Reviews for Alex Rider : Skeleton Key: the Graphic Novel

Booklist Reviews 2009 December #1
Is there a single innovative moment in this graphic adaptation of Anthony Horowitz's third novel of teen super-spy Alex Rider? Not really, no. From the "pre-credits" sequence to the Bondian gadgets, from the megalomaniacal villain with a penchant for explaining things to the nuclear bomb-defusing climax, even the most inexperienced spy-fiction reader is likely to see what's coming next. Does the adaptation contain any real substance or insight? Oh, come now. When the orphaned 14-year-old notes that he may lack a proper family but at least he gets to sun himself in five-star hotels, you can rest assured they've given up human drama in favor of bang-up action set-pieces. Does it have a place in your collection? Absolutely. It will be much enjoyed by those looking for a lightweight adventure with a high body count, a propulsive (though wordy) plot, and well-choreographed action rendered in capable illustration. Such readers might also be directed to Charlie Higson's more thoughtful and involving Young Bond series, which is due to be adapted into graphic-novel form in 2010. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.