Skeleton Key

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Cover of Skeleton Key

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Series: Alex Rider

Age Range: Young Teens

Period: Contemporary

Genres:  AdventureBoys


  • The usual cast, plus...
  • General Alexei Sarov is a disillusioned Russian General with a sinister plan to change the world.


On the run from the Chinese Triads after foiling one of their plans at the Wimbledon tennis championships, Alex Rider is loaned out to the CIA to infiltrate a Russian ex-General's secret base on an island near Cuba. He is captured but the General sees him as the image of his son who died in action, and tells him how he's going to change the world.


See The Alex Rider Series.

Alex here forms what turns out to be a fairly steady relationship with Sabina. She is sharp and witty but refuses to believe him when he's forced to explain his actions to her. Obviously, in a book and character so closely modelled on the James Bond theme, I wondered how the relationship was going to go (and whether one ought to read anything in particular into the girl's name) but while some parents might think that a 15-year-old girl should put one something more than a bath robe when sitting on the verandah with a boy, there's nothing more than a chaste kiss between them. (And I'll leave any analysis of the name to the reader).

“And what happens to me?”

“I've already answered that question, Alex. I don't believe it was a coincidence that you turned up the way you did. I believe it was meant to happen. I was never meant to do this on my own. You will be with me tomorrow and when the bomb is primed and ready, we will leave together... Don't you see what I'm offering you? You are not just going to be my son. You are going to have power, Alex. You are going to be one of the most powerful people in the world.”

Friday 12th August 2005