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Skeleton Key

(Alex Rider #3)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  50,772 ratings  ·  1,531 reviews
Alex Rider has been through a lot for his fourteen years. He's been shot at by international terrorists, chased down a mountainside on a makeshift snowboard, and has stood face-to-face with pure evil. Twice, young Alex has managed to save the world. And twice, he has almost been killed doing it. But now Alex faces something even more dangerous. The desperation of a man who ...more
Paperback, 327 pages
Published February 16th 2006 by Puffin Books (first published September 25th 2002)
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Tamzin They are making a TV series about Alex Rider now, The author of the Jason Steed series is the screen writer. It stars Otto Farrant
Lailani Orphaned 14-year old spy Alex Rider is asked by the British spy agency MI6 to be a ball boy at Wimbledon. While at the tournament, he uncovers a sinis…moreOrphaned 14-year old spy Alex Rider is asked by the British spy agency MI6 to be a ball boy at Wimbledon. While at the tournament, he uncovers a sinister plan carried out by a Chinese gang that involves rigging the outcome by drugging certain tennis players. Afterward, the gang members attempt to redeem their reputation by trying to kill Alex. He is forced to go into hiding.

Alex vows — once more — to never work for MI6. Of course, as was the case in book two of this series, MI6 officials manipulate Alex until he accepts their latest case. Since attempts are being made on Alex’s life, MI6 feels that Alex should travel to Florida as part of a joint spy mission with the CIA. Alex flies to Miami and meets two agents that pose as his parents, Carver (male) and Troy (female). After a week of training, the three travel to Skeleton Key, an island near Cuba. The CIA agents leave Alex at the hotel while they spy on those in the mansion of a mad Russian general, Alexei Sarov. The CIA had received a report that the general recently bought uranium.

Alex convinces agents Carver and Troy to let him accompany them on a scuba diving excursion, which is really another spy operation. Carver and Troy are killed by a trap set by Sarov in a cave underneath his mansion, and Alex is taken hostage. The mad general doesn’t want to hurt Alex, even though he knows Alex is an MI6 agent. Alex reminds the general of his only son who was killed in the war between Afghanistan and his country. General Sarov offers to adopt Alex. Sarov thinks Alex is considering his offer as they fly to Russia where the general plans to set off a nuclear bomb in a harbor of outdated and rusted Russian submarines. On the way, they stop in London to fuel their jet, and Alex escapes. Sarov recaptures Alex, but not before the young spy is able to get the attention of the authorities. In Russia, Sarov and his men seize control of a submarine yard and the nuclear bomb is lowered onto the top of a sub. Alex manages to stall Sarov and his men until Russian soldiers arrive to take control of the situation. The bomb is defused. Sarov realizes that Alex does not want to be his son and shoots himself.(less)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Skeleton Key (Alex Rider, #3), Anthony Horowitz

On the fictional island of Skeleton Key, off the coast of Cuba, three men meet and supply General Alexei Sarov with uranium and attempt to blackmail him into giving them a quarter of a million more dollars or they will go to the American authorities.

Taking this as a threat, General Sarov switches off the runway lights when the plane is about to take off, causing them to fall into crocodile-infested waters.

MI6 Chief of Staff John Crawley approaches
Tina ➹ the girl who lives in Fandoms
3.5 Silver Stars
with Golden Sparks

every book in Alex Rider series is like an episode of a espionage teenage tv series.
& I love the tensions in the series, it's sudden & shocking, unexpected, but with a familiar sense (you should expect something would go wrong pretty badly!), thrilling. my heart was pounding just like Alex in this one!
the descriptions-premise here were beautiful & the showing the actions felt so real for me, I could felt the fresh water drops, the swimming in the ocean & the fea
Katrina Michelle
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Alex. Is. Awesome. I've probably said it before, but I'll say it again. And probably again. And probably again. (What can I say? He's great!) I am sooooo going to keep reading this series. Absolutely. Definitely. Undoubtedly.

I especially loved the villain in this book. Er, I mean, I hated him. But I loved how he was done. Although I did hate him, I also pitied him. His evident pain - his deep emotions - added a wonderful layer of realism to him.

On another note, the "vacation" setting really fits
Clive Harrison
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the third Alex Rider book, following on from “Stormbreaker” and “Point Blanc,” and the two previous books are also available as graphic novels. This book sees Alex rider forced to go into hiding on Skeleton Key, an island near Cuba, where a Russian General called Sarov is hatching a plan to change the history of the world.
I'm am really getting into the series now because this book splits into to adventures although they both flow and are both the same adventure but seem to be in differen
Mar 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alex is doing a personal favor for Mr. Crawley when he sets off a chain of events that puts him in Skeleton Key, near Cuba, working for the CIA. The Third book in the Alex Rider series. The best Alex Rider book I Have read so far. I could not believe the ending i was actually confused. Liked it a lot . Alex Rider Adventure Skeleton Key Hardcover Anthony Horowitz ...more
Ryan Buckby
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Another book in the series, this book continues the journey of Alex Rider a 14 year old boy who is a spy for MI6 and is about to embark on is third mission.

After reading this book i feel like this one lacked something the other two had and i feel like it was a let down for me and i hope the next book picks up the series again for me. Alex is this time taken to Cuba with to CIA agents to investigate General Sarov an evil man who is trying to get his evil plan that will change the world for the wo
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 3.5*

The Alex Rider series is a fun read although it is a bit far fetched at times (especially the parts where Alex a 14 year old boy manages to escape near death situations while his adult counterparts mostly fall victim to them)! Overall a fun read and quite action packed!
Feb 22, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: worst-books, series
I'm sorry, but this book was absolutely horrible. ...more
Benjamin Thomas
The third book in the Alex Rider series doesn’t let up on the gas pedal at all. Alex really has had all he can take with these MI-6 assignments but when offered to be a ball boy at Wimbledon merely in exchange for keeping an eye out for something “unusual”, he takes the bait. That leads to the first part of the escapades in this book. But after he uncovers a drug plot designed to influence illegal gambling and saves the entire tournament, it’s on to the real plot of the story. Here again, Alex j ...more
Aaron Vincent
Aug 29, 2010 rated it liked it
This is my seventh Anthony Horowitz book and I noticed a couple of bold moves in the sudden change in his patterns. Some are good, some are craps.

In the first two books of Alex Rider and in all the Gatekeepers books, his main villain always have some kind of physical deformities, creepy appearance and sometimes, even monstrous. I like these books but the villain pattern is getting tiring. Good thing that in Skeleton Key, he introduced us the General Alexeis Sarov, a sixty something years old Rus
Jun 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: badass-hero
Rating: 3/5
***Minor spoilers***

I was pretty disappointed with this one. I really enjoyed Point Blank, but this book pretty much paled in comparison to it. Don't get me wrong, it was enjoyable enough, but it wasn't everything I was hoping for.

This book begins shortly after Alex recovered from France and has started to go to school again. Alex gets sucked back into his work at M16 when he is asked to become a ballboy at Wimbledon so he can keep a look out for anything suspicious. After some unfort
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Synopsis: After thwarting Herod Sayle's evil plans and attending the bizarre school Point Blanc undercover, Alex Rider is ready to be done with MI6...but, when one of the agency's bigwigs invites him to Wimbledon to check out a possible threat, Alex ends up killing a Chinese gang member in a fight...which means Alex has to leave the country. MI6 sends him on assignment with two members of the CIA, to check out criminal activity in Cuba on a place known as Skeleton Key. As a lifelong resident of ...more
Luisa Knight
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, action
Alex Rider isn't just any fourteen-year-old. He's mentally quick, knows self defense and adheres to a strong code of justice. Give him some gadgets and he'd make the perfect spy. After all, who would suspect a kid? And that's why MI6 want him so badly!

The series isn't just made up of individual adventure stories of espionage. The titles start becoming linked a little further into the series. It seems like Alex has a history. And because of it, his future with MI6 seems shaky and will leave the r
Jimmy R.
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Skeleton Key was a phenomenal book, and I couldn’t put it down. I loved everything about it; the action, the suspense and the twists to the plot. The only thing is that I read the series out of order. There was one main action part in the middle, and my favorite is at the end. One of the parts is in the middle, and it is when Alex, Carver, and Troy went Scuba diving for a possible underwater entrance to Sarov’s mansion. Carver and Troy (two Adults who work for the CIA) go down first. After a whi ...more
Nicola Michelle
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I’m really starting to adore the Alex Rider series. I have a huge soft spot for books of my childhood but being a typical child uninterested in the books I had on my shelf, I never got this far into the when I was younger. I’m so glad I’ve picked up this series as an adult and I’ve really been enjoying a bit of teenage spy action drama.

I’ve loved all of the books of Alex Rider so far and have to say they keep getting better and better! A bit of a guilty pleasure for me reading these and I’m gla
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the Alex Rider series, and upon reading this book, I was thrilled. It was always action-packed, and this book started to take a slightly darker mood, with more emotions and such. One of the things I love about the series is how REAL it is. In a fantasy book, because it is fantasy, writing realistically is always a big part. In other books with spy kids, they're always thrilled to be a spy and "putting themselves in danger". But Alex Rider is different. In the first two books, I always tho ...more
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book "Skeleton Key" is a thrilling exciting novel. From the moment you open he book from the time you close it there is action all around. I ended up reading at separate time, taking a long break in between reading this and i regret it because the ending could have come any faster. Overall I was more than happy about the book and enjoyed every page I turned. I would recommend this book to anyone but mainly guys.

Alex Rider is a 14 year old boy with fair hair and brown eyes, his parents were
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I decided to read "Skeleton Key" by Anthony Horowitz because lots of my friends had read it and had said it was a great book. I had read the first book in the series before and I thought it was really good. The cover of the book isn't very exciting but the content inside the book definitely is.

My favorite character in the book is Conrad. He is a really strange man with an eye to kill. Years before the book was set, Conrad was trying to sneak a bomb into a highly populated area when the bomb blew
Dec 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Alex Rider has been through a lot in his life. He has been almost electrocuted by a giant jellyfish, been held prisoner twice, and has stood face to face with evil. But none of his prievous experiences will even come close to this one. One day after soccer practice, Crawley, a man who works for MI6, appears, asking Alex to be a ball boy and keep an eye on the Wimbledon tennis tournament and watch for anything supspicious, since there had been a break in. Immediately, he spots a guard who is up t ...more
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 For me, I think this one is the weakest in the series, if not simply the least memorable. I don't mind the formulaic plots, or the cliche spy movie stuff ('Before I kill you, I shall tell you my whole plan' etc) because that's the nature of this genre. It's 007 at age 14. But this book is altogether way too similar to the first book. The idealistic bad guy, the scarred sidekick, the plane ride of doom, the whole thing, really.

We do of course meet Sabina, who is fun. And we get to see Alex d
Apr 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
great book i am reading it right now it has a very interesting story line but it is kind of ridiculous that the spy is fourteen.
Carson Wolbert
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sharks. Nuclear Bombs. Alex Rider is in deep water.
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rukky by: Ree

Great job Alex. For making me feel your pain.
Decent thriller, though I wish it was written in first person. I feel like it would be a lot more engaging and exhilarating that way.
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz is one of the books in the series of Alex Rider. The story begins in England where Alex is given a mission, the story goes that Alex gets mixed up in a chinese triad operation(must read the book to find out who the triads are)and that he has to flee out of England if he does not want to get killed. Alex works at an english organization called MI6, but he is not a official agent for them because he dislikes them a lot. MI6 sends Alex to the CIA for his safety, bu ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
The main characters in this book are Alex Rider; a 14 year old English school boy who was drafted by MI6 (British special forces) after his uncle was killed in action. Alex is also accompanied by his housekeeper and more or less guardian, Jack Starbright. There is also an evil villain in this book and his name is General Alexi Sarov. This guy was big in the Soviet Union and when they went down he lost everything including his only son. This is what caused him to hold Alex captive for much of the ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
First review:
AMAZING!! Alex rider just keeps on getting better and better

Second review:
i quite liked this one but the beginning is too dragged. the whole wimbledon situation can be erased and still be ok.

alex is sassy as ever. love him so much.
Dominic Cruz
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The plot of the story was well developed, and the transitions from place to place was well done .
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Read with one of my students. It was OK, 2.5
Evangeline Parry
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Another action-packed, fast-paced and exciting instalment of the Alex Rider series. These novels are just SO much fun to read and extremely hard to put down. Reading this book makes CRAVE another season of the tv series though. I think they started filming a week ago and honestly, I can't wait for the new season's release, especially if it is an adaptation of this book.
Similarly to the other books, Alex is thrown into another mission, with twists and turns in every chapter that really keeps you
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Even 2 stars. Won't read any more of this series. Checked of my BBC Big Read list.

Again, we're with Alex Rider. I was slightly disappointed that the ending of the previous book didn't have any connection. It could have taken the series in a different way for one book.

This book finds Alex, I guess reluctantly, working with the CIA following events early on in the book. Alex stumbles into situations, survives by sheer luck, and gets all the information due to villainous monologues.

This story take
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Anthony Horowitz, OBE is ranked alongside Enid Blyton and Mark A. Cooper as "The most original and best spy-kids authors of the century." (New York Times). Anthony has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he is also the writer and creator of award winning detective series Foyle’s War, and more recent ...more

Other books in the series

Alex Rider (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Stormbreaker (Alex Rider, #1)
  • Point Blank (Alex Rider, #2)
  • Eagle Strike (Alex Rider, #4)
  • Scorpia (Alex Rider, #5)
  • Ark Angel (Alex Rider, #6)
  • Snakehead (Alex Rider, #7)
  • Crocodile Tears (Alex Rider, #8)
  • Scorpia Rising (Alex Rider, #9)
  • Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin (Alex Rider, #10)
  • Never Say Die (Alex Rider, #11)

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63 likes · 17 comments
“What happened?" he demanded. "I heard an explosion!"

"Yeah.That was me. I set the boat alight."


"I set fire to the boat."

"But we're on the boat!"

"I know.”
“Alex decided he’d had enough. He put down his knife. “All right,” he said. “You’ve made it pretty clear that you don’t want to work with me. Well, that’s fine. Because I don’t want to work with you either. And for what it’s worth, nobody would ever believe you were my mom because no mom would ever behave like you.”
“Alex…,” Carver began.
“Forget it! I’m going back to London. And if you’re Mr. Byrne asks why, you can tell him I didn’t like the jelly, so I went home to get some jam.”
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