SnakeHead

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Now, I'm sure that we've all read books, or seen movies where one teenager's life is drastically changed after becoming a spy, and defending their country. This book is not like those other ones. Have you ever noticed that 90% of all teenagers actually want to be spies in those books? Have you ever wondered what happened to the other 10% who didn't choose to be spies?

SnakeHead is book 7 in the Alex Rider series, which is, as I'm sure you've figured out, a series about teenage spy Alex Rider, a 14-year-old who is actually blackmailed to work for MI6, the British Secret Service, after his uncle, another spy, is killed getting shot to death while driving back to London. After making it seem like the whole thing was merely a car accident, caused by Ian Rider, his uncle, forgetting to put on his seat belt, MI6, controlled by Alan Blunt and Mrs. Jones, soon tracks Alex down, and blackmail him to become their agent. Trapped between having his housekeeper, Jack Starbright, being sent back to America, and getting sent to a boys' institution or having everything stay the same, with the only change being that Alex will become a spy, Alex chooses the latter.
Afterwards, he gets sent to an SAS training center, the same one used by the Special Air Service, to learn in two weeks what should have take 11 months. Afterwards Mr. Blunt pulls Alex out, and sends him on his first mission as a spy.

For the past six books, Alex has been on multiple missions: Three for MI6, has taken on two missions on his own, and, on two occasions, has been borrowed by America's own CIA. These books have been named: Stormbreaker, Point Blank, Skeleton Key, Eagle Strike, Scorpia, and Ark Angel.

As a result of the last mission, the final confrontation took place in space. Afterwards, he is hurled back to earth in an escape module. At the moment of “splashdown;” this book begins.
This time, Alex is going to Bangkok, Thailand disguised as a Pakistani with his “dad,” to be “smuggled” into Australia and to infiltrate the Snakeheads, a ruthless and powerful organization working together with the terrorist organization known as “Scorpia.” Not wanting to deal with Scorpia a second time, Alex Rider is dragged in by the opportunity to meet a close friend of his father's. This man, known only as “Ash,” is Alex's Godfather, and would be his “dad,” for the mission.

Honestly, I think this was a great book. Ever since the first book, the first page, even, I was hooked. Somehow, it seem that the paragraphs, and where they start and end, all fits perfectly with the size of a book. It's like watching a movie and right where the intermission starts, you‘d think you know what was going to happen, but within the last half hour or so, everything you knew, or thought you knew, is changed. That's the way it is with, not just SnakeHead, but the entire Alex Rider series. It almost seems as if the stories Anthony Horowitz writes were designed for their “book size (Honestly, I don't know what I'm saying. If there's a technical term for this somewhere out there, I don't know it.) It like, right before you turn the page, something absolutely amazing happens, and it's almost as if you have no choice but to turn it, like the other side of the page is calling out from underneath. Well, maybe that was going a bit far, but you know what I mean.
Another thing I really like that this Mr. Horowitz does throughout the entire series is really develop the characters in the book. In the second chapter, maybe, he would give the reader a thorough description of the main character, or Alex. Not too long as to be boring, but long enough just so that we know who he is, and so we can relate to him. Then in the next few chapters, he might have Alex do something, and then describe how he obtained that skill. For example, what if he goes mountain climbing? Where do you think he learned that skill? Well, his uncle taught him, and he also happened to be “preparing” Alex for the day when he, too, might become a spy. All these little things actually play a big role in telling you more about Alex, and what happened before Ian Rider was killed.
Now, this entire book is pretty much foolproof, but there is one thing I've noticed sometimes. Sometimes, at the end of chapters, some authors say “and then-…” or “there could only be-…,” right? Am I right? I know I'm right. Anyways, sometimes that happens in this book, that's all I'm saying for now.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this review as much as I enjoyed writing/typing it (I didn't enjoy it very much, but you know what I mean.)!





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arrowed_rain said...
Aug. 25, 2009 at 9:59 pm
I like how you wrote this review. It had the right bait to get you to hook on, and you didn't really give away the end. Which is good. And, of course, I agree with you 100%. I always like the way Anthony Horowitz starts out the series: I'll always remember the 'Funeral Voices' chapter begining in the first book. But, he did always seem to end his books in cliffhangers. Which sort of annoyed me. ;) But in Snakehead, if I remember correctally, it didn't really end in any cliff... (more »)
 
lunaEccentric replied...
Mar. 28, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I've heard he's going to write another book about Yassen. I really hope so!

P.S. Did you notice, how in the beginning, he advertises for a car. It seemed like that to me. He kept mentioning the 4-wheel drive and the full name of the car. (which now escapes me) Just wondering.

 
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