Friday, December 18, 2009

Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz

Crocodile Tears (Alex Rider, #8)
I've been a fan of the Alex Rider books, ever since I picked up Stormbreaker several years ago. This action/adventures series is more than your typical shoot-'em-up. There's a real backstory that's revealed a little more in every installment. One of my favorite things about Alex is how even while in extremely dangerous situations he finds ways to not have to use a gun. It'd be so easy just to arm him and let him at the bad guys, but that's not what is done. Oh, and the tiny bits of humor that are thrown in from time to time just get me. Maybe it's a bit of an ode to Ian Fleming and James Bond, I don't know, but it's fun to read. It's been way too long having to wait for Crocodile Tears, but the wait was worth it.

In Crocodile Tears, Alex reflects on the last year of his life and the "jobs" he did for MI6, glad to have finally made a break from working for them. He's spending his Christmas holidays in Scotland with Sabina and her family. While there he attends a New Year's Eve party at the castle home of a wealthy and famous British ex-politician, Desmond McCain. Ultimately, this brief meeting of McCain is what leads Alex to do another job for MI6, this time involving genetically enhanced farming and world aid charities.

Sometimes in long running series I start to get tired of the characters, but that hasn't happened yet here. Alex is still as fresh and exciting and he was in Stormbreaker. Granted, he's grown out of his naiveness and become a bit more callous. (Though, not completely callous yet.) The plot was not quite as engaging as some of the prior ones, but I was still involved enough to want to know how it ended.

There are many things to like about the Alex Rider series, and Crocodile Tears is no exception. I especially love how this series even attracts reluctant readers and has them eager for the next book. While it's not the best of the series, Crocodile Tears will appease those Alex Rider fans and fans of action/adventure books. It's a solid B for me.

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