Horowitz, Anthony: Russian Roulette


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2 thoughts on “Horowitz, Anthony: Russian Roulette

  1. Profile photo of Yash NairYash Nair Post author

    What does it take to be a killer?
    Anthony Horowitz illustrates this in his prequel novel to the ALEX RIDER SERIES. Meet Yasha Gregorovitch.
    A boy who didn’t do anything but be the sole survivor of a chemical incident in Russia.
    And a boy who is being tracked everywhere in Russia.

    After witnessing the brutal murder of his parents, Gregorovitch manages to run off with another boy in the village. That boy dies of disease. A horrible, wasting one, that only Yasha is immune to due to this medicine. Mourning, he manages to get to Moscow, after a few close shaves with guards, to find a professor at an university.

    Things don’t work out so well, so he’s out, on the run, again. Gregorovitch, that is. To make matters worse, he as pickpocketed and lost all of his rubles (money). He strikes a deal with his pick pocketer-Dima. If Dima would provide shelter for him for a day, Gregorovitch would help him pickpocket and steal.

    One day, on an awry theft, Yasha is caught. By Sharkovsky, a corrupt politician. He stays as a food-tester. Sounds comfy? Eh…it’s not. A food taster makes sure that the food isn’t poisonous. And that was just part of his job. Essentially, he was a butler.

    Read on as ‘Yassen’ as he’s now known, by Sharkovsky, is recruited into S.C.O.R.P.I.A., the main villain of the ALEX RIDER series. Yassen is an antihero, of a kind, and sometimes I think of he and Alex Rider as two faces of the same coin. In many ways, yes, they are different, but also in many ways the same. Both initially are unwilling to kill.
    Thing is, Yassen was there longer. He was desperate. And he refused to kill until he met a familiar face.

    In this book, ‘Hunter’/Alex Rider’s father is there as a mentor, with Yassen ‘Cossack’. Compared to Yassen, Alex Rider had a cushy lifestyle, and I really liked this book as it dwelled into one on the most mysterious characters in the Alex Rider series. In some parts, despite being a ‘villain’ he’s a hero.
    Or, well, at least the author makes him sound like one. For most of the time, it’s written in first person. The story is heart-wrenchingly honest, and is a fine novel, at any case.

  2. Profile photo of Akuwudike Chigozirim DivineGiftAkuwudike Chigozirim DivineGift

    This is the story of the life of an assassin Yassen Gregorvich, First he was Yasha, but find out how he became Yassen. Yassen had grew up like a normal Russia, his father and mother were genius particularly his dad. Until he turns 14 yrs old. Find out how his journey began. What had happened to him from the beginning of his journey, how he survived, met Scorpia, met Alex Rider’s Father (John Rider), became and assassin.
    One curious thing. Now, Yassen is 28 yrs old, while Alex Rider is 14 yrs old. When they mentioned somewhere in the book that Yassen was 19 yrs old that means he seniors Alex Rider with 14 yrs, but why was Alex still in the womb not yet born. I really didn’t understand that part concerning their age difference. In this story Yassen is sent by Scorpia to kill Alex Rider. Did he really kill him? What had he thought when sent to kill Alex? Why had he made those decisions?

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