Aaron Vincent's Reviews > Skeleton Key

Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz
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's review
Aug 29, 2010

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 Russian general but looked "twenty years younger", tall, well built and "radiates power and control". And in contrary to all the past villains who were shown to be motivated only by greed for power or vengeance, Horowitz gave Sarov an emotional depth. Yes, he has devious plans that will "end the world" but his longing will make it hard for you to completely hate him. At the end, his death(oh common, it's not a spoiler. We know that all Alex Rider's enemies gets killed at the end.) will not entirely give you satisfaction but you will also sympathize with his character.

By giving his villain a new dimension, we get to see more of Alex Rider. In this book, we don't only get to see Alex's master skills on being a spy but also it reminded us that he is still just a boy, longing for parents that he never had. This is a major development in Alex's character.

Plot-wise, Point Blank is better. The mystery of what the villain's scheme is harder to decipher in Point Blank. While in Skeleton Key, even if its not stated, we already can guess what is Sarov's plan. But if you will look at the development of the whole storyarc of the series, this book was better. Point Blank is still my favorite but Skeleton Key is this |--| close to it.

On the downside, Horowitz also introduced us a new character, Sabina Pleasure, who possibly will appear more in the future books. There's a huge possibility that Alex will fall in love with her. I don't know what got into Horowitz' head for doing this but come on, this is a spy book!! And in spy fiction, the only room for a female character is a sexual partner or a badass chick sidekick. You cannot have a romantic angle! And what's up with the name? Pleasure? Come on! His market are supposed to be boys, don't try widening it just for the sake of the increase of sales. If a girl doesn't have interest in spy books, she will never have any interest in it even if you introduce a romantic angle to it. If the succeeding books will continue to be sappy and romantic, I'm out! Too bad, I already got until book five.
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Reading Progress

August 29, 2010 – Started Reading
August 29, 2010 – Shelved
August 30, 2010 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Kwesi 章英狮 I really like the whole series I mean the first 2 books and I'm trying to find my copy of Skeleton Key. Wuuu where did I put it?

Aaron Vincent And you said you're not reading much YA books, Eh?

Yeps, I like the first two books. I read Alex Riders books as a breather whenever I finish reading a gloomy book(e.g., Mockingjay). It's pure fun. Heard that the last few books are bovine excrement though.

Kwesi 章英狮 I don't really read much of YA books and don't use bovine excrement, it really tickles my ear. Lol! Where did you bought your copy?

Aaron Vincent Ah, you shouldn't have said that. Now, I have to use bovine excrement more frequently. lmao

Bought mine from NBS Ermita. I bought the first five books(original price) then Chachic told me that the first three books are sold in NBS Cubao for 75php. Talking about bovine excrement luck. XP

Kwesi 章英狮 Ok shut up or else I'm going to use a special weapon to kill you, I don't like to hear that bovine bla bla bla. Hahaha!

I don't like to go to Ermita I heard a lot of bad praises of that place, I bought my copy from Booksale for 45 pesos each. :D

message 6: by K.D. (new)

K.D. Absolutely Once again, nice review!

Aaron Vincent KD!!! Bola! There are lots of typo errors that I just noticed now, when you brought my attention to this review. I actually written it just for the sake of writing a review. I reviewed all the Horowitz I read, its not good if I'll break the tradition. XP

I know when I write a good one and when I write a crap one. Once again, bola! hahaha

message 8: by K.D. (last edited Sep 01, 2010 07:16AM) (new)

K.D. Absolutely Aaron Vincent wrote: "KD!!! Bola! There are lots of typo errors that I just noticed now, when you brought my attention to this review. I actually written it just for the sake of writing a review. I reviewed all the Horo..."

Ay naku, di naman ako tumitingin sa typo. I have been communicating with people in Asia with worse typo and grammar. As long as I can understand the message, it's okay. Lines like this Horowitz gave Sarov an emotional depth? You will not see that in any of my reviews. I just don't know what exactly is "emotional depth" so I do not use it. That's why your review is nice.
It is like when I conduct a training. If there is a question that I cannot answer, I acknowledge the person who asked it by saying "Nice question... I will find the answer for you" Ha ha

Aaron Vincent Maybe you're just reading books that really has 'emotional depth' so its hard for you to recognize what 'emotional depth' is. But for a reader who tends to read books that won't require you to think and feel, it's a very distinct factor.

message 10: by K.D. (new)

K.D. Absolutely Fair enough. Thanks Aaron!

Catherine Mae Rafols Yeah! This is my 7th book of Anthony Horowitz too. The first 4 was The Power of Five and after that the 1st to the 3rd book which is Skeleton Key. It's awesome!

message 12: by Luke (last edited Nov 30, 2014 06:02PM) (new)

Luke Littleton-strand The book adds more emotion to Alex. He has feelings of love and friendship because of Sabine. He also begins to show a hurt and painful side of him because of General Sarov. The general was also Alex's foil, because they both wanted to change the world for the better but the way they did it was drastically different. I didn't notice the deformities in the main villain until you mentioned it, but I will point out that Anthony does keep with the theme through Conrad. Conrad was not the main antagonist, but he played a key role in the book as a secondary antagonist.

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