What goes up must come down, and when we last saw Alex Rider, he was as up as can be--in outer space. When he crash lands off the coast of Australia, the Australian Secret Service recruits him to infiltrate one of the ruthless gangs operating across South East Asia. Known as snakeheads, the... read more
The story picks up moments before Ark Angel ended. Alex Rider lands in the South Pacific after falling from outer space. He is picked up by the USS Kitty Hawk, a US Aircraft Carrier doubling as a "hospital at sea", where he recovers from his trip into space. He then travels to a military base... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The story picks up moments before Ark Angel ended. Alex Rider lands in the South Pacific after falling from outer space. He is picked up by the USS Kitty Hawk, a US Aircraft Carrier doubling as a "hospital at sea", where he recovers from his trip into space. He then travels to a military base owned by the Australian SAS and goes on a barbecue with a few of the soldiers, only to find himself on a war field by accident, which he manages to escape.
Meanwhile, the criminal organization Scorpia is hired to assassinate eight celebrities who are hosting a "Make Poverty History"-type conference on Reef Island, an island off the north-west coast of Australia, using a bomb (which they do not have possession of yet), at the same time as the G8 summit. The deaths must look accidental. Scorpia board member Winston Yu, the head of a powerful Asian snakehead gang, is charged with this mission. Two days later, Scorpia agents break into a Ministry of Defence weapons research centre and steal a prototype bomb codenamed "Royal Blue".
Ethan Brooke, head of ASIS (Australian Secret Intelligence Service) coerces Alex into helping him about by pairing him with agent Ash, who was his godfather and one his father's best friends, to investigate the snakehead ring.
Alex travels to Bangkok where Ash explains their plan; he and Alex will take on the identities of Afghan refugees who have paid the snakehead to smuggle them into Australia. In this way they can identify important members of the snakehead and find out how they smuggle the refugees. They are given disguises and sent to an area in Chinatown to await contact from the snakehead.
Alex is taken to an illegal Muay Thai boxing arena by a member of the snakehead and put up against the snakehead's toughest fighter, Sunthorn. Alex wins by spitting water on Sunthorn. The unexpected victory incites a riot, but Alex manages to escape when someone (later revealed to be a MI6 agent) cuts the lights and attacks.
The next day, while Ash goes to the snakehead to see where things stand, Alex tails a suspicious-looking man who has been observing him since he landed in Bangkok. The man turns the tables and captures him, but Alex finds that he is Ben Daniels, a MI6 agent who had trained with him before. Alex is then briefed about "Royal Blue" by Mrs Jones, and learns that Major Yu is a member of Scorpia. He agrees to try and locate Royal Blue for MI6, and is given several gadgets by Smithers to use, including a watch with a homing beacon for MI6 to find him, three exploding Thai coins (one baht, five baht, and ten baht) and a belt equipped with jungle survival gear.
The snakehead is still willing to take Ash and Alex to Australia. They go on to Jakarta, Indonesia, the next step of their journey. Despite a brush with Kopassus, the Indonesian special forces, in the snakehead's toy factory, Alex and Ash make it to a port, and discover a container ship, the Liberian Star. The two of them are separated and put into separate containers, which are loaded onto the ship. While the boat is at sea, Alex escapes by using one of his coins, and explores the ship. He eventually finds Royal Blue, and sees Major Yu scanning his fingerprints into a machine that will give him sole control over the bomb. Once Yu is gone, Alex scans his own fingerprints into Royal Blue then escapes the ship using another coin. After this Ash is caught and held hostage, forcing Alex to surrender.
Alex is then knocked on the head and falls into unconsciousness and is captured by Yu. When Alex wakes up he is invited to tea with Yu before Alex is sent to a hospital in the Australian rainforest where he is to be used as a donor for illegal organ transplants. Alex escapes using his final exploding coin. After kayaking down the river and being shot at Alex attempts to contact MI6. Alex discovers that there is no battery in his watch, and shorts a circuit from a battery in his trainers and is rescued by MI6. Along with Ben Daniels, Alex is sent as part of an SAS team to the oil rig where Royal Blue will be detonated.
On the oil rig, Alex and Ben confront Yu and his assistant; Ben shoots the assistant, who is revealed to be Ash; he had became a double agent for Scorpia following the botched mission to kill a drug dealer. Yu escapes and triggers the sinking of Royal Blue. Alex detonates it early and it harmlessly goes off. Yu is killed in the resulting shock wave due to his fragile bone structure, known as osteoporosis.
At the end of the novel, Jack Starbright, Alex's housekeeper, calls a mysterious person over for dinner. Alex is surprised to see the guest is Sabina Pleasure, his old friend who moved to San Francisco after the events of Eagle Strike.
“I like the teeth.”Daniels
“Oh --- do be careful with that!" Smithers exclaimed. "That's my Buddha hand grenade. Twist the head twice and throw it and anyone within ten yards can say their prayers.”Smithers
“When you're treating someone with two broken ribs and a bullet wound, you don't imagine they fell over playing golf.”Ash
“Well, don't worry if you miss the target," Ben said. "The sea's warm. Conditions are perfect. And with a bit of luck, there won't be too many sharks.”Ben
“In many ways this was the lowest point in Scorpia’s history, and there were many who thought that the organization would never recover. After all, the agen who had beaten them, destroyed the operation, and caused the death of Mrs. Rothman had been fourteen years old.”
“My dad was a spy. My uncle was a spy. And now it turns out I’ve got a godfather who’s a spy. You have to admit, it certainly runs in the family.”Alex to Jake
“Once again she was sucking a peppermint. Alex wondered if she had given up smoking at some time. Or was the habit also related to her job? When Mrs. Jones spoke, people had a tendency to die. It wouldn’t surprise him if she felt the need to sweeten her breath.”Alex
“"Who was that?" he asked.Alex took one last look at his godfather."It was nobody," he said.”Scooter and Alex
It wasn’t so much a karate strike, more an old-fashioned kick in the balls,Highlighted by 85 Kindle customers
“The thing is, Alex, you’re never really in control, whatever you may think. Just keep paddling and never fight the current because the current will always win.”Highlighted by 78 Kindle customers
Ba’ad az ar tariki, roshani ast. It’s an old Afghan proverb, and there may come a time when you need to remember it. ‘After every darkness there is light.’Highlighted by 45 Kindle customers
“I didn’t set fire to the arena!” Alex protested. “No. But you pulled it into the river.” “That put the fire out.”Highlighted by 32 Kindle customers
“Nice try, Cub,” the man said. “But much too slow.” And that was when Alex knew. “Fox!” he exclaimed.Highlighted by 27 Kindle customers
“My dad was a spy. My uncle was a spy. And now it turns out I’ve got a godfather who’s a spy. You have to admit, it certainly runs in the family.”Highlighted by 27 Kindle customers
Maybe one day someone will write a book about me…” “I’ve never much cared for horror stories,” Alex said.Highlighted by 26 Kindle customers
When Mrs. Jones spoke, people had a tendency to die. It wouldn’t surprise him if she felt the need to sweeten her breath.Highlighted by 21 Kindle customers
11 ARMED AND DANGEROUSHighlighted by 17 Kindle customers
2 “DEATH IS NOT THE END”Highlighted by 17 Kindle customers
1. Down to Earth
2. "Death is not the End"
3. Visa Problems
4. No Picnic
5. On the Rocks
6. City of Angels?
7. Father and Son
8. First Contact
9. Once Bitten...
10. Wat Ho
11. Armed and Dangerous
12. The Silent Streets
13. Unwin Toys
14. The Liberian Star
16. Made in Britain
17. Spare Parts
18. Dead of Night
19. White Water
20. Batteries Not Included
21. Attack Force
22. Dragon Nine
23. Dinner for Three
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