Advanced search

December Chapter book of the month: Anthony Horowitz' Russian Roulette

(26 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Dec-13 17:07:23

December chapter book of the month is the hotly anticipated prequel to the bestselling Alex Rider series, Russian Roulette. Charting the journey of a young assassin, Yassen Gregorovich who has been given orders. His next target is a 14-year-old spy - Alex Rider. 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?

If you know an Alex Rider fan or someone new to Anthony Horowitz, apply for one of fifty free copies and come back and let us know what they think.

AugustRose Mon 02-Dec-13 19:23:56

I think my daughter would like this one, we just did a survey on books and I'm pretty sure she picked this cover as the one she preferred.

DeWe Wed 04-Dec-13 13:49:06

We've got it. Dd1 (13yo) read Alex Rider when they were first out, so I got it for her.
I read it last night.

It's a very interesting book when you know the Alex Rider books. I don't think it would stand alone brilliantly.
Yassen becomes quite a sympathetic figure in this-in the AR books he's an assassin who killed Alex's uncle and was implicated in his parents' deaths.
This makes him come out as a real person, and you see the complicated system that pushed him towards what he becomes.
To me the most interesting point is when Alex's dad unwittingly pushes him back to becoming an assassin at the point that Yassen is wavering.

It is, in some ways, an older book than the Alex riders, certainly the first couple. Ds (age 6) loved Stormbreaker (no. 1) (dd1 read it to him) but I wouldn't want him reading this as the emotions (it's written in the first person which I think makes it more emotional) are beyond him at present.

Karen2King Thu 05-Dec-13 12:11:45

Wow, I have applied and I hope I get it my son, who is 11 and my partners son, who is 16 are both big fans!!

Would make a great stocking filler....although which one would I give it to?!

Fingers crossed smile

AliceMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 09-Dec-13 11:26:52

This giveaway is now closed. We will notify those who have been selected via email and they will receive a free copy of the book.

Yasmin1 Mon 16-Dec-13 18:53:03

My son read this book in 3 days and absolutely loved it. He has read all of Anthony Horowitz's books and is one of his favourite authors. Said it was a great storyline full of adventure and full of description of the previous life of Yassen and how he became to be who he is now. Kept my son captivated with the story. Great read and great book to give to young teenagers. Thanks

chris69 Mon 16-Dec-13 19:10:27

Won Russian Roulette as a giveaway and my 12 year Son hasn't put it down since it arrived a few days ago! He has been looking for a series of books to get into and this fits the the bill perfectly. This is number 10 in the series but he was able to pick up the plot quite easily and is looking forward to reading the other Alex Rider books.
Thanks Mumsnet smile

monkeymountain Mon 16-Dec-13 22:54:21

Might get this for the 9yo and 7yo.
Here's a list of all the Alex Rider books, so you can read them in the right order smile

mercibucket Tue 17-Dec-13 19:26:40

This had me gripped! Dd hasnt read it yet - will let you know what she thinks later

I hadn't read the other books but as a prequel I didn't feel I was missing any essential info

I really enjoyed the description of a childhood in russia and thought it was convincingly described.

I think dd is going to enjoy it

CrewElla Wed 18-Dec-13 15:36:55

Ours came on the weekend and I gave it right away to my nephew who devoured it in slightly more than 24 hours.

The verdict is that it was a good read, well in the spirit of the other books, helps develop the character further, and he would recommend that anyone starting the series should now begin with this book.

He asked me to thank MN for the book, he is well pleased.

I admit that I haven't read any of the series but I may just read this book as per his suggestion.

mercibucket Thu 19-Dec-13 22:10:31

going well so far
dd describes it as part adventure part detective part spy novel

AugustRose Mon 23-Dec-13 19:48:12

My DD 11 enjoyed this book and finished it in 2 days. It's not the type of book she would normally read and has never read an Alex Rider story before. If she saw one in the library she would probably think it was for boys and look for something she prefers like anything to do with horses! However she thought it was very exciting and the story was interesting, she liked the background to the assassin and how he became one. She did say she thought it was a bit gruesome with all the shootings but accepted that it was part of being an assassin.

I am glad she got this book and am hoping it will encourage her to read something different. The book itself is good quality and I liked the cover, we are very pleased to have received this book. Thank you.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Fri 27-Dec-13 19:49:00

Dd has read all the Alex Rider books & loves this one. She was thrilled to get this one. She had read it before from the library but says its one of those books you can read over & over again.

UniS Mon 30-Dec-13 20:36:46

Great book, lived up to the Alex Rider series expectations and delivered a fast paced story with lots of energy and action. I enjoyed its prequel nature, as I've not read all the Alex rider stories, just the first 2 or 3.
I'd recommend "Russian Roulette to children age 10+ and adults who like action stories. The same people I'd recommend Carl Hiassen books to.
My son will like this when he is a bit older, he likes the Jack Stalwart books and the ninja books of Chris Bradford, but as yet Alex rider books are a bit old for him.

My copy will be going into the year 6 library next week.

katb1973 Sun 05-Jan-14 14:56:22

Just got back from holiday and found this waiting.....thanks Mumsnet!! I've read the other Alex Riders and really honestly can say this came in as one if the best. Gripping, fast paced and hard to put down. As the prequel to the series this gave lots of background information to events that happen in the original books. I also particularly liked it because it was written from the perspective of the killer. Go out and buy it for 10-15 year olds and adults alike.

lorka Mon 06-Jan-14 11:57:57

I wrapped it up for my son for his Christmas. He is looking forward to reading it. I will post up when he has finished.
Thanks for sending it.

Fiendarina Mon 06-Jan-14 17:59:41

Thanks Mumsnet for the book.
Can't say I'm exactly the target readership for Russian Roulette, but I was gripped by the story and really enjoyed reading it. The idea of providing an insight into the mind of a contract killer - how they ended up becoming one, what training was necessary and so on - was fascinating, kind of Day of the Jackal for teenagers.
I haven't read any of the other Alex Rider books, but thought it stood up well as a story in its own right. My husband nicked it off me afterwards and could hardly put the book down!

Lambiechop Mon 06-Jan-14 19:00:54

I got this book for Christmas and finished it within 3 days. For all the avid Anthony Horowitz readers like me, it really gives you an I site into what motivates Yassen Gregorovitch into doing what he does best. I would highly recommend it to anyone but it is probably better for those who have read the Alex Rider series. I came away feeling deeply attached to Yassen and you really see his personality for the first time. Therefore I have found it was a fantastic read and would again recommend it.

helenajane Tue 07-Jan-14 14:13:43

Thank you for this book! Hmm .. i'm not sure on this one, i have read previous Alex Rider books but didn't enjoy this one as much. My son is ploughing his way through it at the moment, along with his college study & when i asked him what he thought, he said he wanted for finish it, so was obviously enjoying it ..

Karen2King Thu 09-Jan-14 11:04:30

Another big hit!! My 11 year old son loved this book, it was his favourite Christmas present, which was great for me as it was free smile, he has now passed it on to my partners son to read.

The books in the Alex Rider series have such a way of capturing the reader and holding the interest through the entire book, I cannot recommend this book enough to young enthusiastic readers! It will be in our suitcase this year for holiday reading too as my son loves to read all of the Alex Rider books over and over again.

Thank you so much for sending me a copy smile

violetwellies Thu 09-Jan-14 21:26:15

I havnt finished it, and although I can usually read a novel in a week, a day if it's good, this has me beaten, I just cant get into it, at all.
There's nothing actually wrong with it, but maybe Im just not the person it was intended for. Oh well. Ill have another go later and see.

Uzma01 Mon 13-Jan-14 10:34:56

I've been trying to finish the book for a while now - although it's incredibly well written and has an interesting perspective (from an assassin's point of view) - I can't get into it either. I'll be passing this along to my husband's cousin's son who loves Anthony Horowitz books.

Danso Mon 20-Jan-14 21:09:59

Thank you very much for sending me this book. I haven't read any of the Alex Rider books, but I enjoyed reading Russian Roulette and I think I will definitely try one of the Alex Rider books. The book gives a good insight into how Yassen became an assassin. The book is not difficult to read though I would think the book is written for older children and adults. I recommend this book to anyone who likes these kind of books and urge people who normally would read something else to give this book a try.

missorinoco Sun 26-Jan-14 13:23:58

Thanks for this book.

I hadn't read any of the series. This was a good prequel - you can feel the background setting it gives to the other books, but I can see they could stand up alone.

A an adult reader I felt it was definitely more a young adult book, for the areas it seemed to gloss over.

I did like to book though, and would look out for the others, especially for when the children are a few years older.

JibberJabberUK Wed 05-Feb-14 13:53:31

This is the first Alex Rider we have read and it did seem strange to be reading a prequel which was published after the initial series had ended. I guess it answered the questions which are brought up when you read the other books in sequence.

Although these books are obviously written for more the teenage boy market my eight year old daughter was hooked by it to the extent we had to send her to bed in the end as it was getting so late. It certainly made a change for her to read something other than Jacqueline Wilson books. It does seem a little sad though that in order to engage children to read a book it needs to be full of violence and killing.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: