March 24, 2010

Alex Rider Book #8: Crocodile Tears

Posted by at 8:35 am in Reads | Permalink

Anthony-horowitz-crocodile-tearsPhew! I just finished Anthony Horowitz's Crocodile Tears, book 8 in the Alex Rider series, and I kinda feel like I need a minute to catch my breath. One of my favorite things in the world is a book that you literally just can't put down, no matter how inconvenient that might be. . . and after spending a couple days trying, only partially successfully, to navigate life with my head buried in Crocodile Tears, I can say with confidence that it fits that description to a T. (You try making and eating breakfast with one hand, without taking your eyes of the pages of a book! Try getting out your wallet, pulling out your subway card, and getting on a crowded train. Not easy.)

 Alex Rider has been around for a while, and it's a wildly popular series — #1 New York Times bestseller, big movie a few years ago — so I'll just give a quick recap of the premise. Alex is a 14 year-old British kid who comes from a family of spies. MI6, the British version of the CIA, recruits him for various James Bond-y missions around the world. Things blow up, Alex narrowly escapes horribly dangerous situations, a bad guy gets what's coming to him. It's nothing you haven't seen or read before, and Crocodile Tears is guilty of ripping off a bunch of spy novels for its plot, which involves a phony charity and the dangers of toying with genetic engineering. But really, who cares if it's all a little derivative? When you pick up an Alex Rider book, you want to get caught up in a dense and fast paced thriller; you want to read about sweet gadgets; you want to ride through a bunch of tense, action-packed chase scenes. Crocodile Tears delivers the goods. I don't know how Anthony Horowitz comes up with all these awesome set pieces (the first big one, involving a car and a lake, is absolutely terrifying), but you almost start to feel bad for Alex after all the scrapes his author puts him through.

Of course, the payoff is explosive (literally) and very satisfying. If you've got a couple days during which walking around only partially aware of your surroundings won't be a big issue, I highly recommend that you pick up Crocodile Tears. But be warned, once you start it, you won't want to put it down!

Have you read it? If so, what did you bump into? Let me know in the comments! If you like this author, you should also check out his other series The Gatekeepers.

Jack, STACKS Writer

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  1. 2010musican

    I have only read the first three books and I totally LLLOOOVVVEEE it! It`s a mind blowing,explosive,can`t put the book down as I start reading it book.If your reading this I really recomennd you this is a good series. And I can`t wait to read the rest!

    Reply
  2. J.M.

    BEST BOOKS EVER
    !!!!
    Sure, they SOUND cliche, but Horrowitz makes up for it with his writing style that makes all his books so exciting.
    Best AR books: Eagle Strike, Scorpia, and Ark Angel. <3

    Reply
  3. hijack550

    I thought the was but campared to my favorite book The Dangerous Days of Daniel X its only an adequete choice for a book.

    Reply
  4. Josh

    ALEX
    Rider
    is
    A
    Very good book
    considering all the action and violence it makes a very interesting book about a very clever teen.

    Reply
  5. Awesomeness

    These books are awesome. I read the first book and thought, “I have to read this series in order. or it won’t be good” And I did. From Storm Breaker to Crocodile Tears. It’s the most thrilling series I’ve ever read. I hope there’s a new book! I just can’t wait to read it!!!

    Reply
  6. Ethan

    i
    it
    it l
    it lo
    it loo
    it look
    it look’
    it look’s
    it look’s g
    it look’s goo
    it look’s good

    Reply
  7. ipodboy

    I read this and think its the worst Alex Rider book, its a copy of james Bond books, Alex is playing cards in a tux and of course he wins.
    I use to love this series but its got lame. I now like the Cherub series and Jason Steed.

    Reply
  8. hhhhhhhi

    I really liked eagle strike nd sneak head 2 can’t wait to read crocidile tears hope they make more Alex rider books

    Reply
  9. Inkdreamer

    Totally with you bronzeknife1. I absolutely love the series and crocodile tears…. I can’t think of how to describe it. Scorpia is freaky and I have to admit Snakehead, this book, and Eagle strike are the best, but even deciding is hard with this series. People, if you haven’t already you should definately read the series.

    Reply
  10. BronzeKnife1

    I LOVE THESE BOOKS!!!! I guess they rip off some stuff, but this was the frist spy series I ever read, so it was new to me. After reading some other spy stuff, this is definitely the best. Alex is an amazing hero; he’s humble and strong and just amazing! It’s not a boring book! Both guys and girls can love these books. Even though there’s a lot of explosions/action (which is good but some people think it would get boring after a while) it’s NOT boring because it describes all of Alex’s emotions. It’s not only adventure, but mystery as well. You try to figure out who is good, who is bad, and along the way Alex comes to terms with his own “good”ness and “bad”ness (Scorpia totally freaked me out!). Some people don’t like that he doesn’t have many friends, but I think it’s awesome that the author shows this reality of a spy’s life: making friends can be dangerous and difficult when you’re a spy. One of my favorite things about these books are the completely insane villians. Who doesn’t love a well-written villian? Especially in Crocodile Tears, the bad guys come up with terrifying, heartwrenching means of torture. And even though the whole take-over-the-world thing might seem cliche, it’s astounding to me every time how far one powerful man will go. I guess the best part of Alex Rider is the suspense. And the creativity. And the fact that Alex is a totally awesome guy. And…well, everything. I saw someone carrying Point Blank at school today, and I was all like, “I LOVE THOSE BOOKS!” Anyway, these are just awesome and Crocodile Tears is one of the best! Breathtaking!

    Reply
  11. Lizzy

    This is the best book EVER! Who doesn’t want to be a spy like Alex. I love the whole series, each one justs gets better!

    Reply
  12. ya-ya girl

    Sounds like a boring book but I am going to my cousin’s birthday party today. Request to be my friend!

    Reply