Alex Rider Books in Order: Which Book is the TV Series Based On?

With the Alex Rider TV series arriving on Amazon, here’s a handy breakdown of Anthony Horowitz’s book series so far…

Alex Rider Secret Weapon cover cropped
Photo: Walker Books

Featuring a desolate mountain location and a high-stakes snowboard chase, book fans will know that Sony’s new Alex Rider TV show is adapted from ‘Point Blanc’, the second in Anthony Horowitz’s hugely successful teen spy thriller novels.

Elements of the first book ‘Stormbreaker’ have been woven in with the main plot of ‘Point Blanc’ to create the new eight-episode series, which introduces the world to teenage MI6 agent Alex. The strange circumstances surrounding the loss of Alex’s uncle Ian Rider (played by Broadchurch’s Andrew Buchan) are borrowed from the first book, as is Alex’s reluctant recruitment by British Intelligence.

The rest of the series’ storyline though, which involves Alex infiltrating a secretive boarding school for the troubled teens of global billionaires, comes from ‘Point Blanc’. That’s not to say the TV adaptation is entirely faithful. The character of Alex’s schoolfriend Tom (played by Game of Thrones‘ Brenock O’Connor), who doesn’t appear in book two, has been written in and expanded to give the spy character a more grounded ‘normal teen’ counterpart. We’ll break down the rest of the changes in more detail later on.

Here’s all the info on the rest of Horowitz’s Alex Rider books in order…

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NOVELS

Book 1: Stormbreaker (pub. September 2000)

Official synopsis:

In the first book in the number one bestselling Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, fourteen-year-old Alex is forcibly recruited into MI6. Armed with secret gadgets, he is sent to investigate Herod Sayle, a man who is offering state-of-the-art Stormbreaker computers to every school in the country. But the teenage spy soon finds himself in mortal danger.

Stormbreaker also exists as a graphic novel.

Buy Stormbreaker on Amazon.

Book 2: Point Blanc (pub. September 2001)

Official synopsis:

In the second book in the number one bestselling Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, teenage spy Alex is sent by MI6 to infiltrate the exclusive Point Blanc Academy. But the academy hides a deadly secret. Can Alex alert the world to the truth before it’s too late?

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Point Blanc also exists as a graphic novel.

Buy Point Blanc on Amazon.

Book 3: Skeleton Key (pub. July 2002)

Official synopsis:

In the third book in the number one bestselling Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, teenage spy Alex faces his most dangerous challenge yet. Teaming up with the CIA, Alex must go to a remote Caribbean island called Skeleton Key, where the insane general Sarov is hatching explosive plans to re-write history.

Skeleton Key also exists as a graphic novel.

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Buy Skeleton Key on Amazon.

Book 4: Eagle Strike (pub. April 2003)

Official synopsis:

In the fourth book in the number one bestselling Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, teenage spy Alex is in the South of France, hoping to sever his links with MI6. But when a sudden attack on his hosts plunges Alex back into a world of violence, he soon uncovers a plan called Eagle strike – a discovery more terrible than anything he could have imagined.

Eagle Strike also exists as a graphic novel.

Buy Eagle Strike on Amazon.

Book 5: Scorpia (pub. April 2004)

Official synopsis:

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In the fifth book in the number one bestselling Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, teenage spy Alex travels to Venice to discover the truth about his past. But the truth lies with a criminal organization known as Scorpia, and Alex must make a choice… work for MI6 once more, or betray everything he believes in.

Scorpia also exists as a graphic novel.

Buy Scorpia on Amazon.

Book 6: Ark Angel (pub. April 2005)

Official synopsis:

In the sixth book in the number one bestselling Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, teenage spy Alex has a chance encounter with the son of multi-billionaire Nikolei Drevin. Soon Alex finds himself in the middle of an international crime hunt. The connection – Ark Angel, a revolutionary space hotel with catastrophic potential.

Ark Angel also exists as a graphic novel.

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Buy Ark Angel on Amazon.

Book 7: Snakehead (pub. October 2007)

Official synopsis:

In the seventh book in the number one bestselling Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, teenage spy Alex is forced into the Australian secret service. His target is the criminal underworld of South East Asia, and a ruthless organization known as the Snakehead.

Buy Snakehead on Amazon.

Book 8: Crocodile Tears (pub. November 2009)

Official synopsis:

In the eighth book in the number one bestselling Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, Alex meets international do-gooder Desmond McCain. But a simple card game between them rapidly leads to a duel to the death – one that could result in the destruction of an entire country.

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Buy Crocodile Tears on Amazon.

Book 9: Scorpia Rising (pub. March 2011)

Official synopsis:

In the final book in the number one bestselling Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, Alex is trying to get his life back on track. But Scorpia has returned, and when you’re the world’s most successful spy, the only way out is to face your enemies. Alex’s final mission will be the deadliest of all.

Buy Scorpia Rising on Amazon.

Book 10: Russian Roulette (pub. September 2013)

Official synopsis:

In the prequel to the number one bestselling Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, contract killer Yassen Gregorovich is given orders to kill Alex. But Yassen knows a secret from the past that connects him to the fourteen-year-old spy. What is it that makes one of them choose to do evil, and what does it take to turn him into a killer?

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Buy Russian Roulette on Amazon.

Book 11: Never Say Die (pub. June 2017)

Official synopsis:

In this brand new, action-packed adventure, Alex Rider is trying to get his life back on track after the traumatic events of his last mission. But even Alex can’t fight the past … especially when it holds a deadly secret.

Buy Never Say Die on Amazon.

Book 12: Nightshade (pub. April 2020)

Official synopsis:

In this adrenaline-fuelled adventure in the number one bestselling series, Alex Rider is sent by MI6 Special Operations to infiltrate a new and sinister organization known only as Nightshade. Alex is on his own, with the fate of thousands of people resting in his hands.

Buy Nightshade on Amazon.

SHORT STORIES

Secret Weapon (pub. April 2019)

Official synopsis:

Ever since MI6 recognized his potential, Alex Rider has constantly been thrust into the line of danger. From a routine visit to the dentist that turns into a chase through the streets of London, to a school trip with a deadly twist, no day has ever been ordinary for the teenage super-spy. This collection of thrilling adventures features familiar and new assailants from the best-loved world of Alex Rider, and also includes three never-before-seen stories.

Buy Secret Weapon on Amazon.

For more information and updates on any further additions to the series, visit Anthony Horowitz’s official website here.