Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday teen book review: Russian Roulette by Anthony Horowitz (Alex Rider #10)

From the publisher: 

Alex Rider is actually the end of the story.
Yassen Gregorovich was the beginning.
Alex Rider’s life changed forever with one bullet and the pull of a trigger.

It was the cold-blooded contract killer Yassen Gregorovich who changed Alex Rider's life. Aged just fourteen, Alex was thrust into the chaos of international espionage—the world’s only teenage spy. The two have been mortal enemies since.

Yet, as a boy, Yassen was mentored by someone very much like Alex. What turned him into such a ruthless assassin? In some ways, Alex and Yassen are mirror images of each other. One chose to be a hero. The other chose evil.

This is Yassen’s story. A journey down a darkened path.

My thoughts:

This was an excellent book. Although Alex Rider wasn't much more than a footnote in this one, it was great (and unusual) to watch the birth of an assassin. I think I held my breath for the first third of the book, as Yassen tries to escape his doomed Russian village.

Things slowed a bit later in the book as he was held captive, but overall, the story held my interest, big time. I had a bit of an issue with a spider plot point in the end--I won't spoil the story for you, but if you catch what I'm talking about, let me know. Still, loved this, and think I'll re-read it at some point, it was that well-written. As an aside, I'm glad Horowitz took the risk to tell Yassen's story. It's a great stand-alone novel.

For parents, teachers, and librarians: there's some underage drinking, in case you're considering this for your middle-grade readers--though in context of Russian culture, it fit the story.

Where I found out about this book:

I'm an Anthony Horowitz fan, so when I heard this book was coming out, I pre-ordered it. Glad I did.

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