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YMMV / Alex Rider

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Examples for the film go here.

  • Bizarro Episode: "Spy Trap", one of the new stories in Secret Weapon, is a deeply surreal story about psychotropic drugs that is structured unlike anything else in the series.
  • Broken Base: A sizeable portion of the fanbase thought Alex going into space at the climax of Ark Angel was too fantastic to be credible. Horowitz himself admitted a few years after its publication that he was worried it might not be believable, but decided to go with it because the alternative Earth-based denouements were too boring, straightforward or had plotting issues.
  • Complete Monster: All of the baddies are pretty nasty in their own right, given that they have no problem trying to kill Alex despite him being a child. Three particular examples stand out from the rest though:
    • Scorpia: Julia Rothman is a executive board member of SCORPIA, who plans to make outrageous demands to Britain that will never be met, kill every schoolchild in London when they are not met, and make the same demand to America with the same consequence knowing that they will meet them, and ultimately cause a war to erupt between the two countries. To demonstrate the weapon and show that she is not bluffing; she kills a completely separate group of high school football players without giving them a chance to be saved. She also manipulates Alex into joining Scorpia by getting him to think his father worked for them and was killed by MI-6 when it was the other way around. She was planning to betray and kill Alex in the end. In the Prequel Russian Roulette she executes an assassin for failure.
    • Snakehead: Major Winston Yu is another board member, as well as the leader of a ruthless Snakehead gang. He takes part in SCORPIA's plans to kill the members of a conference against poverty. His plan involves causing a tsunami and kill millions of people to make the deaths look like an accident, overshadow the deaths of the conference members with the deaths of millions, and to drum up sales for his Snakehead gang. When Yu captures Alex, he decides to have him slowly killed on a hospital bed as he removes his organs one by one; one organ a day until all that is left of him is a husk. This seems to be his preferred method of execution, since he has people killed in the same hospital, in the same way on a regular basis. Yu is so bad that his henchmen commit suicide before he can punish them for failure.
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    • Scorpia Rising: Abdul-Aziz Al-Rahim, better known as just Razim, is another agent of SCORPIA, and is affiliated with them purely to slake his sadistic curiosities. A cold, unfeeling sociopath since his history of violence in his youth, Razim sold out his own parents and sister to Saddam Hussein before joining SCORPIA. Come his involvement in Operation Horseman, Razim plans to blackmail Britain into handing over the Elgin Marbles, or else defame the country by revealing the contents of the Horseman file, ultimately to assassinate the Prime Minister of England and throw the country into a war. Fascinated by pain, Razim routinely tortures countless innocents to death in perverse "experiments", in an attempt to create a measurement for pain, initially claiming it for the sake of science but likely simply to amuse himself more than anything. When Razim captures Alex, Razim forces him to watch his mentor and guardian Jack Starbright blown up—in truth handing her off to the Grimaldi twins but keeping the emotional stab to Alex all the same, while casually adding the boy's emotional pain was so great, he may have to create a second measurement. From there on, Razim tries to have the US Secretary of State assassinated, framing Alex so that he'll be shot dead. Lacking the scale of previous antagonists but trumping all of them in sheer, frightening sadism, Razim makes his mark even in the dark world of Alex Rider as Alex's most personal foe.
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  • Crazy Awesome: Smithers. In Scorpia Rising, we're treated to this passage:
    There was an explosion inside the house. Then another. Alex heard the screams of some of the men and wondered what exactly had blown up. The sofas? The toilet? With Smithers it could be anything.
  • Die for Our Ship: Fangirls will make up any reason to hate Sabina. The most common pairings appear to be Alex/Fox, Alex/Wolf, and Alex/Yassen. Sabina-bashing appears occasionally in fics for any pairing, however.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • All four members of K Unit are very popular with fans. Wolf and Fox especially, thanks to their reappearances in Point Blanc and Snakehead respectively.
    • Smithers, for being a Crazy Awesome Gadgeteer Genius who consistently supports Alex throughout the books.
    • Yassen Gregorovich, due to his being a Draco in Leather Pants with Hidden Depths.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Some fans choose to discount Ark Angel and anything after it in the series, instead believing that Alex died at the end of Scorpia.
    • More recently, some fans discount everything that came after Scorpia Rising. It helps that the author originally planned for the series to end there.
  • Faux Symbolism: HEROD Sayle wants to kill all schoolchildren in Britain! (Although Word of God states it's meant to be a pun on "Harrods sale".)
    • Damian Cray, hm?
    • Julius Grief, his looks identical to Alex's looks in every way, appeared first in Point Blanc, but this trope applied better in Scorpia Rising as his insane and murderous personality was shown more. Later, when Alex killed Julius, psychologists described it as Alex killing part of himself. As Mrs. Jones and Blunt put it, the part that they created and never should have been born.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The recurrent Shout Outs to James Bond—mostly comparing Alex to a young 007—became this in 2015, when Random House announced that Anthony Horowitz would be contributing a novel to the actual Bond series, titled Trigger Mortis. Becomes even funnier when Horowitz becomes the first person since Raymond Benson to publish more than one Bond story, since he's got another book in the works (with no current title) that's due in 2018.
  • Iron Woobie / Stoic Woobie: Alex has had a horrible life, but he hardly ever complains. He's remarkably composed even after Jack is killed in Scorpia Rising, save for his brief Heroic BSoD, though after that he is said to be much more cold and isolated, as you would expect.
    • Yassen, poor Yassen, his real name was Yasha. First his family is killed and village of Estrov is destroyed. Then he is introduced to the criminal underground of Moscow, after that he sent to work as a slave for four hellish years. He then becomes the cold assassin he was in Stormbreaker.
  • Jerkass Woobie: General Sarov. The man is messed up in the head, but he's lost his son and watched his country go to ruin, at least from his point of view- the everybody eating at McDonald's and wearing Levi jeans thing might not be so bad per say, but he points out millions of people have AIDS, nothing to eat and live in perpetual poverty. Rather than receiving the Cruel and Unusual Death that typically befalls a Big Bad in the Alex Rider series, he commits suicide when Alex tells him he'd rather be dead than have a father like him; his final words are "Goodbye, Alex". In the graphic novel adaptation, he is visibly distressed by Alex's rejection and sheds a tear as he puts the gun to his head.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Alan Blunt. Some of his actions are questionable to begin with, but in the ninth book, Scorpia Rising, he springs head-first over the line by arranging a school shooting in order to coerce Alex into taking his next mission. Said shooting hospitalizes Alex's best friend and Secret Keeper Tom. It doesn't help that what he does leads Alex into a trap set by Zeljan Kurst.
    • Yu planning to have Alex painfully tortured by forcing him to donate his organs to black market clients.
    • Razim crosses the line when he kills Jack Starbright and forces Alex to watch. This might perhaps be the moment where Julius crosses the line too, as he's the one pulling the trigger on Razim's orders and gleefully rubbing it in.
  • Narm: "When you bought me here, you made me play a game. It was a horrible, vicious thing to do." Why thank you, Captain Obvious.note 
    • From Stormbreaker, Herod Sayle's repeated references to his old school nickname, "Herod Smell", especially during his Motive Rant. Realistic? Probably. Unintentionally funny? Definitely.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Now has its own page.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The ease with which MI-6... deal with Bulman halfway through Crocodile Tears. They erased all of his financial and personal records, then made new records appear as though he was an escaped Broadmoor inmate named Jeremy Harwood who had killed Bulman. They did all that in a matter of hours. They executed his fate overnight as he slept.
  • Technology Marches On: Combined with Comic-Book Time, with the world incorporating new technology and referencing events that occurred throughout real history.....all without the author bothering to advance the story universe more than a year. The eponymous Stormbreaker computer isn't that impressive by modern standards and is rather quickly eclipsed by the iPhones that somehow appear just a year later.
  • The Un-Twist: In Ark Angel, the fact that Nikolei Drevin is the real Big Bad and not Force Three is made incredibly obviousnote . Alex even lampshades it; when Drevin is about to "reveal" this fact, Alex tells him to not bother.
  • Values Dissonance: Alex, on the whole, is a very well-adjusted child, but the narration has suggested that he seems to view clones as "freaks" and "creatures".
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: So you think this is a fun for young teens novel series? Not quite; the titular character is just a fourteen year old by manipulated to work for MI-6, he then endures many horrific things over a single year. This series can be considered the Neon Genesis Evangelion of Spy Fiction.
  • The Woobie: Alex. Within a year, he's lost his uncle, gone through horrific situations that no child - and indeed, no human being - should ever go through, only escaping by luck. Then he loses his housekeeper, the only adult left in his life who he really loved and trusted. And this doesn't even take into account the psychological damage that he suffers from the horrors he's encountered on his missions.
    • Yassen Gregorovich's backstory in Russian Roulette gives off this vibe.


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