philomel
Contributors: Anthony Horowitz (author), Antony Johnston (writer/adapter), Kanako Damerum (illustrator), Yuzuru Takasaki (illustrator)
Copyright: 2006

When his uncle is murdered in the line of duty, MI6 calls upon a young Alex Rider to step in and help on a vital mission.

2 Point Blank Point Blank
Published by Philomel
Contributors: Anthony Horowitz (author), Antony Johnston (writer/adapter), Kanako Damerum (illustrator), Yuzuru Takasaki (illustrator)
Copyright: 2007

Sent to a Swiss boarding school on a mission, Alex Rider must find out the truth about the headmaster and what is really happening in the remote location.

3 Skeleton Key Skeleton Key
Published by Philomel
Contributors: Anthony Horowitz (author), Antony Johnston (writer/adapter), Kanako Damerum (illustrator), Yuzuru Takasaki (illustrator)
Copyright: 2009

It is no vacation for Alex Rider as he heads to Cuba to check up on a rogue KGB agent.

4 Eagle Strike Eagle Strike
Published by Philomel
Contributors: Anthony Horowitz (author), Antony Johnston (writer/adapter), Kanako Damerum (illustrator), Yuzuru Takasaki (illustrator)
Copyright: 2012

Just as he was starting to think of himself as a normal teenager, his friends are attacked and Alex Rider is determined to find out why, even if MI6 does not seem interested.

5 Scorpia Scorpia
Published by Philomel
Contributors: Antony Johnston (writer), Anthony Horowitz (writer), Emma Vieceli (illustrator)
Copyright: 2015

Graphic novel version of the book with Alex Rider heading to Venice to learn more about his past and getting tangled up in a plot by the criminal organization Scorpia.

REFERENCE BOOKS

Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2006
Last Appearance:2008

1 Alex Rider: The Gadgets Alex Rider: The Gadgets
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2006

A look into the world of Alex Rider and his terrific set of toys.

2 Alex Rider: The Mission Files Alex Rider: The Mission Files
Written by Anthony Horowitz
Copyright: 2008

A deeper look into what brought about some of the earlier missions Alex Rider got involved in, and the players who caused them.

MY COMMENTS

Oh, when I was a teenage reader, how I would have totally devoured this series. I would be haunting the bookstore constantly for the next year's release. I would have read and reread and read yet again the terrific adventures, studied the comic books like they were Classics Illustrated, and then started it all over again.

Of course, I am nowhere near being a teenager anymore (thankfully) but I can still enjoy well written books with terrific timing and plotting and characters that you really get to like - or dislike - and mean it. The author takes the young man at a moment's notice and pulls him out of his "normal" life and suddenly the lad is dangling from a wire or on a speedboat or high in the air and lots of people are trying to end that life for good.

I strongly recommend this series to anyone who likes good yarns and great adventure, whether the reader be young or, like me, not so young, and whether they be male or female. The movie is really a good job, just as the books are, and the comics are a lot of fun, but it is the books that is the star attraction.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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