ANTHONY HOROWITZ

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ALEX RIDERANTHONYHOROWITZEXCLUSIVE EXCERPTwww.anthonyhorowitz.com

Never Say DieExclusive ExtractThe start of another day.Alex went into the bathroom, showered and cleaned his teeth. Then he gotdressed. He had started school a week ago, arriving at the start of the fall semester –the autumn term, he would have called it back in London. There was no uniform at theElmer E. Robinson High School. Today, Alex threw on sweats, a T-shirt and a hoodie– all of them brought from the same branch of Hollister on Market Street. Glancing athimself in the full-length mirror next to the bed, he decided that he looked Americanand anonymous. It was only when he spoke that he stood out. Of course, everyonesaid how much they loved his British accent.There was a homework assignment on his desk. “Do animals have a consciouslife?” It was an essay he’d been asked to write for Human Geography class but Alexwasn’t even sure that he understood the question. He’d managed to scrawl out thefive hundred words demanded but he was fairly sure that he’d get a bad grade a Cor even a fail. When Alex was at Brookland, he’d always done well, even when he wasmissing classes, dragged out of school by MI6. But there was a part of him now thatjust didn’t care. He picked up the pages and stuffed them into his backpack. Then hewent downstairs.Sabina was already in the kitchen with her mother, sitting down to breakfast.Liz Pleasure had set out pancakes and fresh fruit, cereal and coffee. Alex rememberedthe first time he had met the family – when they had invited him on a surfing holidayin Cornwall. He had thought then how close they were and had secretly envied them.His own parents had died soon after he was born and he had never had a proper familyof his own. Well, now he was one of them. He had become a son to Edward and Liz,a younger brother to Sabina (she was three months older than him). So why didn’t hefeel that he belonged? Why did he still walk into the room like an invited guest?

Never Say Die : Exclusive Extract“Good morning, Alex!” Liz beamed at him and poured him a glass of freshlysqueezed orange juice. She was a large, round-faced woman who was alwayscheerful. If she worried about Alex, she was careful never to show it. “Did you get yourhomework done?”“Yes. I finished it last night.” Alex sat down next to Sabina. In the corner, Rocky,the family Labrador, thumped his tail lazily against the floor as if he was glad to seeAlex too.“I had two pages of math,” Sabina complained. “It took me ages!”“Well you should have started it when you got in,” her mother scolded her.“Instead of watching all that TV.”Math not maths. Alex noticed what Sabina had said. She had been in Americafor less than a year but it seemed to him that she had quickly folded herself into hernew life.Edward Pleasure was away. He was working on a news story in Los Angeles andwouldn’t be back for a couple of weeks. Liz was also a writer, finishing a book aboutfashion. She had a study at the back of the house, overlooking the garden, and workedfrom there. “Did you sleep OK?” she asked.Alex looked up. He hesitated for just a moment, then answered automatically.“Yes. I slept fine.”He hadn’t. The nightmare had woken him again. He was back in the chapel atthe eighteenth century fort in the desert outside Cairo. Razim was there – the madmanand agent of Scorpia who hoped to make a name for himself by finding an exactmeasurement for pain. And Julius Grief was standing in front of him, bobbing up anddown in excitement. The boy was also mad in his own way. He had been surgicallyaltered to turn him into an exact replica of Alex, and it was as if Alex was looking into afairground mirror, seeing a distorted version of himself.Alex was tied to a chair, unable to take his eyes off the television screen in frontof him. Wires had been attached to different parts of his body: his neck, his fingers,his forehead, his naked chest. He could feel the chill of the air-conditioning against hisskin. But there was something even colder in the room. It was his own terror. Razimand Julius Grief were about to murder the person he most loved and they were forcinghim to watch.He saw Jack Starbright on the screen. She had managed to escape from hercell by prising out one of the bars in the window. She had found a car, parked in thecourtyard outside. The keys had been left in the ignition. She climbed in, unaware thatthis was what they wanted her to do, that her every move was being monitored. Alexscreamed at her to stop. He was twisting in the chair, straining against the ropes that

Never Say Die : Exclusive Extractheld him. Julius Grief was laughing. Once again, Alex felt the tears coursing down hischeeks.The car drove out of the fort and into the desert. And then, as it had done thenight before and every night after Alex had finally managed to fall asleep, it blew up.There had been a bomb concealed inside. Razim had stage-managed the entire escapesimply to torture him. Alex saw the flames as he had seen them fifty times before andwoke up in his room on the fourth floor, his pillow damp with sweat and tears. It was along time before he had got back to sleep again.Sabina’s mother had served him a pancake but he pushed the plate away, unableto eat. She noticed this and eyed him warily. “Aren’t you hungry, Alex?”“No, thanks.” Alex tried to smile. “I’m fine with orange juice.”“Well, make sure you eat at mid-day. Sabina – keep an eye on him!”“Yes, mum,” Sabina said. She couldn’t keep the worry out of her voice. Sheknew there was something wrong.A few minutes later, the two of them left. They were both at the same High School,just a few blocks north, close to the huge park – the Presidio - that gave the area itsname. To Alex, the Elmer E. Robinson High School looked more like a university, withhalf a dozen low-rise buildings spread across beautifully-kept lawns and an oversizedStars & Stripes fluttering at the entrance. There was a theatre, a brand new library,a 1,000-seat auditorium, tennis courts, basketball courts and of course an Americanfootball field. It was home to over two thousand students and made Brookland inNorth London seem small and old-fashioned.“Are you sure you’re OK?” Sabina asked as they approached the fountain thatstood outside the main entrance. “I know how hard this must be for you.”“I’m fine, Sab. Really.”“Maybe you should change your mind about Los Angeles. We can have lots offun down there and Dad really wants to see you.”Normally, Edward Pleasure came home at weekends but he had a Saturdaymeeting and the family had decided to take advantage of the warm weather andspend some time together on the coast at Santa Monica.“No. I’ll be fine and it’s good that the three of you have a bit of time on yourown.” They’d reached the steps leading up to the front door. “I’ll see you later. Have agood day.”“You too.”The two of them went their separate ways. Sabina had deliberately stayed closeto Alex in his first week as he tried to settle in but they’d agreed that it would probablybe easier for both of them if they stayed apart, allowing Alex to make his own friends.

Never Say Die : Exclusive ExtractAnyway, Alex had noticed that Sabina had met someone else. Blake was seventeen,broad-shouldered, blonde-haired, with an easy smile. He was the senior basketballcaptain and one of the most popular boys in the school. Alex had taken an immediatedislike to him and then felt annoyed with himself for doing so. What was wrong withhim? He’d never been like this when he was in the UK.It wasn’t working out. He had to admit it. Most of the students at EERHS hadbeen welcoming but somehow he was still on his own and he understood why. Youcan’t make friends unless you’re completely honest and there was simply too muchmystery about Alex, too much that he couldn’t explain. He couldn’t tell anyone whyhe had no parents, why he was living with Sabina and her family, what he had beendoing for the past year, why he had come to the United States or even how he hadmanaged to get a visa. He just hoped things would get better in time. A year, or twoyears and maybe people would begin to accept him.

Never Say DieAlex Rider: Never Say DieBy Anthony HorowitzPublication status: Not yet publishedPub date: June 2017Copyright 2016 Walker Books. All rights reserved.FOR MORE INFORMATION Created by Frequencywww.frequency.iefor www.anthonyhorowitz.com

ALEX RIDER www.anthonyhorowitz.com. Never Say Die Exclusive Extract The start of another day. Alex went into the bathroom, showered and cleaned his teeth. Then he got dressed. He had started school a week ago, arriving at the start of the fall semester – the autumn term, he would have called it back in London. There was no uniform at the Elmer E. Robinson High School. Today, Alex threw on .

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