Skeleton Key (Alex Rider - Book 3)

by Anthony Horowitz

Paperback, 2004



Local notes

PB Hor




Puffin (2004)


Reluctant teenage-spy Alex Rider, on a routine mission at the Wimbledon tennis championships, gets caught up in Chinese gangs, illegal nuclear weapons, and the suspect plans of his Russian host, General Sarov.


Original publication date


Physical description

7.5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member JohnS.B4
After Alex’s second mission for MI6 he is attempting to return to a normal life he is approached with an MI6 agent named John Crawley. Alex is offered tickets to a Wimbledon but is informed he must go undercover as a ball boy investigating a suspected break in. At Wimbledon he befriends a ball
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girl named Sabrina Pleasure. During his secret investigation a Chinese guard that he later discovers is part of the Chinese triad gang Big Circle. Weeks later another assassination plot is attempted on Alex’s life by the same gang. For Alex’s safety the CIA provide him with two agents that will pretend to be his parents. Glen Carver and Belinda Troy to Skeleton Key with Alex to investigate a suspect by the name of Sarov. Alex learns that his “parents” were sent with him to find a nuclear bomb. One of his gadgets disguised as a game boy he is using to sense any nuclear radiation within the large vicinity. They have a plan to infiltrate Sarov’s manor Casa de Oro by scuba diving into a cave underneath the island and climb up to infiltrate the manor. Carver and Troy will go while Alex stays on the boat near the mouth of the cave. When Carver and Troy do not return, Alex decides to go in himself. After a close encounter with a shark Alex reaches the mouth of the cave only to find Troy and Carver stabbed together by a mechanical spear trap. Naturally with no weapons or gadgets Alex decides to return to the boat only to discover that the boat driver had been killed and Sarov’s henchmen had captured him. Alex wakes up in Casa de Oro in a fine bedroom. He demands to Sarov why he is here and Sarov tells him he once had a sun that was killed by a sniper in Afghanistan and he wants to adopt Alex because Alex reminds him of the late Vladimir. After Alex’s failed escape from the mansion though Sarov spares his life. Alex is taken on a plane with Sarov where he is informed that they are going to Murmansk, a shipyard with several nuclear submarines where Sarov will drop the nuke . This will be blamed on Russia and everyone will turn to the president. Also he learns that Sarov had drugged the Russian president and asked him about the explosion that at the time had not yet happened and the drugged president who looked like a drunk and said he didn’t much care about the problem. The event of this edited released footage will force the president out of power, Russia will return to communism and Sarov will seize power. During a fuel stop Alex utilizes one of his gadgets, a stun grenade to escape the plane. Alex escapes the plane and while trying to contact the police is recaptured to the angry Sarov. When they arrive at Murmansk the nuclear bomb is attached to a magnetic crane and Alex is handcuffed to one of the submarine and would be killed instantly during the explosion. Using his final gadget, Alex sets himself free. Sarov’s associate, Conrad, notices instantly and comes down from the crate. Sent by MI6 the Russian army arrives and begins fighting off Sarov’s men. Alex narrowly avoids death but is able to kill Conrad. Sarov approaches Alex and tells him they can still escape and be father and son and Alex responds by telling him that he would rather die that be Sarov’s son. At this point Sarov decides to commit suicide. Soon he is returned to London though it is doubtful that a normal life will return easily.
I gave this book 4.5 for many reasons. The imagery was stunning blending well with the astounding word choice. I felt close to even some of the minor characters, like I knew them personally. The plot slowed down when necessary and heart racingly quick in others. My one complaint for this book is that I believe the book ended slightly abruptly. I recommend this book to anyone with a heart for action adventure and cover to cover reading though with this book, that is slightly mandatory.
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LibraryThing member JohnD4
There is a ruler who is doing something big to do.. something that nobody knows about but him and Alex has to stop him.

Action Packed!!
LibraryThing member JRlibrary
Alex once again is drawn into the service of MI6 to be loaned to the CIA. It appears that an arms dealer has sold something to a former Russian General on a Key off of Cuba and the CIA think it would be easier to get two agents on the Key pretending they are on vacation with their child. Hence Alex
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gets involved.
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LibraryThing member yarmando
Series still strong, with Alex posing as the son of CIA operatives to foil a nuclear threat.
LibraryThing member DF1A_ChristieR
Alex Rider finally has a reason to smile: he is a ball boy at Wimbledon, tennis's most prestigious tournament, and is able to witness all the action from just a few feet away. That's because the British teen is investigating a break-in at the Millennium Building, where the players' changing rooms
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and lounges are located. He eventually discovers that a Chinese gang whose members are involved in a number of criminal activities has infiltrated the tournament and is drugging players competing in the event. After Alex knocks out one of its members and places his body in a refrigerator, the Chinese gang is out for revenge and will do whatever it takes to terminate Alex's life.
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LibraryThing member Aimal
The characters here were more believable simply because by now the author appears to have realized that having strong characters besides the protagonist does not weaken the protagonist in any way..
LibraryThing member cranbrook
Fourteen-year-old British secret agent Alex Rider is back in another adventure. This time he's on an island near Cuba where he's up against a retired Russian general who plans to set off a nuclear device and, in the ensuing world chaos, take over the Russian government and restore the Soviet
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Empire. The general takes a shine to Alex once they meet, however, and he offers to adopt him as his son. Of course, this is the man's fatal mistake; Alex is there at the crucial moment to thwart the general's plans. This series lifts details from the James Bond formula and transfers them to a novel for young adults. Yet, the Bond formula is the most successful in entertainment history, and there's no doubting the appeal of this action-packed spy novel.
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LibraryThing member daves777
Alex Rider is a 14 year old spy who works for MI6. He is sent to make a cover for two CIA spies. One is a man, one is a woman. One man would be suspicous. Two people could be a team. But a group of man,woman, and child? That's got to be family. They were sent to spy on a man named Sarov. He's knoen
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for having a nuclear bomb capable of destroying a whole state. sarov finds out that they are spies, and he kills the man and woman. But Alex stayed alive. Sarov had other plans for him. He wanted to adopt him. He had skills like his former son did, who already died in war.
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LibraryThing member caro488
Horowitz, Anthony, Skeleton Key, island off Cuba Russian w nuclear weapon
LibraryThing member davidpwhelan
This is the second Alex Rider I've read and they have both been enjoyable spy thrillers involving a 14 year old boy. Teens and pre-teens will find these easy to get into and well-written. Horowitz doesn't pull punches - good guys and bad guys die in this one - but at the same time there are some
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clever, Bond-like tools and the boy spy is an intrepid character who you can really root for to succeed. I'm looking forward to reading more from this series.
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LibraryThing member KWentzell
Third book of the Alex Rider series. An action-packed, slightly emotional, adventure.
LibraryThing member John.Kaleb
In Skeleton Alex Rider, a teen spy, stops communist from Russia from activating a nuclear war head. The organization Alex works for is currently the CIA and MI6. In the story there is General Sarov that wants to adopt him but Alex refuses and the general ends up killing himself. The general wanted
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to adopt Alex because the general had a son who got killed in Afghanistan. The general saw traits from his son in Alex. I recommend this book for people who like action and fictional horror. This series is really great to read. I like all of the books in the series.
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LibraryThing member aaron.hairstone88
This story is about a 15 year old boy named Alex Rider. Alex's parents died when he was six, so is taken care of by his housmaid, Jack. Just when he was 14, his uncle died and Alex was asked by a secret orginization to take his uncle's place. Alex did not know that his uncle worked for the M-I6.
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Now Alex learns on becoming a secret agent. This is his third mission.
A Russion billionare is planning a sinister mission to make his country communist again. He is going to start a nuclear war. Alex is sent in to earn his trust and stop him, or communist will rule.
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LibraryThing member lyricaltwin
After being in MI6 and being sent on two missions, Alex Rider has another action-packed adventure. Just as filled with gasps, adrenaline, and new twists, Skeleton Key is a great addition to the Alex Rider novels. i can't wait to read the next one!
LibraryThing member 15anushreem
The book “Skeleton Key” is an action packed, spy fiction novel. The storyline of the book revolves around 14 year old, teenage Spy, Alex Rider, who works for the Military Intelligence. Now, Alex is on a mission to stop General Sarov, a desperate man who has lost his son during war and wishes to
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eliminate everyone living in a free world. I personally enjoyed this book as it was a real page turner and the series of events kept me interested throughout the novel. I would highly recommend this book to all teenagers between the age group of 13 to 20 especially those who are interested in learning about the life of a Spy.
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LibraryThing member carnick
very scary, packed with action
LibraryThing member bballdlt23
Skeleton key is probably the saddest of all the alex rider series. it is probably the most suspenseful of all them too. I gave this book 4 out of five stars because there are somethings that get left out that could have been helpful.
LibraryThing member austin123ring123
This is yet another book with alex rider. I liked this book a lot because it puts you on the edge of your seat. Alex is equiped with bubble gum that blows up and liquid that will burn through any kind of metal. He has to stop someone from getting to the skeleton key. he is almost killed multiple
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times, but he thinks and does.he eventually stops the man that is trying to get the key and completes his mission.he goes back to school and is ready for his next mission.
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LibraryThing member 7x.library
This Book is the 3rd book of the Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz. Alex Rider is a teen agent from MI6. MI6 has sent one female, one male and one teen agents to spy on a person called Sarov who is a desperate man who has lost his son during war and wishes to eliminate everyone living in a free
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world. MI6 believes that he has a nuclear explosion planed for his country. By Nicholas
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LibraryThing member AnnMaryVincent
This is the third thrilling series of the Alex Rider series where MI6 agent Alex Rider is" sent on vacation" to Cuba with two CIA agents and finds out that his mission is much harder that just chilling in the sun. Alex Rider finds himself wondering what it would be like to have a father and finds
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himself the son of a person who wants to destroy the world and eliminate everyone who has a free life. Alex Rider has to save the world from a nuclear explosion which can kill millions of people.I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys a serious page turner and books filled with action and espionage.
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LibraryThing member TomasJefferson
Skeleton Key is an excellent book and is #3 in the Alex Rider series. We start off wondering at the end of book two, did the real Alex Rider or the clone of him die? It is implied in this book but you have to read it to find out which Alex survived. Alex is then sent on another mission from Crawly
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when he is invited to the Wimbledon. He learns that he must go undercover as a ball boy but he also meets his love Sabina Pleasure. Alex finds a suspicious guard and when he tries to follow him the guard attempts to kill Alex. Alex barely survives and he learns that the man was part of the Chinese Triad. He then gets attacked a second time when he is on vacation and the M16 and CIA agree that it would be safer for him to go undercover with two of their agents Tom and Belinda and find information about General Sorav. The two CIA agents Tom and Belinda try to keep as much information as possible away from Alex. Even after Alex saves Tom's life Tom is still angry with Alex because the price to save Tom's life was setting fire to a boat and then exploding it with a lot of potential suspects on it. Alex is then captured by General Sorav and then I was blown away when Alex was brought to a sugar factory and almost crushed until General Sorav explains that he had son named Vladmir and died in the war and since Alex looks almost exactly like him, he would like to adopt him. Alex of course hates the General and tries to escape. He almost gets away with it until he gets caught by a sensor and he is mentally tortured. I won't tell you how it turns out but I will say that there are nuclear bombs, a whole lot of fighting, and someone dying to a crane. This book has a spectacular ending and I loved this book from beginning to end.
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LibraryThing member Silent_Eagle
It's really sad there are only five stars to give in Goodreads. The prologue where the plane skids off is really capturing. The mission at skeleton key was also great one. I will never forget "that was the last time Alex saw them alive" and the way the CIA agents were chewed to mincemeat in the
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hydraulic trap or the interesting facts about shark fish and their implementation into the story. However,I don't quite see how Alex was involved. I think Horowitz tried to make circumstances more challenging till they became impossible to surmount. Nevertheless, the story is the best of the Alex Rider series so far, and I hope the other books remain at this extraordinary level.
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LibraryThing member rata
In this title, someone is trying to sabotage the Wimbledon championships. MI6 sends its best agent, teenage spy Alex Rider, to discover who could be behind the plot. Armed with some gadgets, can he outwit a murderous Chinese gang, a great white shark and an insane Russian bent on changing the world
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with a nuclear bomb.
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LibraryThing member SeanB.B3
This book was about Alex Rider again. This time he was sent to the London tennis tournament and was appointed ball boy. By there he found out about the Chinese gang, the Red Circle. He killed one of them and stuck him in a freezer while he was at the tennis tournament. When that happened all of the
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other gang members were like a family and so when he killed one of them they all got mad at him and sent another one to go and kill him. By that time Alex Rider was surfing a huge wave at the beach with his girlfriend he met at the tennis tournament. The man got on a speed boat and got a gun but Alex jumped on the boat and pushed the guy off of the boat. The man died in the water but Alex got away. Then he started to work with the CIA in America and they had him go to Cuba to a place called Skeleton Key. Over there two agents got killed by a great white shark but Alex managed to escape and got captured by a man with a nuclear bomb trying to destroy his own country in Russia. Alex had sort of been adopted as the general's son but tried to escape and failed. Then he tried to escape again and was successful in stopping the nuclear bomb.

This book was about Alex Rider being captured by a man with a nuclear bomb. I liked the fact the man wanted Alex as a son. That was because he reminded him of his own son Dimitri, that had died in a war. Alex did not want to be adopted because the man was crazy. Also he didn't want to be there in the first place it is just that the CIA made him go. It was cool that Alex then killed a trained professional and turned of the nuclear bomb in less than 10 minutes. That was my essay for Mr. Poppe.
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LibraryThing member weisser4
Book two was better than the first. A better plot and character development. Alex has to battle himself to survive in the end. Strange goings on at a posh private school. Better humor and adventure in this sequel.


½ (679 ratings; 3.9)
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