is a ten book action adventure series
written by former SAS member Chris Ryan. The story revolves around five teenagers- Alex
- who after being shipwrecked on a desert island and working together to escape it, form an elite team dedicated to fighting crime throughout the world.
The series ran from 2002-2005, with Survival
being the first book and Untouchable
being the last.
This series provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Li and Amber.
- And the Adventure Continues: The series ends with all of the team getting invitations to join MI-5.
- Asian and Nerdy: Subverted with Li; apart from her wide knowledge of animals and extreme sports she's just as smart as the rest of the team.
- Author Appeal: Alex's training from his SAS father and his motivation to be in the army.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Amber and Hex.
- Big Brother Instinct: Partly the reason why Hex is working on the Phoenix in Survival; he broke into a gym teacher's bank account because the guy was picking on his little brother, so they sent Hex to the Phoenix as punishment.
- Black and White Morality: Alpha Force are good, and whatever Big Bad of the week they're fighting are bad.
- Buried Alive: Hex and Paulo in Desert Pursuit, then Hex again in Fault Line.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Deconstructed with Amber, as the trauma from her parent's death causes her to lash out at others. Once she learns that they died for a good cause she's able to get over it.
- The Charmer: Paulo, except towards Li.
- Cowboy: Paulo, of the 'Working Cowboy' variety.
- The Cracker: Amber mistakenly believes Hex is one. He's quick to correct her.
- Crazy-Prepared: Alex, who constantly carries around his small survival kit. Justified since his father is a SAS agent, and he tends to travel a lot in barren areas.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: Amber.
- Deadpan Snarker: All of them have their moments, though Alex and Hex are the most prominent.
- Deserted Island: Survival is set on one.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Amber is diabetic, but the others learn quickly not to treat her any differently because of it.
- Drugs Are Bad: Rat Catcher and Untouchable both emphasise this.
- Embarrassing First Name: Hex's real first name is Melvin.
- Fire-Forged Friends: The team don't really bond until they're forced to survive together on a desert island.
- Five-Man Band:
- Fun with Acronyms: The first letter of all their names spells out 'Alpha', which just happens to be the opposite of Amber's Omega necklace.
- Genki Girl: Li.
- Halfway Plot Switch: Often the team will be visiting a country to deal with one problem, only to learn there's another, bigger problem at hand.
- Knife Nut: Alex. He always carries his knife around, and can pin a wasp to a tree from fifty feet away.
- The Load: Hex thinks himself this in Survival, since his technological skills aren't very handy on a remote island.
- Mission Control: John Middleton, Amber's uncle.
- Multinational Team: Alex and Hex are English, Paulo is Argentinian, Li is Anglo-Chinese and Amber is American.
- Oop North: Alex is from North Cumbria.
- Rich Bitch: Amber was this at first. She gets better.
- Shown Their Work: Every book will have a situation that Chris Ryan has either thoroughly researched or been through himself.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Li disguises herself as a boy in Desert Pursuit so she can get close to the slave traders. Later in the book Alex and Hex perform a brief inversion.
- True Companions: Alpha Force, starting at the end of Survival.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: While Li and Paulo are obviously attracted to each other, they never properly get together in the story.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: The entire team is Type II to each other.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
- Hex develops claustrophobia in Hostage. Afterwards him being trapped in enclosed or dark places happens nearly once a book.
- In Hunted, Li suffers from a fear of heights after seeing her old climbing instructor fall during abseiling and break her back. She gets over it eventually.