[[quoteright:316:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alexriderlogo_6278.PNG]]

-> ''[[{{Tagline}} "Alex Rider you're never too young to die..."]]''

Before Charlie Higson sat down to write the YoungBond books, this was the answer to the question "What was James Bond like as a kid?"

The series, written by Creator/AnthonyHorowitz, follows the adventures of Alex Rider, a fourteen year old boy who lives in Chelsea, who is coerced into working for MI6 after his uncle's death. His uncle, Ian Rider, told him that he worked for a bank but was actually a spy. Alex is looked after by a housekeeper, Jack Starbright, who is American. When Ian dies, MI6 gives Alex a [[AnOfferYouCantRefuse "proposal"]]; either he works for them or Jack is sent straight back to America and Alex goes into care.

There have been nine books in the main series:

#''Stormbreaker'' (2000)
#''Point Blanc''[[note]]Published as ''Point Blank'' in the US[[/note]] (2001)
#''Skeleton Key'' (2002)
#''Eagle Strike'' (2003)
#''Scorpia'' (2004)
#''Ark Angel'' (2005)
#''Snakehead'' (2007)
#''Crocodile Tears'' (2009)
#''Scorpia Rising'' (2011)

Although ''Scorpia Rising'' is meant to be the last book in the series, a {{Prequel}} focusing on the character of Yassen Gregorovich, ''Russian Roulette'', was published in 2013. There are also two supplementary materials, ''Alex Rider: The Gadgets'' (featuring blueprints of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the gadgets Alex uses]]), and ''Alex Rider: Mission Files'', featuring assorted correspondence, diagrams, blueprints and miscellenea from the first seven books. ''Stormbreaker'' was adapted as a movie in 2006, and the first four books have been adapted as graphic novels that form a different canon to the books.

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!!Provides Examples Of:

* TheAce: Alex's father, John Rider falls into this territory, although he's also a PosthumousCharacter. Every description of him and his work [[spoiler:as a soldier/spy/assassin]] is full of practically nothing but praise, and even [[spoiler:Alan Blunt]] is described as having a soft spot for him.
* AffablyEvil: [[spoiler: Damian Cray]] and General Alexei Sarov.
** Yu is also pretty affable. When Alex suggests how he killed his boss he says "actually he drowned but good catch".
* AmbiguousCloneEnding: [[spoiler: The end of ''Point Blanc''. The BigBad had been creating clones of himself and then using plastic surgery to make them look like the sons of famous, wealthy and influential businessmen, with the intention of impersonating them. As Alex was posing as the son of one of these businessmen, a clone is made to look like him. Said clone shows up at the climax of the book to [[KillAndReplace murder Alex and take his place]]. After a struggle that results in a fire, only one Alex escapes from the fire. It's left deliberately ambiguous as to which Alex survived...]]
** [[spoiler: Until ''Scorpia Rising'', which features the return of the Alex clone, who apparently survived the fire.]]
* AndIMustScream: Major Yu's plan to dispose of Alex: [[spoiler: Slowly have his organs removed and sold on the black market, starting with his [[EyeScream corneas]] and eventually reducing him to a husk on life support.]]
* AntiHero:
** Alex Rider: Type I -> Type II/III
** MI6: Type III/IV
* AntiVillain: Yassen has elements of this.
** General Alexei Sarov is also a good example.
* {{Blackmail}}: Blunt blackmailed Alex into being a spy.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Although Alex has strong morals, MI6 (the people Alex serves) are cold and calculated, and black-mailed Alex into their service instead of actually letting him decide whether he wanted to serve or not. It's made even more appropriate by the fact that Alan Blunt, head of MI6 until the last book, is portrayed as being almost emotionless and entirely colorless; gray suit, gray hair, gray lips, gray eyes, gray life...
* BlofeldPloy: In "Eagle Strike", Damian Cray orders Yassen to kill Alex and Sabina. Yassen refuses, saying he "does not kill children". Flustered, Damian snatches his gun, and instead of shooting Alex and Sabina, turns the gun on Yassen.
* BigBad: in order, Herod Sayle, [[CloningBlues Dr. Grief]], [[GloriousMotherRussia General]] Alexei [[MonsterSobStory Sarov]], [[WellIntentionedExtremist Damian]] [[AxCrazy Cray]], [[ProfessionalKiller Mrs.]] [[MurderInc Rothman]], [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Nikolei Drevin]], [[EvilCripple Major Winston Yu]], [[ScaryBlackMan Desmond McCain]], [[TheSociopath Razim]].
** The BigBad of the prequel is [[spoiler:Vladimir Sharkovsky.]]
* BiggerBad: Zeljan Kurst, leader of Scorpia.
* BigDamnHero: Happens all the freaking time.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Damian Cray.
* BittersweetEnding: By the end of the series, [[spoiler: Mrs Jones has taken over as head of MI6 and they will never contact Alex again, and Scorpia has disbanded, but Jack is dead and how much the events of the last 16 months have affected Alex is made horribly clear.]] Had it not been for [[spoiler: Sabina's parents "adopting" Alex, who flies off to America to go live with them]] this would've turned into a DownerEnding.
* BondOneLiner: Alex's development into DarkerAndEdgier is shown by some serious abuse of this trope.
* BondVillainStupidity: Almost every book has Alex found out by the bad guys, but not killed or forced to make his way through a death trap that he also beats.
** Yu wastes precious time [[spoiler:allowing Ash to explain his betrayal]], giving Alex critical time to wait for reinforcements and thwart his plot.
** That and every single villain seems to be chomping at the bit to spill their plans to Alex in minute detail whenever they get the opportunity.
*** Alex lampshades this in ''Snakehead'' by saying in the narrative that the worst part about being a criminal is not being able to tell people about your crimes. And the villains usually bust out the BondVillainStupidity when they think that they're about to kill Alex.
** This is however averted in ''Scorpia Rising'', as Razim needs Alex alive and without any physical marks on him. He also refuses to tell Alex what he is planning- Alex only finds out from one of his subordinates.
** Subverted with ''Skeleton Key'', at least for the main villain, who actually wants Alex to be his ''son''.
* BookEnds: Both ''Stormbreaker'' and ''Russian Roulette'' end with Herod Sayle's assassination by Yassen Gregorovich, but from the perspectives of Alex and Yassen, respectively.
* BrokenPedestal: In ''Russian Roulette'', [[spoiler:John Rider]] becomes this for [[spoiler:Yassen Gregorovich]] after [[spoiler:Yassen finds an [=MI6=] gadget in John's luggage, revealing that John was a British spy who had intentionally tried to get Yassen to quit being an assassin]].
* BulletHolesAndRevelations: The end of ''Stormbreaker'': Sayle has a gun pointed at Alex and two shots are fired, but they went from Yassen's gun into Sayle's chest.
** ''Skeleton Key'' sports this trope as well; the penultimate chapter ends with the statement that Sarov, face to face with Alex, "raised his gun and fired a single shot". A few pages into the next chapter, it's revealed that Sarov shot himself after Alex rejected him as a father figure.
* ButtMonkey: Poor Alex can hardly take a breath of fresh air without being whisked away to another life-threatening, trauma-inducing mission.
* CasualDangerDialog: Alex is quite nonchalant sometimes about the various deathtraps and problems he faces....
* ChandlersLaw
* ChekhovsGun: WordOfGod stated that Smithers has had a gadget that has appeared, unknown to the reader, in every book to up to the 8th book, ''Crocodile Tears''. This was finally revealed in ''Scorpia Rising, Book 9''. And that gadget is [[spoiler:Smithers' own fat. In fact he's very thin and fit but has actually been wearing a special suit that has made him look fat all along.]]
** There was another example of this in ''Snakehead'' where Alex [[spoiler: used the battery in the tracking device (which was placed in his shoe when the Australian secret service were testing him) as a battery for his watch/homing device, allowing [[TheCavalry MI6's copters]] to come in and rescue him.]]
** There's also one in ''Crocodile Tears''. At the end of the novel [[spoiler: Alex places the [[TimeBomb explosive black pen]] Smithers gave him into a barrel of fuel, kicked it over to [=McCain=], and then watched as the barrel exploded and killed him]].
** The Gun in ''Scorpia Rising'' is [[spoiler:the salt pile used for brick-making, into which Razim falls and is cooked from the inside out]].
** ''Russian Roulette'': [[spoiler:the Power Plus battery transmitter, revealing John Rider to Yassen as an [=MI6=] double agent]].
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler:Julius Grief, with a six-book gap between his unknown fate at the denouement of ''Point Blanc'' and his reappearance as TheDragon in ''Scorpia Rising''.]]
* ChurchOfSaintGenericus: In book 5, the Church of Forgotten Saints.
* [[spoiler:[[CloningBlues Cloning Blues]]]]: The plot of the second book, ''Point Blanc''.
** And guess who's back in ''Scorpia Rising''. [[spoiler: Technically, Julius Grief isn't a clone of Alex, but the fact that he was surgically altered to look just like him makes it sort of count - it's said the fact that he looks identical to the boy who killed his "father" and left him for dead has caused him extreme anguish.]]
* ColdBloodedTorture: Subverted several times. The bad guys seem to prefer bragging about what they're going to do to their victims instead of ''actually doing it'' (see BondVillainStupidity).
** Played straight in ''Scorpia Rising'' with [[TheSociopath Razim]], who wants to create a measurable unit of pain and slowly kills people with various horrific instruments, like knives, syringes and many more, to measure the pain that they feel. He tortures a French spy; the author manages to spare the readers the details though. ...Unless you ''[[BileFascination want]]'' to read about that stuff...
*** It's later mentioned that he does several more "experiments" with Julius. Again, the details are thankfully spared.
** And later on [[spoiler: [[TakeThat the CIA]]]] actually ''waterboard'' Alex, though he is later [[spoiler: apologized to by Joe Byrne]]. The same people use [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique torture]] for...[[BlackAndGreyMorality "good"]] later to obtain a password so they can [[spoiler: enter and storm Razim's fortress]].
* CollapsedMidSpeech: One victim goes out this way.
* ComicBookTime: The first book was released in the year 2000 with Alex aged 14. As of ''Crocodile Tears'', Alex is just 15 and all eight books have taken place within a year, despite the gadgets moving from Nintendo Game Boys to iPhones and ''Snakehead'' explicitly making reference to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (giving the ''exact date''). The same book still lists Alex as having been born in the 1980s.
** ''Crocodile Tears'' has references to the iPhone (January 2007), VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII (2009), and the Great Recession (started in 2007 but didn't really get going until fall '08).
** And in ''Scorpia Rising'' the BP Oil spill is mentioned, bringing it around to 2010. He also has an iPhone 3GS.
* ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike: Inverted in ''Crocodile Tears''. [[spoiler: Rahim]] saves Alex from near death on more than one occasion. After rescuing Alex for the third time, he starts complaining about how Alex was simply screwing up his own personal mission against [=McCain=], even though Alex himself was very grateful for the rescue.
* ContestWinnerCameo: ''Ark Angel'' and ''Scorpia Rising'' both featured gadgets designed by competition winners (the sleeping-gas-exhaling/exploding inhaler and the [[spoiler: Hat Nav, which never actually got used]]).
* CoolBigSis: Jack is actually Alex's housekeeper, but he appears to think of her more as one of these.
* CompromisingMemoirs: Discussed briefly after [[spoiler: Alan Blunt is forced to retire in ''Scorpia Rising''.]]
* ConspicuouslyPublicAssassination: [[spoiler: Scorpia's plot in ''Scorpia Rising''.]]
* CruelAndUnusualDeath:
** Nadia Vole is killed by [[spoiler: her boss's Portuguese Man-Of-War.]]
** A non-major villain example, Charlie Roper, an ex-CIA agent [[spoiler: is locked in a small glass room shaped like a bottle, [[RewardedAsATraitorDeserves and his ''blood money'' of two million dollars is dropped into the room in coins.]]]]
** [[spoiler: [[AffablyEvil Damian Cray]], who gets sucked into a jet engine.]]
** Dr. Grief wants to perform an unanesthesized vivisection on Alex. In layman's terms, he wants to ''[[{{Squick}} harvest organs]]'' from Alex ''while he's still awake''. You may now vomit and shudder. [[invoked]]
** And don't forget Invisible Sword...[[spoiler: dropping dead for no particular reason is definitely both [[CaptainObvious cruel]] ''[[CaptainObvious and]]'' [[CaptainObvious unusual]]]].
** How about Major Yu's plan to [[spoiler: [[AndIMustScream slowly kill Alex by harvesting his organs]]]]?
** [[spoiler: Major Yu, who gets turned into a boneless, fleshy mass by a bomb's shock-wave]].
** [[TheSociopath Razim]] gives ''lots'' of absolutely horrible and disgusting deaths to innocent people in his sadistic "experiments".
*** And of course he later receives probably the worst death of all, [[spoiler: falling into a salt pit and slowly being crushed to death.]]
* CulturalTranslation: The US editions persist in including Americanisms despite the fact that books 3 and 6 actually take place in America ([[spoiler:and the CIA appear in book 9]]). Among other things, the exploding keyring of Michael Owen in ''Skeleton Key'' becomes one of Tiger Woods.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: Scorpia's retirement present, such as for retiring founder Max Grendel, is a suitcase filled with poisonous, deadly scorpions. Zeljan Kurst also stages snipers for those who retire and then threaten to kill him.
* DarkerAndEdgier: As the series progresses, Alex becomes this.
** The series as a whole becomes this; initially at least, Alex is generally threatened and held captive by villains but they never actually follow on any of their nasty fates because he escapes first. By the time of the final book, he [[spoiler:actually gets ''waterboarded'', by the CIA no less.]]
* DeadlyDelivery: In ''Scorpia'', Alex does this to try to kill Mrs. Jones.
** Fails miserably in ''Scorpia Rising'' when Smithers uses an X-Ray scanner to prove that the delivery man was carrying a gun and the package was empty. He then gets rid of him with a trapdoor under a welcome mat.
* DeadpanSnarker: Alex makes it a point to casually make jokes and insults about the [[BigBad Big Bads]] just to make them angry. By ''Scorpia Rising'', however, he seems to have stopped.
* DeathByIrony: Nile from ''Scorpia'' has acrophobia. Take a wild guess how he dies.
** Out of all the ways for [[spoiler: Major Winston Yu]] to die, it was his [[spoiler: osteoporosis]] that got to him.
* DeathByLookingUp: [[spoiler: Julia Rothman.]]
* DeathByMaterialism: Literally played straight in ''Eagle Strike'' when Charlie Roper is trapped inside a bottle-shaped room and then killed when [[spoiler: Damian Cray]] fills the room with two million dollars worth of nickels (the two million dollars Roper was due to be paid for betraying his country). In other words, ''40,000,000 nickels.''
** ''[[{{Pun}} "Blood Money!"]]''
* {{Deconstruction}}: Despite not being Horowitz's original intention, the series gradually becomes a deconstruction of the entire idea of spying being a cool or desirable occupation.
** It also rips the KidHero trope apart, demonstrating how traumatic, psychologically scarring and generally awful the whole ordeal has been for Alex.
* DespairEventHorizon: In the final novel, Razim makes Alex cross this [[spoiler: by arranging for Jack, who's been caring for Alex since he was seven years old, to be blown up just as she thought she was escaping from his secure facility.]] Alex spends a good chunk in a HeroicBSOD before bouncing back to win the day, but the end of the novel shows that he's still traumatized by that (which is really understandable).
** [[spoiler: Not to mention having killed Julius Grief in cold blood.]]
* DeusExMachina: The series follows the third way to the letter just like the James Bond movies. A teenage spy is sent into a mission with a small collection of gadgets. Of course he uses them all to save his own neck just in time and stop the current madman from destroying the world.
** Another one happens when Alex is running from some gunmen and ultimately runs to the rooftop of a building with no way down and the gunmen on the stairs. But then Alex remembers seeing a giant orange cone/construction equipment (not mentioned before) and jumps off the building into it, allowing him to slide from safety away from his assailants.
* DisneyVillainDeath: See DeathByIrony. Didn't help that [[KillItWithFire he was on fire]] when he fell either.
** [[spoiler: Razim]] suffers from a variation. He survives the fall, but dies immediately afterwards due to [[spoiler: landing in an unstable pile of salt, which acts like quicksand and sucks him under ''and'' cooks him from the inside once it gets through his skin]].
* DisproportionateRetribution: In the first book, Herod Sayle planned to kill millions of innocent schoolchildren as revenge for the Prime Minister bullying him at school. Then we have Damian Cray in the fourth book, who arranged the death of a journalist who objected to the violence in his video games, and later told Alex he planned to kill him before he found out he was a spy, on the basis that Alex had done too well at what was supposed to be an extremely difficult game. And then in ''Scorpia Rising'' we have Razim, who, as a child, stabbed his nanny in the leg when she told him off for teasing his sister. Yeah, Creator/AnthonyHorowitz is fond of this trope.
* DoomedHometown: Yassen's home of Estrov, wiped out by a chemical weapon accident and its people killed by soldiers covering the incident up.
* DontExplainTheJoke: ''Point Blanc'' was retitled ''Point Blank'' in the US, presumably to make the PunnyName more obvious.
* DownerEnding: ''Scorpia'' [[spoiler:ends with Alex getting shot by a sniper with no indication that he survives. You only know he does because there are four more books.]]
** Similarly, ''Point Blanc'' [[spoiler:ends with Alex and his pseudo-clone Julius fighting on the rooftop of Alex's school. The last few paragraphs only refer to them abstractly, as "one Alex Rider" and "the other Alex Rider," and with one being pushed off the roof to their death. It isn't clear which was which until you notice that the other books, well, ''exist''. Julius survived anyway, as per ''Scorpia''.]]
** Toyed with in ''Skeleton Key''. [[spoiler:Sarov apparently shoots Alex - we're even treated to "Alex Rider is dead" in the epilogue. Nope. It appears to all have been SpySpeak.]]
* TheDragon
** ''Stormbreaker'': Gregorovich [[spoiler: (who turned on Sayle at the end)]] [[spoiler: or Mr Grin]]
** ''Point Blanc'': Mrs. Stellenbosch
** ''Skeleton Key'': Conrad
** ''Eagle Strike'': Yassen Gregorovich (again, [[spoiler:though Cray shoots him for refusing to kill Alex & Sabina.]])
** ''Scorpia'': Nile
** ''Ark Angel'': Kaspar[[spoiler: /Magnus Payne]]
** ''Snakehead'': Possibly either Captain de Wynter (although barring Yassen, [[spoiler:he's the first Alex doesn't kill, instead being killed by Major Yu when he fails to stop Alex escaping the Liberian Star]]) or [[spoiler: Ash]]
** ''Crocodile Tears'':[[spoiler: Myra Beckett, although again Alex isn't responsible for her death]],
** ''Scorpia Rising'': [[spoiler: Julius Grief]] and to a lesser extent Erik Gunter.
* EatenAlive: [[spoiler: Dr. Myra Beckett]].
* EvenEvilHasStandards:
** Yassen is a professional assassin, but even he refuses to kill children and anyone not strictly on his list of targets.
** One of Scorpia's senior members is disturbed by them developing a bioweapon [[spoiler:that specifically targets children]], and makes plans to retire from the organisation.
** Scorpia condemned Damian Cray as a madman.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Four {{Mooks}} from ''Ark Angel'' were always referred to as "Spectacles," "Steel Watch," "Combat Jacket," and "Silver Tooth."
* {{Expy}}: The series contains several expies (ranging from thinly-veiled to better concealed) of celebreties and politicians. It can be said that Damian Cray is basically an evil Elton John. Due to his penchant for vivisection and his admiration of [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler Hitler]], [[CloningBlues Dr.]] [[MadDoctor Grief]] may be an expy of [[ThoseWackyNazis Josef]] [[MadDoctor Mengele]].
* ExternalCombustion: Attempted by Cray's minions on Marc Antonio in ''Eagle Strike''. He noticed a wire and didn't start the car.
* EyepatchOfPower: Subverted in ''Eagle Strike'' with Marc Antonio. Not only is he a mere photographer, but he's killed in the first and ''only'' chapter he's in.
** Played straight with Levi Kroll, [[IJustShotMarvinInTheFace whose gun went off while he was sleeping]] [[EyeScream and shot him in the eye.]]
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath:
** The books, despite being a kid's series, have had some very graphic and almost cringe-worthy deaths. Some of these include being stung to death by a Portugese man-o-war, being blown up in a helicopter by a flying snowmobile, being impaled by a set of underwater spikes, having their back broken by a large magnet because of all the metal in their body and then drowning because of the weight, being crushed in a giant bottle with FREAKING QUARTERS, getting sucked into the engine of Air Force One with the remains being described as a "cloud of red gas", being sent back to Earth from space after being hit with a giant fireball, being crushed by a falling hot air balloon platform, having a hole blown in their chest by a medallion made of caesium while showering, having the top half of their plane fall on them before it explodes, and the most out there death of them all, when Kaspar is suspended in zero gravity, helpless as he floats backwards into a zero-g floating knife which impales him through the back of his head. Anthony Horowitz is one sick individual.
** The main villain of ''Snakehead'', meanwhile, is killed by having every bone in his body smashed to bits by the vibrations of a bomb going off underwater as he's riding a jetski. The result is described as still looking like a human for roughly half a second before collapsing into an unrecognizable heap of skin and gore.
** The first chapter for the next book, ''Crocodile Tears'', is now on the site. In that alone, a devastating nuclear disaster is set off. We hear what happens to those in the room the first explosion is triggered. Graphically. ''The first chapter''.
** Need we mention the BigBad of ''Scorpia Rising'' melting in a pile of salt?
* FeedTheMole: It's implied this was ASIS' true aim in using Alex with [[spoiler:Ash]] in ''Snakehead''.
* FemmeFatale: Mrs Rothman.
* FiveManBand: MI6
** MissionControl: Alan Blunt
*** TheLancer: Tulip Jones
*** TheSmartGuy: Smithers
*** TheHero: Alex Rider
* TheFilmOfTheBook: Was subjected to an unusual variant of ExecutiveMeddling, in that one of the executives Horowitz worked with turned out to be a crook, resulting in the film not being as widely screened as it should have been, [[StillbornFranchise ensuring there wasn't enough profit for a sequel.]]
* FingerInTheMail: Invoked. Alex swaps rooms with a friend he made in hospital to protect him from kidnappers (the friend's father is rich). The kidnappers then threaten to cut off Alex's fingers and mail them once they finally show up, forcing him to admit the truth.
* FunWithAcronyms: SCORPIA: Sabotage, [=CORruPtion=], Intelligence, Assassination. Yes, the P is a bit of a stretch.
* GainingTheWillToKill: Played with. While the BigBad of the book usually ends up dead, and mostly because of Alex, he rationalises them away as accidents (in that he didn't intend any of them to die or directly have a hand in their deaths). Alex's willingness to kill is treated by the series as a MoralEventHorizon that he has no intention of crossing - when [[spoiler: SCORPIA manipulates him into trying to kill Ms. Jones by showing her ordering his father's death]], Alex still has trouble shooting. Eventually, [[spoiler:he does shoot, but later is told that his shot would have missed despite being at point-blank range, meaning he really can't kill]]. In [[spoiler: the last two books, ''Crocodile Tears'', Alex begins to lose this innocence, doing things that would definitely kill the recipients - he cuts open a [[{{mook}} mook's]] protective suit while in a toxic biodome, and attaches an explosive to a barrel before rolling it over to the main villain. Finally, in ''Scorpia Rising'', the last book he shoots Julius Grief point-blank in the head while the former was at his mercy, but scrambling for a gun.]] Unusually, this is treated as a good thing, kind of. [[spoiler:Ms. Jones states later that due to Julius' personality and appearance, Alex also symbolically killed off the part of his mind that [=MI5=] created - in other words, the part that killed Julius in the first place.]]
* GildedCage: Sarov keeps Alex in a very nice place during his captivity. Sarov even comments on this.
* GlasgowGrin: Sayle's [[TheDragon Dragon]], Mr. Grin, has one.
* GoodIsNotNice: MI6 can act like this at times.
** The final novel goes UpToEleven when it's revealed at the end that [[spoiler: Alan Blunt arranged for the sniper to attack Alex at his school solely for the purpose of getting an excuse to put Alex on another assignment. That's right, he arranged a school shooting in order to coerce a fifteen-year-old boy into working as a spy.]]
* GuiltyPleasure
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Yassen had arguably done this in the end of the fourth book, when he tried to stop Damian Cray from killing Alex, and getting shot in the process. He dies in Alex's arms after Damian Cray dies.]]
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: [[spoiler: Alan Blunt]]. He even recites the quote.
* [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Hoist By Their Own Petards]]: Not uncommon for the bad guys in the series.
** [[spoiler: Nadia Vole is stung to death by the Portuguese Man of War that she tried to use to kill Alex.]]
** [[spoiler: Julia Rothman is flattened by the satellites on the hot air balloon needed to initiate Invisible Sword.]]
** [[spoiler: Kaspar gets a knife from Ark Angel to try and kill Alex, only to get fatally stabbed by it.]]
** [[spoiler: Winston Yu is killed by the same bomb he was planning to use in his scheme.]]
** [[spoiler: Myra Beckett tries to feed Alex to several crocodiles in a pool of water. Guess who falls in the pool?]]
* HollywoodSilencer: Averted in ''Ark Angel'', by one of the [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Force Three goons]]. The narrative describes him shooting at Alex sounding like a cough.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Alex.
* InternalReveal: In ''Scorpia Rising'', [[spoiler: the reader is aware pretty much from the start that Alex's mission is a trap to deliver him to Scorpia.]]
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: ''Every'' book. The exception is ''Scorpia'', where Alex and the Cobra cabinet manage to work out the plan themselves.
* JustInTime: Occurs at least once in every novel, most notable in ''Crocodile Tears'' when [[spoiler: Rahim saves Alex from peril ''three times''.]]
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler: If it wasn't for the shockwave [[HoistByHisOwnPetard from the bomb he was gonna use]] Major Winston Yu would've gotten away.]]
* KindlyHousekeeper: Jack is a bit younger than most examples of this trope, but she still fits.
* KnifeThrowingAct: Mr Grin in ''Stormbreaker'' used to be part of a knife-throwing act in which he would catch a knife between his teeth during the act's finale. As a result of the act going horribly wrong, he now sports a GlasgowGrin and [[TongueTrauma has difficulty speaking properly]].
* KnightInSourArmor: Alex Rider.
* LawyerFriendlyCameo: The Prime Minister in ''Stormbreaker''. Whilst never named, the tie-in book ''Alex Rider: The Mission Files'' states that "Education is at the heart of his government's manifesto".
** The newly-elected, incompetent Prime Minister in ''Crocodile Tears'' (released a few months before the 2010 General Election) is, if not UsefulNotes/DavidCameron, clearly intended as a Conservative.
*** And the US secretary of State from ''Scorpia Rising'' is obviously UsefulNotes/HillaryClinton.
* LiteralSurveillanceBug: ''Scorpia Rising'', when [[spoiler: Smithers disguises an electronic bug as a dead cockroach.]]
* LookBothWays: [[spoiler:Julius Grief.]]
* LonelyRichKid: Paul Drevin
* MagicalDefibrillator: Subverted. Alex attacks a character with a defibrillator. Given the misuse in other works, and the whole thing being preceded with something along the lines of "he knew what they did, he'd seen a lot of television", those must have been some [[ShownTheirWork pretty accurate]] television shows.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: The plot of ''Snakehead'', where Scorpia have to destroy a conference aiming to wipe out poverty but avoid the organisers looking like martyrs.
** [[spoiler: Sarov intends to portray his nuking of Murmansk as an accident caused by a defective submarine, which he will then blame on the Russian government being run by idiots.]]
* ManBehindTheMan: Scorpia's admitted to [[spoiler: being behind book one's villain's plan by selling him the virus strain he implanted in the stormbreakers.]] It's very possible that [[spoiler: they're behind some of the other villain's actions if not all of them.]]
* MeaningfulName: ''Stormbreaker'' features a BigBad named '''[[Literature/TheBible Herod]]''' Sayle, whose EvilPlan involves murdering thousands of children.
** WordOfGod says it's actually a [[PunnyName pun]] on "Harrods sale".
* MinimalisticCoverArt: The UK edition of ''Scorpia Rising''.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Dr Hugo Grief. There's also a Scorpia member named Dr Light.
* NarrativeProfanityFilter
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Doctor Grief, anyone? Or, y'know [[Literature/TheBible Herod]] Sayle? Or [[TheOmen Damian]] Cray?
* NebulousEvilOrganisation: Scorpia. They're the villains of three books.
* TheNewRussia: A ''very'' negative interpretation with Nikolei Drevin, the BigBad of ''Ark Angel'', who [[spoiler: built his fortune after TheGreatPoliticsMessUp by cooperating with not just TheMafiya but other criminal organizations including TheYakuza and [[TheTriadsAndTheTongs the Chinese triads]]; Joe Byrne flat-out calls him "the biggest criminal in the world".]]
* NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine: This happens frequently with Alex. He's dined with every one of the BigBad's in each book.
** Taken to its logical extreme in ''Skeleton Key'' where the villain more or less tries to ''adopt'' him and treats him like his now-dead biological son, after Alex ends up getting captured. Much of the book is the BigBad letting (or rather, forcing) Alex to live with him in his luxury home, getting him to take part in various activities (like horse riding) and telling Alex WeCanRuleTogether. And dining with him, of course. He even forbids his {{Mooks}} and TheDragon from harming him (the latter [[RevengeBeforeReason glefully disobeys)]] When Alex finally foils his EvilPlan and puts himself at his mercy, [[spoiler: he chooses to shoot himself rather than kill him.]]
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: Said after [[spoiler: Julius Grief]] drives a jeep off a cliff which then explodes and falls into the ocean. While a lowly guard might buy it, [[spoiler: Alan Blunt]] [[GenreBlindness really should have known better]].
* NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer: Yassen gives one of these in ''Russian Roulette'' when he talks about how people who couldn't afford vodka would use shoe polish as a drug.
* NotQuiteDead: At the beginning of the sixth book.
* NotSoStoic: Razim feels emotions for the first time in his life during his VillainousBreakdown.
* NukeEm: [[spoiler: The crux of Damian Cray's eponymous plan in ''Eagle Strike''.]]
** [[spoiler: Sarov intends to kill millions of people by nuking a nuclear submarine repair shipyard, [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident making it look like an accident]], and blaming it on the Russian government's incompetence.]]
* ObviouslyEvil: If a villainous character is NOT this, they almost immediately cross the MoralEventHorizon. [[BlackAndGreyMorality Just in case there was any confusion whatsoever.]]
* OurHeroIsDead: The ending of the penultimate chapter and beginning of the final chapter of ''Skeleton Key'' imply that Alex is dead before it turns out that Sarov killed himself, not Alex.
** The end of ''Scorpia'' was ''not'' intended to be this as Horowitz believed the audience would assume Alex would be fine.
** There's a bit of this in Point Blanc too, with MI6 organising a sham funeral to trick Stellenbosch and Dr Grief into thinking Alex was really dead.
* OvertOperative: This isn't a perfect example of this, in that the whole reason for using Alex Rider as a spy is that bad guys are supposed to think that he is {{Just A Kid}}. However, somehow the bad guys almost always find out who is really is and who he is working for, often by looking up his file in their {{Magical Database}}. Given how many times that his cover has been blown, it is amazing that he is still considered useful for covert operations.
** He remains useful due to his unique psychology - though he's an experienced and blooded agent, he doesn't act like one consistently. His enemies are used to ChildSoldiers, but they aren't used to one being so stable. Alex's lifestyle and worldview(a schoolboy who keeps getting blackmailed into covert operations rather than a covert operative who takes time off to go to school) keep him psychologically healthy enough for people to keep seeing the "schoolboy" and forget that they're looking at a fighter capable of disabling men three times his size with his bare hands and [[LockingMacGyverInTheStoreCupboard causing millions in property damage with the contents of the average closet]].
** Ironically enough, the fact that Alex is forbidden from ever carrying or using a gun is also a factor that probably contributes to his success. Without the recourse of direct violence to fall back on, Alex is constantly forced to think outside the box and resort to ideas and tactics that villains are unlikely to expect.
** It is noted in ''Crocodile Tears'' that Alan Blunt disapproves of the fact that Alex has gotten taller, because as he loses his youthful features he steadily becomes less useful to MI6 in this way.
* PaidHarem: Some hot Cuban chicks accompany the Russian President on his vacation in ''Skeleton Key''; it's implied he had sex with them behind the scenes.
* PianoDrop: Herod Sayle from Stormbreaker was a street urchin until he saved some rich tourists from a piano dropped from a fourteenth story window.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Amongst other things, Hugo Grief is also an utterly unrepentant White Supremacist. [[spoiler:His ultimate plan involves surgically altering loyal, racist clones of his back to their wealthy and influential parents, so that when they inherit their assets by hook or by crook, they'll eventually restore apartheid - this time, on a global scale.]]
* PostClimaxConfrontation: Alex's fight with [[spoiler:his doppelganger]] at the end of ''Point Blanc''.
** It happens again in [[spoiler:''Scorpia Rising'']].
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: [=McCain=] does this is a surprisingly calm way while speaking to Alex during his VillainousBreakdown:
--> '''Desmond [=McCain=]''': "Get. Out. Of. The. Plane."
* QuicksandSucks: This is basically how [[spoiler: Razim]] from ''Scorpia Rising'' goes out.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: The four henchmen [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep whose real names were never once mentioned]] in ''Ark Angel''.
* RaceLift: In the movie version of ''Stormbreaker'', Herod Sayle becomes a kid from a redneck "trailer park" family who moved to England.
* RailroadTracksOfDoom: In ''Point Blanc''.
--> Alex sighed. [[DeadpanSnarker It was just his luck to get a Virgin train that arrived on time]].
* RedRightHand: All but two novels have one.
** ''Stormbreaker'' has Mr. Grin, who has a GlasgowSmile.
** ''Skeleton Key'' has Conrad, who is probably the most extreme example on the list. He was blown up by one of his own bombs and then surgically put back together with metal parts added. The operation was not completely successful, resulting in mismatched body parts.
** ''Scorpia'' has Nile, who has vitiligo, resulting in having various blotches of white skin.
** ''Ark Angel'' has Kaspar, who had his entire head tattooed to look like Earth.
** ''Snakehead'' has Major Yu, who has osteoporosis.
** ''Crocodile Tears'' has Desmond [=McCain=], who has a misaligned jaw.
** Averted in ''Scorpia Rising''. TheDragon [[spoiler: [[CloningBlues looks exactly like Alex.]]]]
* RenegadeRussian:
** Yassen Gregorovich, a contract killer who appears in ''Stormbreaker'' and ''Eagle Strike''.
** General Alexei Sarov, a disillusioned former Soviet general who wants his country back.
* ResignationsNotAccepted: The opening chapter of ''Scorpia'' has one of the titular organisation's senior members offed in this fashion. [[EvenEvilHasStandards He refuses to participate in Scorpia's latest project]]: a biological weapon that [[spoiler: specifically targets children.]] He is given a "retirement present" from his former co-workers, which turns out to be [[spoiler: a box filled with deadly scorpions.]]
* ReversePsychology: Alex falls for this near the end of ''Point Blanc''. After nearly killing himself at least three different ways to get out of the school, he refuses to help out in the attack...until Wolf comes in and tells him he's JustAKid. Alex immediately demands to go with them, and realizes what he's done five seconds too late.
* RightUnderTheirNoses: During Snakehead, Alex is trapped on the villain's ship and, with nowhere else to hide from the guards, spends a few nerve-wracking hours hiding under [[spoiler: the villain's bed.]]
* ShellShockedVeteran: Alex. He's been shot at, forced to watch people die, and stood face-to-face with pure evil. To add insult to injury, [[spoiler: Jack is killed, and he is forced to shoot a person who looks just like him]]. All this has profoundly psychologically damaged him.
* ShoutOut: Dr. Grief's ultimate plan in ''Point Blanc'' is essentially Film/TheBoysFromBrazil.
* ShownTheirWork: The author often goes into unnecessary amounts of detail, most frequently to describe the model of gun that a soldier/guard/assassin is using or the amount of liters per hour the engine of a vehicle uses. It makes the mistakes stand out a lot.
** Anthony Horowitz does a great deal of research to get specifics right; he notes that the only things he's been unable to do are visit space and go on board UsefulNotes/AirForceOne.
* SpaceIsSlowMotion: The end of ''Ark Angel'' makes a point of avoiding this.
* SpyFiction: Mostly Martini flavor, but with a strong Stale Beer aftertaste. While it revels in the outward trappings of a Martini (exotic locales with adventurous activities, disfigured villains with ludicrously evil schemes, and high-tech gadgetry), Alex himself is frequently shaken by the moral implications of his work and quickly develops an extremely cynical and gloomy attitude about it.
* TheStoic: Alan Blunt. The only time he even shows a little bit of emotion is in ''Crocodile Tears''.
** Myra Beckett is described as being a robot, and at times acts like she physically ''can't'' smile.
* StrictlyFormula: After about the first 3 books you can pick out the main villain [[AntiClimax as soon as they enter.]] This is particularly evident in ''Crocodile Tears'', the most formulaic so far. Anthony Horowitz has likely noticed this, because in the ninth book two of the three villains are revealed nonchalantly without even bothering to surprise the reader. Also, did anyone else notice that Alex tends to always beat the grownups in some game, then they try to [[LawOfDisproportionateResponse kill him?]]
* StuffBlowingUp: Several of Alex's gadgets; Smithers notes when giving him the exploding pens in ''Crocodile Tears'' that he "likes his explosions".
** Lots of explosions in the books. Particularly the [[spoiler: exploding snowmobile that killed Dr. Grief]].
* StuffedIntoTheFridge: [[spoiler: Jack.]]
* SymbolSwearing: In ''Scorpia Rising'', Alex tells Lewinsky, his [[spoiler:accidental]] abductor, to "go and [[SymbolSwearing -----]] yourself".
* {{Tagline}}: Originally the series' tagline was "Alex Rider, the reluctant teenage spy" (which gets dropped in context in ''Scorpia Rising''). More recently this has changed to the original tagline for ''Stormbreaker'', "Alex Rider - you're never too young to die".
* TeenSuperSpy: Alex, obviously.
* ThrownFromTheZeppelin: In ''Scorpia Rising'', the trap by the eponymous organisation is initiated by having a sniper shoot Levi Kroll at a routine meeting, and throwing his body in the Thames, after he attempts to back out of their scheme.
* TitleDrop: Happens OnceAnEpisode.
** ''Stormbreaker'': It's the name of the computers Sayle is selling.
** ''Point Blanc'': In the UK: it is ThePlace title. Namely, the academy Alex is sent to. In the USA:[[spoiler: When Grief is killed: "The makeshift torpedo it its target full-on. Point blank."]]
** ''Skeleton Key'': ThePlace title again. This time, it's the island Alexei Sarov lives on.
** ''Eagle Strike'': [[spoiler: The name of Cray's master plan.]]
** ''Scorpia'': The name of the NebulousEvilOrganization introduced in the book.
** ''Ark Angel'': ThePlace title yet again. In this case, the name of the hotel [[RecycledINSPACE IN SPACE]] that Drevin is working on.
** ''Snakehead'': Type of Chinese gang involved in human smuggling, one of which Alex investigates.
** ''Crocodile Tears'': A slight break in tradition, as it isn't the name of a plot element; rather, the book defines the term "crocodile tears" at the beginning, and the BigBad refers to them later. [[spoiler: They refer to his supposed conversion to Christianity following his imprisonment for fraud, and literally appear late in the book.]]
** ''Scorpia Rising'' is the exception to the rule; it basically describes the book's entire premise, but is never dropped in context.
* TonightSomeoneDies: Anthony Horowitz's description of ''Scorpia Rising'' promised the death of a major character, one who had appeared in each and every book so far. As it turns out, [[spoiler:the book led readers to believe that this would be Smithers]], but [[spoiler:it ended up being Jack Starbright]].
** Inverted by ''Scorpia'', where the reaction to the ending required Horowitz to publicly confirm that Alex was not dead and begin work on ''Ark Angel'' straight away.
* TooDumbToLive: Max Grendel resigning from Scorpia is seen as this by the rest of the executive board.
* TortureAlwaysWorks: Torture isn't even used much in the novel, and is usually avoided or interrupted.
** In ''Skeleton Key'' when [[spoiler: Conrad]] places [[spoiler: Alex]] on a Sugar Grinder conveyor belt and threatens to grind him up if he doesn't talk. At first [[spoiler: Alex]] attempts to lie but once that fails he spills everything. [[spoiler: Conrad]] [[ObviouslyEvil being the guy that he is,]] decides to... [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness grind him him up anyways.]] [[spoiler: Alex is only saved when Sarov interrupts.]].
** In ''Ark Angel'' when [[spoiler: Alex tells Kaspar that he's not Paul Drevin when one of the [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep nameless]] {{Mooks}} attempts to cut off one of his fingers.]] [[spoiler: Kaspar threatens to kill Alex if it turns out he's not really Paul Drevin but they purposely allow him to escape the death trap they built for him as it is all part of [[TheChessmaster Nikolei Drevin's master plan]] ]]
** And the time in ''Crocodile Tears'' where [[spoiler: Alex]] was dangling over a pool of crocodiles and told [[spoiler: [[BigBad Desmond McCain]] ]] '''EVERYTHING''' rather quickly. [[spoiler: Alex is only saved when Ravi interrupts.]]
** And then there was the time [[spoiler: Alex]] spilled his guts to a few CIA agents in ''Scorpia Rising'' to prevent this. They torture him anyway. [[spoiler: He is only saved when their superior Joe Bryne (who knows Alex) intervenes.]]
* TheTriadsAndTheTongs: In the beginning of ''Skeleton Key''.
* TheSociopath: [[LackOfEmpathy Abdul-Aziz]] [[ManipulativeBastard Al]]-[[TheChessmaster Rahim]] ("[[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Razim]]"), and ''how''. He has all the telltale symptoms of a bona fide psychopath - particularly his utter lack of emotions or [[LackOfEmpathy empathy]] - and has committed various acts of evil from the day he took his first steps. As a toddler, he stabbed one of his nannies in the thigh [[DisproportionateRetribution because she told him off for teasing his sister]]. At the age of 12 he nonchalantly [[KickTheDog strangled his own dog]]. At fourteen he arranged the death of his own parents, who were conspiring against Saddam Hussein. Now, after spending time in Al Qaeda, in his spare time he inflicts unbearable amounts of pain upon random people in an attempt to create a measurable unit of pain, using a variety of horrific instruments like scalpels and syringes. Possibly his worst act of evil involves this, [[spoiler:as he blows up Jack Starbright right in front of Alex's eyes, in an experiment concerning emotional, rather than physical, pain. Afterwards, he nonchalantly notes that the pain meter rose higher than he had thought possible, and that he would possibly have to create a ''second'' scale of measurement.]]
** [[spoiler: Julius Grief]] is a much more unfortunate case. He was raised and conditioned by a father with a sick mind, and as a result had absolutely no morals.
* TraumaCongaLine: Alex's entire life, especially after becoming a spy. By the end of Scorpia Rising [[spoiler:he has lost the only adult he truly trusted]] and is unlikely to ever really recover.
* UnholyMatrimony: [[BigBad Desmond McCain]] mentions he plans to marry MadScientist [[TheDragon henchwoman Myra Beckett]] after his plan succeeds in ''Crocodile Tears''.
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: Some of Alex's escapes. In ''Scorpia Rising'', he escapes [[spoiler: because he had a scorpion hidden in a cigarette packet which he'd captured whilst in his cell, which he then placed in the van and tricked Erik Gunter into opening. The ''only'' thing the reader knows about this before it happens is that there is a nest of scorpions in Alex's cell.]]
* UriahGambit: In ''Scorpia Rising'', [[spoiler:Zeljan Kurst has Levi Kroll killed and false evidence placed on his cadaver in order to lure MI6 -- and Alex -- into a trap.]]
* ViewersAreGeniuses: Anthony Horowitz didn't expect anyone to believe Alex was really dead at the end of ''Scorpia'' because the gun used by the assassin is completely unsuited to assassination attempts.
* VillainousBreakdown: [[spoiler:Nikolei Drevin]] in ''Ark Angel'' after [[spoiler:accidently shooting his own son]].
** Desmond Mccain goes through this at the end of ''Crocodile Tears.'' After [[spoiler: having his plan to unleash a devastating plague across the face of Africa foiled by Alex, he confronts Alex with a gun, demanding that just for once, Alex grovel and cry in front of him like the child he's supposed to be.]] Some people just can't handle having a kid get the better of them.
** It was mentioned in ''Scorpia Rising'' that [[spoiler: Julius Grief]] suffered from this a few times, and at one point tried to destroy his face with his own nails. [[spoiler: He also has a miniature one at the end of ''Point Blanc'', screaming to Alex about how he had ruined everything and killed his father, but quickly recovers and tries to kill Alex. Eva Stellenbosch does this as well.]]
** [[spoiler:Cool, calculating, emotionless Razim has one at the end of ''Scorpia Rising''.]]
* VillainDecay: InUniverse example; Scorpia's credibility is seriously affected when a fourteen-year-old boy destroys two of their operations and (indirectly) kills two of their executives within a few months. [[spoiler: The failure of their plan in ''Scorpia Rising'' results in the organisation disbanding.]]
* VillainOpeningScene: ''Skeleton Key'' and [[spoiler: ''Scorpia Rising'', which actually devotes several chapters to its Villain Opening and splits the book into two halves - one titled "Scorpia" and one titled "Alex".]] ''Point Blanc'', ''Ark Angel'' and ''Crocodile Tears'' all open with acts of murder arranged by the villain.
* WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld: [[AvertedTrope Averted]]. Alex misses most of his schooling due to his missions. It's gotten to the point that everyone, both student and faculty, somehow knows that there's something wrong with him and that there's more to him than just "illnesses".
* WeCare: Desmond's company First Aid. Not only do they ''not'' care, but [[spoiler: they're actually responsible for all the crises the public believes they aid.]]
* WellIntentionedExtremist: [[spoiler: Damian Cray]]
* [[WiseBeyondTheirYears Wise Beyond Their Years]]: Alex has been described as this by other characters due to the [[ShellShockedVeteran psychological damage he has taken from his missions, enduring horrors that nobody should have to go through and watching people die]].
* WhamEpisode:
** In ''Eagle Strike'', we find out [[spoiler:Yassen worked together with Alex's father, and MI6 are the ones who killed him.]]
** In ''Scorpia'', we meet [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Scorpia]], [[spoiler:the organization that hired John Rider,]] and learn more about his past, and then discover [[spoiler:John was actually [[ReverseMole a mole]] for MI6.]]
** In ''Snakehead'', we meet Ash, Alex's godfather, and get to learn more about John Rider before finding out that [[spoiler:Ash was EvilAllAlong, and he's the one that killed Alex's parents.]]
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Alex's been through a lot of crap, but he still manages to be [[BadAss Bad Ass]].
** In ''Scorpia Rising'', [[spoiler: he gets his revenge on Razim and Julius after they kill Jack.]]
* TheWorldsExpertOnGettingKilled: Max Webber, an expert on terrorism, is murdered by Force Three in the first chapter of ''Ark Angel'' after giving a speech denouncing them.
* WorstNewsJudgmentEver: [[spoiler:One example in ''Crocodile Tears'' where a two-paragraph article on the death of a journalist with no close family or friends manages to make page 1 with a prominent headline. Justified in that it was part of an MI6 trap.]]
* YouCantThwartStageOne: The climaxes of at least half of the books.
* [[spoiler: YouKilledMyFather]]: [[spoiler: Ash, Alex's own ''godfather'', for goodness sake!]]
** [[spoiler: And in a variation, Yassen for Ian Rider.]]
** [[spoiler: subverted by ''Scorpia'' with Mrs Jones for John Rider.]]
** Then in ''Scorpia Rising'' it's [[spoiler: [[YouKilledMyFather You Killed My Housekeeper]], as Alex goes back to thwart the people who killed the only adult who loved him.]]
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