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Horowitz, Anthony.
New York : Philomel Books, 2007
IL 5-8, RL 5.4
ISBN 0399241612
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Teenage special agent Alex Rider strikes again. The seventh installment in the series begins with our heroís escape capsule from Ark Angel splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. Rescued by the crew of an American aircraft carrier, Alex is taken to Australia where he is coaxed into accepting a new mission for the Covert Action Division of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. They have researched his record of service with MI6 and want him to infiltrate a Southeast Asian gang, or snakehead, that specializes in smuggling drugs, weapons and worst of all, people. Alex, anxious to return home to London and forsake the spy business, goes against Jack Starbrightís recommendation and agrees to the mission for one reason only. Ash, his new partner, and the godfather he never knew, was a former MI6 agent and friend of Alexís parents. Alex hopes he can learn more about them and fill the hole in his life.

"I have to Jack. Ash worked with my dad. He was with him the day he died. I didnít know he existed until today, but now Iíve got to meet him....My dad was a spy. My uncle was a spy. And now it turns out Iíve got a godfather whoís a spy. You have to admit, it certainly runs in the family," (Chapter 5, "On the Rocks").

The mission goes wrong from the start and Alex discovers that the dreaded Scorpia organization is behind the snakehead and is using the gang for a larger, more deadly enterprise.

This is perhaps the most dangerous Alex Rider mission yet. Readers are taken not only to Australia but into the slums of Bangkok and Jakarta. Impressive disguises, cool gadgets, and of course hand-to-hand combat and narrow escapes will captivate readers who love adventure and long to be a hero in their own right. Author Anthony Horowitz crafts a tale of intrigue and disbelief that will keep Alex Rider fans on the edge of their seat.
Reviewed by Cynthia Fiegenbaum for Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award, 2010

SUBJECTS:     Spies -- Fiction.
                        Orphans -- Fiction.
                        Adventure and adventurers -- Fiction.

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