Scorpia (Alex Rider Series #5)

Scorpia (Alex Rider Series #5)

by Anthony Horowitz


$8.99 View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, October 25


Alex Rider will soon be a star in his very own TV series! 
Alex Rider is an orphan turned teen superspy who's saving the world one mission at a time—from #1 New York Times bestselling author! 

Alex Rider, teen spy, has always been told he is the spitting image of the father he never knew. But when Alex learns that his father may have been an assassin for the most lethal and powerful terrorist organization in the world, Scorpia, his world shatters. Now Scorpia wants Alex on their side, and Alex no longer has the strength to fight them. That is, until he learns of Scorpia’s latest plot: an operation known only as “Invisible Sword” that will result in the death of thousands of people. Can Alex prevent the slaughter, or will Scorpia prove once and for all that the terror will not be stopped?

From the author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142405789
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 02/16/2006
Series: Alex Rider Series , #5
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 49,837
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 15 Years

About the Author

Anthony Horowitz ( is a world-renowned screenwriter for film and television, having received multiple awards. And he is, of course, the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Alex Rider novels, which have become bestsellers the world over, spawned a major motion picture, and a line of graphic novels. A master of the spy thriller, Anthony is the only writer authorized by both the Arthur Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming Estates to write original Sherlock Holmes and James Bond novels, respectively. Anthony lives with his wife in London, England; they are parents to two grown boys. Follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyHorowitz.

Read an Excerpt

Point Blank

By Anthony Horowitz


ISBN: 0-142-40164-1

Chapter One


The entrance to the building site was crowded with construction workers preparing to go home. Alex was reminded of Brookland an hour earlier. Nothing really changed when you got older-except that maybe you weren't given homework. The men and women drifting out of the site were tired, in a hurry to be away. That was probably why none of them tried to stop Alex as he slipped in among them, walking purposefully as if he knew where he was going, as if he had every right to be there.

But the shift wasn't completely finished yet. Other workers were still carrying tools, stowing away machinery, packing up for the night. They all wore protective headgear, and seeing a pile of plastic helmets, Alex snatched one up and put it on. The great sweep of the block of apartments that was being built loomed up ahead of him. To pass through it, he was forced into a narrow corridor between two scaffolding towers. Suddenly a heavy-set man in white overalls stepped in front of him, blocking his way.

"Where are you going?" he demanded.

"My dad ..." Alex gestured vaguely in the direction of another worker and kept walking. The trick worked. The man didn't challenge him again. He headed toward the crane. It stood in the open, the high priest of construction. Alex hadn't realized how very tall it was until he had reached it. The supporting tower was bolted into a massive block of concrete. It was very narrow-once he squeezed through the iron girders, he could reach out and touch all four sides. A ladder ran straight up the center. Without stopping to think, Alex began to climb.

It's only a ladder, he told himself. You've climbed ladders before. You've got nothing to worry about. But this was a ladder with three hundred rungs. If Alex let go or slipped, there would be nothing to stop him from falling to his death. There were rest platforms at intervals, but Alex didn't dare stop to catch his breath. Somebody might look up and see him. And there was always a chance that the barge, loose from its moorings, might begin to drift. Alex knew he had to hurry. After two hundred and fifty rungs, the tower narrowed. Alex could see the crane's control cabin directly above him. He looked back down. The men on the building site were suddenly very small and far away. He climbed the last ladder. There was a trapdoor over his head, leading into the cabin. But the trapdoor was locked.

Fortunately, Alex was ready for this. When MI6 had sent him on his first mission, they had given him a number of gadgets-he couldn't exactly call them weapons-to help him out of a tight spot. One of these was a tube marked zit- clean, for healthier skin. But the cream inside the tube did much more than clean up pimples. Although Alex had used most of it, he had managed to hold on to the last remnants and often carried the tube with him as a sort of souvenir. He had it in his pocket now. Holding on to the ladder with one hand, he took the tube out with the other. There was very little of the cream left, but Alex knew that a little was all he needed. He opened the tube, squeezed some of the cream onto the lock, and waited. There was a moment's pause, then a hiss and a wisp of smoke. The cream was eating into the metal. The lock sprang open. Alex pushed back the trapdoor and climbed the last few rungs. He was in.

He had to close the trapdoor again to create enough floor space to stand on. He found himself in a square, metal box, about the same size as a sit-in arcade game. There was a pilot's chair with two joysticks-one on each arm-and instead of a screen, a floor-to-ceiling window with a spectacular view of the building site, the river, and the whole of West London. A small computer monitor had been built into one corner, and at knee level, there was a radio transmitter. The joysticks beside the arms were surprisingly uncomplicated. Each had just six buttons-two green, two black, and two red. There were even helpful diagrams to show what they did. The right hand lifted the hook up and down. The left hand moved it along the jib, closer or farther from the cabin. The left hand also controlled the whole top of the crane, rotating it three hundred and sixty degrees. It couldn't have been much simpler. Even the start button was clearly labeled. A big switch for a big toy.

He turned the switch and felt power surge into the control cabin. The computer lit up with a graphic of a barking dog as the warm-up program spun into life. Alex eased himself into the operator's chair. There were still twenty or thirty men on the site. Looking down between his knees, he saw them moving silently far below. Nobody had noticed that anything was wrong. But still he knew he had to move fast. He pressed the green button on the right-hand control-green for go-then touched his fingers against the joystick and pushed. Nothing happened! Alex frowned. Maybe it was going to be more complicated than he'd thought. What had he missed? He rested his hands on the joysticks, looking left and right for another control. His right hand moved slightly and suddenly the hook soared up from the ground. It was working!

Unknown to Alex, heat sensors concealed inside the handles of the joysticks had read his body temperature and activated the crane. All modern cranes have the same security system built into them, in case the operator has a heart attack and dies. There can be no accidents. Body heat is needed to make the crane work.

And luckily for him, this crane was a Liebherr 154 EC-H, one of the most modern in the world. The Liebherr is incredibly easy to use, and also remarkably accurate. Even sitting so high above the ground, the operator can pick up a tea bag and drop it into a small china pot. Now Alex pushed sideways with his left hand and gasped as the crane swung around. In front of him he could see the jib stretching out, swinging high over the rooftops of London. The more he pushed, the faster the crane went. The movement couldn't have been smoother. The Liebherr 154 has a fluid coupling between the electric motor and the gears so that it never jolts or shudders. It glides. Alex found a white button under his thumb and pressed it. The movement stopped at once. He was ready. He would need some beginner's luck, but he was sure he could do it, provided nobody looked up and saw the crane moving. He pushed with his left hand again and this time waited as the jib of the crane swung all the way around past Putney Bridge and over the River Thames. When the jib was pointing directly at the barge, he stopped. Now he maneuvered the cradle with the hook, using his other hand. First he slid it right to the end of the jib. Then he lowered it, quickly to begin with, more slowly as it drew closer to ground level. The hook was solid metal. If he hit the barge, Skoda might hear it, and he would have given himself away. Carefully, now, one inch at a time. Alex licked his lips and, using all his concentration, took careful aim. The hook crashed onto the deck. Alex cursed. Surely Skoda would have heard it and would even now be grappling with the door. Then he remembered the boom box. With luck, the music would have drowned out the noise. He lifted the hook, at the same time dragging it across the deck toward him. He had seen his target. There was a thick metal stanchion welded into the deck at the near end. If he could just loop the hook around the stanchion, he would have caught his fish. Then he could reel it in.

His first attempt missed the stanchion by more than a foot. Alex forced himself not to panic. He had to do this slowly or he would never do it at all. Working with his left and right hands, balancing one movement against the other, he dragged the hook over the deck and then back toward the stanchion. He would just have to hope that the boom box was still playing and that the sliding metal wasn't making too much noise. He missed the stanchion a second time. This wasn't going to work! No. He could do it. It was the same as the game at the amusement park ... just bigger. He gritted his teeth and maneuvered the hook a third time. This time he saw it happen. The hook caught hold of the stanchion. He had it!

He looked down. Nobody had noticed anything wrong. Now ... how do you lift? He pulled with his right hand. The hook tightened. The cable became taut. He actually felt the crane take the weight of the barge. The whole tower tilted forward alarmingly, and Alex almost slid out of his seat. For the first time he wondered whether his plan was actually possible. Could the crane lift the barge out of the water? What was the maximum load? There was a white placard at the end of the crane arm, printed with a measurement-3900KG. Alex made a quick calculation. That was about five tons. Surely the boat couldn't weigh that much. He glanced at the computer screen. One set of digits was changing so rapidly he was unable to read them. They were showing the weight that the crane was taking. What would happen if the boat was too heavy? Would the computer initiate an automatic cutoff? Or would the whole thing just fall over? Alex settled himself in the chair and pulled back, wondering what would happen next. Inside the boat, Skoda was opening a bottle of gin. He'd had a good day, selling more than a hundred and fifty dollars' worth of merchandise to the kids at his old school. And the best thing was, they'd all be back for more. Soon, he'd sell them the stuff only if they promised to introduce it to their friends. Then the friends would become customers too. It was the easiest market in the world. He'd gotten them hooked. They were his to do with as he liked. The fair-haired man working with him was named Beckett. The two had met in prison and decided to go into business together when they got out. The boat had been Beckett's idea. There was no real kitchen and no toilet, and it was freezing in winter ... but it worked. It even amused them to be so close to a police station. Sometimes they enjoyed watching the police cars or boats going past. Of course, the pigs would never think of looking for criminals right on their own doorstep. Suddenly Beckett swore. "What the ...?"

"What is it?" Skoda looked up.

"The cup ..." Skoda watched as a cup of coffee, which had been sitting on a shelf, began to move. It slid sideways, then fell off with a clatter, spilling cold coffee on the gray rag that they called a carpet. Skoda was confused. The cup seemed to have moved on its own. Nothing had touched it. He giggled. "How did you do that?" he asked.

"I didn't ..."

"Then ..." The fair-haired man was the first to realize what was happening-but even he couldn't guess the truth. "We're sinking!" he shouted.

He scrabbled for the door. Now Skoda felt it for himself. The floor was tilting. Test tubes and beakers slid into each other, then crashed to the floor, glass shattering. He swore and followed Beckett-uphill now. With every second that passed, the gradient grew steeper. But the strange thing was that the barge didn't seem to be sinking at all. On the contrary, the front of it seemed to be rising out of the water.

"What's going on?" Skoda yelled.

"The door's jammed!" Beckett had managed to open it an inch, but the wire on the other side was holding it firm. "Check the other door!" But the second door was now high above them. More bottles rolled off the table and smashed. In the kitchen, dirty plates and mugs slid into each other, pieces flying. With something between a sob and a snarl, Skoda tried to climb up the mountainside that the inside of the boat had become. But it was already too steep. The door was almost over his head. He lost his balance and fell backward, shouting as, one second later, the other man was thrown on top of him. The two of them rolled into the corner, tangled up in each other. Plates, cups, knives, forks, and dozens of pieces of scientific equipment crashed into them. The walls of the barge were grinding with the pressure. A window shattered. A table turned itself into a battering ram and hurled itself at them. Skoda felt a bone snap in his arm and screamed out loud.

The barge was completely vertical, standing in the water at ninety degrees. For a moment it rested where it was. Then it began to rise ...


Excerpted from Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Scorpia (Alex Rider Series #5) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 430 reviews.
SKLZ More than 1 year ago
If there is a better spy book out there, I haven't found it( and that would be a shocker because I've read a lot of them). Read the entire series if you like this book. If you are wondering if the $$$ is worth it for the book, it is.
Kim Zuber More than 1 year ago
This book was thrilling and kept me on the edge of my seat i recomend it greatly
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In Anthony Horowitxz's thriller, "Scorpia" Alex Rider, a teen spy, will stop at nothing to find his destiny. Scorpia is the name for a top secret criminal organization led by a woman named Julia Rothman. The latest project that the group has been working on is called, 'Invisible Sword." This is a plan that will break the alliance between The United States Of America and Great Briton. Alex knows that Scorpia, holds the secrets behind the mysterious death of his father, John Rider. As the plot unfolds, fourteen year old Alex Rider finds himself joining this criminal organization, in pursuit of revenge for the death of his dad. He is sent to an island off the coast of Italy, where he will receive elite training in the arts of sabotage, intelligence, and assassination. Alex's first mission with Scorpia, is to secretly kill Mrs. Jones who is in charge of another intelligence organization called "MI6" who is responsible for his fathers death. However, unexpected obstacles prevent Alex from carrying out the mission, and he is arrested by MI6. Alex soon realizes that, Scorpia has been lying to him all along, and in reality they had been the ones who had killed both of his parents. He also finds out that Scorpia's latest project, "Invisible Sword" is an evil plot that will kill thousands of twelve to thirteen year olds across England. they will achieve this by creating a new flue vaccination that contains tiny particles called nanoshells that are full of cyanide. Satellite dishes will activate the nanoshells and release the cyanide into the children's blood stream. Now that Alex knows the truth about his father, and what is about to happen to thousands of children, he is more motivated than ever to do something about it. When time is about ready to run out, Alex shows up with a device that will disable the satellites. However, Julia Rothman realizes what he is attempting to do, and breaks the device before he can stop this great atrocity from happening. Alex doesn't give up here though, he climbs to the top of a hot air balloon, killing all the guards in his way, and disables the satellite dishes himself. I thoroughly enjoyed this thrilling novel, because of how exciting and extravagant it was to read and I would recommend it to anyone. the intricate plot and elaborate characters would keep any reader entertained from cover to cover.
momofteenager More than 1 year ago
Anthony Horowitz continues the Alex Rider saga when he wrote another terrific book. My son loves the entire series and cannot put the book down once he starts reading! Great for someone who did not like to read before!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Conor Mckaig April 28, 2008 Scorpia Anthony Horowitz Scholastic Realistic Adventure How do you describe the average 14 year old boy? Handsome, smart, strong? Alex Rider is all these things, and a little more. Alex Rider, son of the deceased John Rider, is almost normal, sure he lives alone with only a housekeeper and he has no family left, but that¿s all part of the trade. Alex is a spy, he works for the British intelligence agency, or MI6. They, have used him four times already and he has saved the world four times. Whether it¿s a smallpox epidemic, a clone army, a nuclear holocaust, or an explosion that would blow the world in half, Alex is your man, or boy rather. Alex Rider is an only child, if fact he's the only Rider left alive. The handsome 14 year old boy is strong, smart, and a pure bred spy. He also has a knack for saving lives, he has an amazing ability to think on his feet and be very resourceful. He works for Alan Blunt the head of MI6. Mr. Blunt is just that, blunt, he never lets on about his past or his personal life and you get the feeling his only life is MI6. He doesn¿t do it alone though, his deputy head, Mrs. Jones, is just the opposite, she wears her emotions on her sleeve and is always worried that MI6 will get a bad reputation for being the only intelligence agency to have a minor die in the line on battle. On the other side of the law there is Julia Rothman, the last person you would think to see on the governments bad side. She is an attractive woman with more money than the queen, all illegally earned of course. She doesn¿t do the dirty work though, there is another, more vicious killer and his name is Nile. Unlike the river, Nile is ugly and terrible, he has a skin disease that is eating the pigment and turning this terrifying black man into a freak show of dalmatian proportions. These characters are what makes this book so excellent. This story is a roller coaster ride of dips and dives, twists and turns, all beautifully written by the ¿busiest writer in England¿ Anthony Horowitz. The previous Alex Rider adventures do not even compare with this one. As far as I am concerned, it¿s the best book ever written. Once you pick up Scorpia you will not be able to put it down until very last amazing page. But don¿t forget, without knowledge of the first four books you will be a bit behind. This is a must read for anyone who loves a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! This is my favorite book of the alex rider series. In this book is where alex life really changed and forever will hold in his memory. Incredible book. I looovvee it!!!!!
KVEGADHS More than 1 year ago
I am not a typical reader and I hate having to read boring and non intreging novels. Anthony Horrowitz book "Scorpia" helped to turn that around. With the Alex Rider series out there and having read them i think that the series will pull you in and have you on your knees begging for more. starting with "Stormbreaker" all the way through to "Scorpia Rising you will be falling off the edge of you seat pandering what will happen next. "Scorpia" holds a vivid amount of action and adveture. Anthony actually makes you feel as if you were alex rider about to drown, or get shot, or getting away and worring if they are coming out to get you. All you need to do to find out about what happens in this book is to get up off the couch and crab the book "Scorpia" and sit down and read it.
Arvin Xia More than 1 year ago
This book kept me holding it until the very end. My favorite book in the series!
dshgfhdfg More than 1 year ago
Scorpia is a fantastic fiction book by: Anthony Horowitz that is action packed. My opinion of Scorpia is that it is a sit on the edge of your seat book. It is full of action and cliffhangers and I absolutely loved it. Two of the main places the book takes in is Venice and in Europe. Alex Rider a 14 year old boy wants to find out about his father who died on Albert Bridge. He gets mixed up between the criminal organization called Scorpia and the secret intelligence called M16. He nearly dies three times. The major parts are when Alex is in Venice with his friend looking for Scorpia and is in a building called Ca'Cavoda. Another main part is when they are searching for satellite dishes that Scorpias invisible sword will kill thousands of children. At the end Alex is in a hot air balloon trying to figure out a way to disarm the satellites. The author Anthony Horowitz point of 1 view is first person because it is all focused on Alex Riders' thoughts. I recommend this book to people who like action packed and at the edge of their seat books. You will learn that even a 14 year old spy has the same problems as a teenage boy and that there not alone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alex Rider books are my ultimate favorite. You should read them all!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Verry good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok I will let you not have to type the second one ~ Jack
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite alex rider book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a great action packed book i have read a few times with an amazing ending
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hoped that piqued ur intrest great book but dont read comments lots of spoilers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exactly what the title says. It is a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best alex rider books!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never could put this book down my parents always tell me i read way too much and now i have a reason! Thank you Anthony Horowitz i really thank you for the amazing bookkk!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has made me so eager to turn the page and read the next page. I have not read the entire series yet but I can't wait to read the rest of the books because they're so action pack and it just grabs my atention
Joshua Jeffrey More than 1 year ago
This is one book that will probably blow your mind!!! It has been so fun reading this series and im really glad i get to enjoy it with all of you guys! Its the kind of series you never get tired from, once you pick it up you cant set it down untill the last page.
Aaron Greenwood More than 1 year ago
one of my favorite books ever and my favorite one in the series highly recommend it
Jordan Pfeil More than 1 year ago
i have read all of the Alex Rider books and almost all the Anthony Horowitz books and of all the Alex Rider books this one is my favorite book in the series. it is dramatic but at the same time it is still as action packed as ever. and if you have read the other books in the series befor it you will know that you are slowly starting to learn about Alexs parents well all i can say with out giving stuff away is that in this book you will learn alot more about his parents. and its not at all what you will expect. i love this book and i also just want to say thank you Anthony Horowitz for writing all of these awsome books and i hope you continu for a wile. and ever book that you have writen i have loved! thank you Anthony Horowitz.