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Russian Roulette

Info from the publisher

Anthony Horowitz, Russian Roulette

Walker Books. ISBN: 9781406310504

An international contract killer has been given his orders. His next target is a fourteen-year-old spy... Alex Rider. The man's name is Yassen Gregorovich. He knows Alex well. The two of them share a secret from the past. As he considers his next mission, Yassen remembers the forces that turned him from an ordinary schoolboy into a hired assassin. What is it that makes someone choose to do evil? What would it take to make them kill? This thrilling adventure will be the deadliest yet...

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The book that I have chosen to review is "Russian Roulette" written by Anthony Horowitz. This is one of the novels inhis “Alex Rider” series.
The cover is dark,ominous, bloody and murderous. I think it is designed and coloured in this way to build your intrigue and to help set the plot. When you look at it you can seethe Russiansymbolof a Hammer and Sickle. The hammer and sickle represents the urban and rural working classes and has communist and possibly ominous connotations.
The book is from the spy novel genre and is based on YassenGregorovicha hired assassin and hit man. The book is interesting and develops into a story fairly independent from the series, which means that you can enjoy this book without reading the others.
At first, Yashais a nice boy, easy to like. He lives a sheltered and happy life with his parents and his grandmother. But like all legends, there is a twist, a turning point in his tale where he transforms from an innocent village boy to the world's most in-demand and deadly assassin.
The real story starts when his parents are killed in a factory accident. Yasha has no time to say goodbye or grieve. All he has time to do is flee from the poisoning, give his mother one last desperate hug and run far, far away from the flames that burn down his home and his heart. He arrives in Moscow: 14 years old, helpless, and frightened.
After a robbery gone terribly wrong he is taken as a prisoner, a slave without any value or possessions. He begins to plan his escape. His desperation for freedom leads him straight into the arms of a dangerous criminal organization. My favourite part of the book is when he escapes as by then the author has created sympathy for his plight and I felt sorry for him. He is forced to decide whether he wants to be the man who carves out his own fate or gives in to death. By the end of the book Yassen shows himself as a cold-hearted killer.
The story is quite tense and gripping, it is not a humorous story. I would not say that the story had a moral (message) as such, however it does attempt to get you to view the world from the point of view of the main villain in the Alex Rider series and in turn to help explain how he became what he is, an assassin.
Novels about assassins will normally give us a good idea of what's going on in the assassins head and how they use their minds, however“Russian Roulette” stands out because it shows us the heart of the assassin as opposed to just the mind.
The main characters in the book are Alex Rider and YassenGregorovich. Alex rider has blondehair, dark brown eyes and he is well built but slim. He has a birthmark on his left shoulder and he is tan. He is 5 foot 7 inches tall/140 pounds weight.He is intelligent, smooth and cool but comes across much as any teenager.
Yassen has blonde hair, close cropped, hard blue eyes, pale skin and has a scar on his neck from a bullet graze. He has the body of a dancer and can speak nine languages. He is clearly intelligent and determined and has a photographic memory but while he can deal with people very well he chooses not to socialise much to help protect his personal security.
The story begins in London and quickly moves to Russia. It mentions Yassen making his way to Moscow aged 14.
I would recommend this book for teenagers aged 13-16 but adults may like it too. It is probably aimed more at boys than girls but can be enjoyed by both.

 

Peadar, Coláiste Feirste  10 out of 10

 

I really enjoyed this book I thought it was brillant. I could not leave the book down, it was like I was glued to it. I would not usaully go for this type of book, but I was proved wrong. I thought I would not like this book because it was about murder but I was surprised how much I did enjoy it and I felt sorry for Yassen.

 

Emma, Sacred Heart College, Omagh  10 out of 10

 

Russian Roulette was the prequel to the enormously famous Alex Rider series; a series which I disliked. I don't know why, but I don't like Anthony Horowitz's writing style that much. The book was a typical action/spy book, but just in my opinion it lacked a lot of depth.

 

Kai, Royal Belfast Academical Inst  6 out of 10

 

I couldn't put the book down - I loveded love!!

 

Stephen, Holy Trinity College, Cookstown  9 out of 10

 

It was a little bit scary but it was still really good. I enjoyed it very much and I would recommend it for people who like action books. Read it because it is a book that is so good you don't want to stop reading. It will have you on the edge of your seat.

 

Éabha, Assumption Grammar School  8 out of 10

 

A good thriller/action book. I personally would recommend this to any age who likes Alex Rider.
This book focuses on Yassen and his saddening childhood instead of Alex himself.
I think that A. Horowitz has definitely outdone himself with this book.

 

Jenny, Carrickfergus Grammar School  10 out of 10

 

This book unlike the other Alex Rider Series focuses on Yassen, for the most of the book. We learn about Yassen's childhood growing up in a small rural village in Russia, well at least until it gets bombed and moved off the map. Yassen is the only survivor, he alone has to make it to Moscow and restart his life as an assassin. He doesn't intend to, but becomes an assassin. Yassen's view on what has happened to his life is petty in my opinion and the storyline can often repeat events which have just occurred.

 

Shane , Aquinas Grammar School  7 out of 10

 

Great book with an epic story.

 

Toby, Bangor Grammar School  10 out of 10

 

I am not really into Anthony Horowitzs' books because they are more for boys than girls but this was so exciting and thrilling I just couldn't put it down. It has an amazing plot points with a great twist to the plot. You will love it

 

Bláthnaid , Assumption Grammar School  9 out of 10

 

I thought this book was very enjoyable and the characters were very well described .The book was very interesting and I really enjoy action books.

 

Adam, Lisneal College  8 out of 10

 

This book was an action packed book but I didn't enjoy it not because the book wasn't good but simply because I'm not into action books. I would recommend this book to someone who would enjoy a thriller.

 

Jordan, Lisneal College  5 out of 10

 

This book is really inspiring and it is exciting when you read it. It is in my top 3 books i have read EVER I wouldn't be suprised if this won the award. Anthony Horowitz good work!

 

Daniel, Royal Belfast Academical Inst  10 out of 10

 

Very exciting though it wasn't what I expected.

 

Jannik, Other School  9 out of 10

 

I was a fan of the Alex Rider series and this is a fantastic prequel

 

Daniel, Sullivan Upper School  9 out of 10

 

really cool anybody could read it

 

Josiah, Portora Royal School  8 out of 10

 

I thought this was a great book, a real action thriller although I have to admit it wasn't really my style. I would recommend this book for 13-14 year olds.

 

Matthew,  7 out of 10

 

I really enjoyed this book. It's very exciting! I can't wait to read the Alex Rider series!

 

Kitty, Belfast Royal Academy  10 out of 10

 

This is a really exciting book, i really want to tell whoever i meet about it! I love the plot and the story line. I havent read the Alex Rider series but i really would like to read them!

 

Kitty, Belfast Royal Academy  10 out of 10

 

This book was utterly amazing. I enjoyed every bit of it.

 

Maia, Belfast Royal Academy  10 out of 10

 

This was a really good book with lots of action and is a really good read. I really enjoyed it.

 

Sunny, Royal Belfast Academical Inst  10 out of 10

 

I read the whole Alex Rider series and thoroughly enjoyed it, i didnt expect Russian Roulette to be better but i was wonderfully surprised.

 

Kathryn , Hunter House  10 out of 10

 

This was a really great book and an excellent read - a real page turner

 

mark , St Patrick's High School, Keady  10 out of 10

 

I really enjoyed this book, particularly because it kept me on the edge of my seat and also kept throwing me surprises with every page I turned! The best chapter for me was chapter 13. I also liked the fact that every chapter title was written in Russian and then defined in English. Overall the best book out of the 8 books yet. Brilliant!!

 

Katie, Holy Trinity College, Cookstown  9 out of 10

 

I think this is a great book to read. There are a few hard words but that's it.It has got lots of action going on and I highly recommend it to people who like action books and who love the Alex Rider series. My favourite part of the book was when Alex tried to be sick to scare the gaurds away so he could get to Moscow

 

Brett, Other School  10 out of 10

 

I think this book was excellent!It had an astonishing storyline which carried on from previous Anthony Horowits.The part I enjoyed was when Yassen Gregorivich which is one of the main characters kept his room immaculate with everything 3.5cm of the wall.I recommend this book for people that like action.Overall a fantastic book!

 

Ben, Other School  10 out of 10

 

It was ok to start off with but then it became a bit too bloody for me. There were a few things I didn't understand. It also gave me nightmares, I would not recommend it for younger readers or those with a sensitive nature. I haven't read the Alex Rider series but if they're as bloody as this I won't be reading them.

 

Beth, Assumption Grammar School  5 out of 10

 

This book was an action thriller. Its about a boy called Yasan who is a hired assassin. It is the best book that I have ever read before and my favorite author writes it. I would recommend this to a person who likes action thrillers.

 

Ewan, Royal Belfast Academical Inst  10 out of 10

 

A very good and exciting novel produced by Anthony Horowitz. It makes you want to read more

 

Ralf, Royal Belfast Academical Inst  9 out of 10

 

I had already read all the books in the Alex Rider series and this was one the best

 

Samuel, Portora Royal School  9 out of 10

 

Absolutely brilliant a must read for everybody I couldn't put this book down it was a great follow up from all the other books

 

Laura , Hunter House  10 out of 10

 

I had already read the entire Alex Rider series and this was a great add in for the series.

 

Connor, Royal Belfast Academical Inst  8 out of 10

 

This book is constantly keeping you on edge and I couldn't wait to turn the next page. I found that as I read it just kept on getting more exciting and gripping.
it begins in a small town in Russia- perfectly ordinary-but when there is an explosion at the factory, and lethal gas is realized Yasha begins to wonder what really went on.

 

Simon, Down High School  9 out of 10

 

I dont usually read books by Anthony Horowitz but I really enjoyed this one it is one of the very best books I have EVER read!

 

Matthew, Other School  10 out of 10

 

I loved this book and I thought that it was exatly what I needed me being a avid fan of the "Alex Rider sieres". It was very well writen and it was very fast paced.

 

Ewan, Strabane Academy  9 out of 10

 

A good story and it shows who Yassen was before he joined Scorpia

 

Derren, Royal Belfast Academical Inst  9 out of 10

 

This is a really exciting and interesting book. It explains the characters and also what old Russia used to be like. I like how it gives the name of places and titles in Russian. I would recommend this book to pupils who want to read an action packed book. You don't need to read the other Alex Riders books to understand this one.

 

Joshua, Lisneal College  10 out of 10

 

This book is an absolute thriller, you don't have to read Alex rider to understand this one. It's amazing

 

Ciaran , Sullivan Upper School  9 out of 10

 

I thought this was an excellent book, the characters are very well described and the plot is quite easy to follow. It is great for readers who are looking for an action packed book and once you start reading you will not want to put it down.

 

Jack, Lisneal College  10 out of 10

 

I thought this book was a really good read. It's a very exciting book for readers of a similar age to me. My favourite character is Yessen Gregovich because he is full of courage. It would encourage me to read another of the series.

 

Matthew,  10 out of 10

 

One of the best books I have ever read

 

Paddy, Bangor Grammar School  10 out of 10

 

I thought this book was interesting. I wouldn't normally read a book like this but it was really exciting.

 

John, Holy Trinity College, Cookstown  8 out of 10

 

this is a brilliant book. I could never stop reading it.

 

Kyle, Portora Royal School  10 out of 10

 

This is a very good book. I never got bored of reading it as it was so exciting.

 

Robbie , Portora Royal School  10 out of 10

 

I thought this was an excellent book and very exciting to read i think that this book is the best book that i've read all year because of all of the action and tense moments ect...

 

charlie, Culleybackey College  9 out of 10

 

The best book I've read this year. Full of suspense and action slow start then it suddenly springs to life. Great book.

 

Jonathon, Royal Belfast Academical Inst  10 out of 10

 

It was good.

 

Jack, Wellington College  9 out of 10

 

I really loved this book. I was constantly reading it because it was so good. I thought that this book was really interesting because it showed the assassin's past and how he made that choice to kill which linked him with Alex Rider. I would definitely recommend it!!

 

Emma, Strathearn School  10 out of 10

 

This was a great read, it was so good that I couldn't put it down all weekend, it encludes my favorite Alex Rider character and important decisions about what makes you kill.

 

Abby, Hunter House  10 out of 10

 

best book of the series it gave the other books a new perspective.

 

Peter, Portora Royal School  10 out of 10

 

IN MY OPINION IT WAS A GOOD BOOK. IT JUST WASN'T THE KIND OF BOOK I LIKE. IT WAS GOOD UP TO THE POINT THAT I GOT TO BUT I DON'T BELIEVE IT WAS AS GOOD AS THE ORIGINAL ALEX RIDER SERIES.

 

Callum, Wellington College  6 out of 10

 

it was a really good book and i enjoyed finding out about yassan gregoravichs past

 

ethan, Royal Belfast Academical Inst  7 out of 10

 

Deadly. Best anthony horowitz book yet. Full of suspense. Darker than his other books.

 

Dubhaltach, Coláiste Feirste  10 out of 10

 

A really good book. The storyline is great and makes you want to read on. It deserves more than 10!!

 

Thom, Portora Royal School  10 out of 10

 

Fantastic book. I really enjoyed reading it and it is written in such a way that you just want to read on. It doesn't deserve a 10, it deserves a 100

 

Szymon, Portora Royal School  10 out of 10

 

I spent ages waiting for this book, as I loved the Alex Rider series. One of the best things about this book is that it can be read separate from the AR series, without any confusion. This would have to be my second favorite Horowitz book.
My mind was blown.

 

Ciaran, Sullivan Upper School  10 out of 10

 

Absolutely amazing. Lots of action and thrills. I now know all about Yassen and his tales and I was soo confused before. Thanks Anthony! 11/10 :)

 

Liam, Wellington College  10 out of 10

 

This is an amazing book full of action and mystery I recommend this book for fans of Robert muchamore.Probably the best of all Anthony Horowitz books.

 

Curtis, Bangor Grammar School  10 out of 10

 

The best one of them all. It answered all my questions about Yassen. It can be read separately from the Alex Rider series. It's an action packed mystery which will appeal to readers who enjoy fast paced books.

 

Rebecca D, Wellington College  10 out of 10

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