Reader Reviewed Russian Roulette by Anthony Horowitz

Russian Roulette

Written by Anthony Horowitz
Part of the Alex Rider Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Books of the Year 2014 - One of the Lovereading4kids Readers' Choice Books of the Year 2014 - June 2014 Book of the Month Best-selling Anthony Horowitz doesn’t miss a beat in this thrilling new adventure that links back to his favourite hero, Alex Rider through the terrifying and gripping story of Yassen Gregorovich. Gregorovich is ruthless and calculating; he is a contract killer who will do the business. But how did he get to be in that position? And what is his link to Alex Rider? In a story of trickery, cruelty, ruthlessness and all out violence, Anthony Horowitz shows how some terrible choices are made.

Anthony Horowitz discussed Russian Roulette in a special live event that was streamed into schools on Monday 16th June. For more information go to or watch it on the window below.

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Beth Honeyman, age 11 - 'Russian Roulette by Anthony Horowitz is outstanding, fast paced and gripping from the first page. I loved it and was hooked instantly.' Read full review >
  • Lauren Coffman, age 14 - 'I am a massive fan of the Alex Rider series so when I got this book I was very excited, and it didn't let me down. Every moment was thrilling and it was a real page turner. I definitely recommend it.' Read full review >
  • Natalie Hunter, age 12 - 'This book was brilliant. It was full of action and I found myself unable to put the book down. It is a great why to start the series or finish it. If you like spy books then this book is great for you.' Read full review >
  • Sam Saddler, age 12 - 'This book introduces Yassen Gragorovich, explaining his life and how he became a cold-blooded assassin. The setting is modern and reflects current affairs. Exciting, unexpected, read it in a day!' Read full review >
  • Katie Johnson, age 10 - 'I absolutely loved this story!  I am a big fan of the Alex Rider series, so this was a perfect book for me.'
  • Lola, age 10 - 'A prequel to the Alex Rider books with plenty of twists and excitement.' Read full review >
  • Sidney Greenslade, age 10 - 'Russian Roulette is an action packed and violent tale of survival against the odds and how one devastating event changes a boy's future forever.'Read full review >
  • James Harrison, age 10 - 'Russian Roulette is a really, really brilliant book. Every bit is amazing. It is beautifully written and so enjoyable you couldn't stop reading.' Read full review >
  • Robert White, age 10 - 'This book is impossible to put down. Russian Roulette consists of intense action and lots of cliff hangers at the end of the chapter making it impossible to put down.' Read full review >
  • Samuel Breaks, age 13 - 'An action-packed novel that you can't stop reading, you just want more. Follow the life of Yasha Gregorivich and find out how he came to be an assassin. I love it.' Read full review >
  • Sam Harper, age 10 - 'Yasha is in danger but is the life of an assassin the answer and does he have a choice when it comes to killing Alex Rider? An exciting story which is a must-read for any Alex Rider fan.' Read full review >
  • Alice Horncastle, age 14 - 'Russian Roulette took me on a roller coaster ride that was action packed and full of adventure-as I have read the other books in the series it answered a lot of questions I wanted to ask the author!' Read full review >
  • Alice East, age 9 - 'full on non stop adventure and excitement.  It is so good you want to keep on reading - even when you have been told it's bedtime and lights out!' Read full review >
  • Callum Broomfield, age 10 - 'This is a thrilling book with gripping vocabulary and mystery at every turn. Difficult to put down once you get started; this is a great read, even if you haven’t read all the Alex Rider books.' Read full review >
  • Delilah Acworth - 'Having been an avid Alex Rider reader from a very young age I was immediately gripped with the stunningly written tale. It was just so AMAZING.' Read full review >
  • Daisy Ingram, age 12 - 'I really enjoyed it and couldn't put it down.' Read full review >
  • Hannah Baer, age 10 - 'I liked the book because it had a lot of adventure and action in it...It is a superb read for children who like adventure and action packed novels.' Read full review >
  • Adam Pendell, age 11 - 'This book is a fantastic read. It fills in the gaps about Yassen Gregorovich and Alex's Dad, John Rider.  Alex Rider books are the best!  You must read this if you are a you love spy or action books.' Read full review >
  • Jacob Coleman, age 10 - 'This latest Alex Rider book had me gripped. Every twist and turn made me want to read the plot thickened I wanted to jump into the pages to warn him!' Read full review >
  • Daniel Mann, age 10 - 'This book didn't disappoint. It got straight into the action and despite Yassen Gregorovich being the bad guy you can't help but come to like him and feel for him.' Read full review >
  • Traviss Chaytors, age 11 - 'This book is a very good at making you want to read on and I have got a whole bunch of people waiting to read it including my Teacher!' Read full review >
  • Alexander Boxall, age 11 - 'A fantastic read but I am  really sad to have to accept that this truly is the last book in the series.' Read full review >
  • Conor Kelly, age 12 - Year 8 St. Colm's High School - 'The story was fast paced and very exciting...I would give this book a 10/10.' Read full review >
  • Dylan Sweet, age 10 - 'Its one of the best adventure books I have ever read. I couldn't put the book down.' Read full review >


Russian Roulette by Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz brought his internationally bestselling Alex Rider sequence to a close in 2011 with the ninth in the series, Scorpia Rising. But Anthony had unfinished business with the world of Alex Rider and with one character in particular – Yassen Gregorovich, the assassin dispatched to execute Alex in the very first adventure, Stormbreaker first published in 2000. This is highly anticipated prequel charts the journey of a young assassin. An international contract killer has been given his orders. His next target is a fourteen-year-old spy...Alex Rider. The man's name is Yassen Gregorovich. He knows Alex well. The two of them share a secret from the past. As he considers his next mission, Yassen remembers the forces that turned him from an ordinary schoolboy into a hired assassin. What is it that makes someone choose to do evil? What would it take to make them kill?

The Alex Rider series has sold over 13 million copies in English and is published in over 28 languages.

For more news and chat click here to visit the Alex Rider facebook page.


This thrilling adventure will be the deadliest yet... Addictive, pacey novels Financial Times

The series that has re-invented the spy genre Independent

About the Author

Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz discussed Russian Roulette in a special live event streamed into schools on Monday 16th June. For more information go to or watch it on the window below.

Anthony Horowitz was our Guest Editor in June 2011 - click here to see the books he chose.

Anthony Horowitz is the author of the number one bestselling Alex Rider books and The Power of Five series. He has enjoyed huge success as a writer for both children and adults, most recently with his highly acclaimed Sherlock Holmes novel, The House of Silk.

He has won numerous awards, including the Bookseller Association/Nielson Author of the Year Award, the Children’s Book of the Year Award at the British Book Awards, and the Red House Children’s Book Award.

Anthony has also created and written many major television series, including Injustice, Collision and the award-winning Foyle’s War.

Anthony Horowitz as a child:
Born in north London, Anthony says, "I think I knew with certainty that I wanted to be a writer around eight." For birthdays, he asked for books, pens and a typewriter. His schooldays were not especially happy, more like something "out of Dickens or Dahl", and one reason he began writing books for young people was "to make up for the shortcomings of my childhood".

As an adult:
Anthony has an unrivalled reputation for getting boys, especially reluctant readers, into books. In 2007, Anthony was singled out by then Education Secretary Alan Johnson as the not-so-secret weapon to get boys reading. In 2008, Anthony was made the National Year of Reading’s first Champion Author due to his regular outreach work to Youth Offenders and Looked After Children throughout the UK.

Things you didn't know about Anthony Horowitz:
1. Anthony began writing because he wanted to be like Tintin.
2. He has travelled to all the places in the Tintin books (except the moon).
3. Snatchmore Hall (in The Switch) is based on the house where Anthony lived as a child. He had a nanny, two cooks, two gardens, a chauffeur … and he hated it.
4. He was sent to a revolting boarding school, Orley Farm, in north London. The headmaster and his wife featured by name in one of his TV episodes. He depicted them as mad Nazis!
5. He takes research for his books very seriously. He has walked across the Andes and visited forbidden criminal enclaves in Hong Kong. For Point Blanc, he climbed – and operated – a 150m crane opposite the Houses of Parliament.
6. He got married in Hong Kong. He didn’t understand the ceremony because it was in Chinese.
7. He spent a year working as a cowboy in Australia. This was for fun – not for a book.
8. His passion is scuba-diving. He has dived all over the world, including Sipadan in the South China Sea, where he saw hammerhead sharks.
9. He has a chocolate-coloured Labrador called Lucky. Lucky by name, but not by nature – the dog has been run over three times!
10. He is a major film fan and goes to the cinema three or four times a week. His favourite film is The Third Man. He is also a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock’s mysteries.

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Book Info


432 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Anthony Horowitz
More books by Anthony Horowitz

Author's Website


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

5th June 2014




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