SCORPIA is the fifth novel in the Scholastic boxed set of Alex Rider spy novels by Anthony Horowitz. (There are, I think, five more novels that came after this set was sold with possibly more to come.) Our fourteen-year-old hero is angry and confused. At the end of Eagle Strike, contract assassin Yassen Gregorovich told Alex that his father had been like Yassen — a contract killer — and if he wanted to know the truth he should go to Venice and seek out SCORPIA (Sabotage, CORruPtion, Intelligence, and Assassination). And then, he died. If Yassen had really known Alex’s father, there were so many things Alex would have liked to ask but now, the only way to learn the truth — and Alex desperately wanted to know the truth — was to go to Venice and try to find SCORPIA. Whatever or whoever that was!
The opportunity arises when his friend Tom invites him to go on vacation with him to Italy to visit Tom’s brother, Jerry, who had taken a year off from university to go to Naples to learn to speak Italian and “forgot to come home”. Alex convinces Tom to spend a few days in Venice without revealing his plan, which was probably next to impossible to accomplish, and most likely, extremely dangerous, since John Rider was either working with MI6 or was a contract killer like Yassen. Alex felt like people had been lying to him all his life, and it was now time to find out the truth.
Alex is totally on his own because he doesn’t trust MI6 anymore; he feels they’ve done nothing but lie to him. But he also doesn’t know that SCORPIA will accept him when he comes knocking. So he finds himself in one dangerous situation after another, from being locked in a Venice basement while the canal floods, studying to be an assassin on an isolated island, and assigned to kill MI6’s second in command, Mrs. Jones. He becomes caught in a tug-of-war between the two spy networks where either one might terminate him at any moment. When he realizes what SCORPIA’s Invisible Sword operation really is, Alex makes the most important decision of his life and puts his life on the line.
This is another action-packed spy mystery with lots of twists and turns and interesting places for backdrop. Alex inventiveness gets him out of some tight spots and some of the clever tech gadgets are amazing. This whole series is terrific. You can get them as regular novels, graphic novels, and there are some movies although I’ve never seen them. I’ve gone ahead and ordered the next novel in the series. My great nephew thinks I buy them for him. Ha! * * * * *