Alex has always been skilful, even before he knew about the MI6. A few months after Alex's birth, his parents, John and Helen Rider, were killed in a plane crash. His uncle, Ian Rider took care of Alex. Prior to Ian Rider's death, Alex was no different to any other teenager. Alex is friendly, polite, introverted and a highly intelligent person. Alex is filled with many talents which he picked up from his world-wide journeys with his uncle; he acquired skills like scuba diving and foreign languages. Although he was very talented, he did not receive any opportunities to apply his talents to real life, until his uncle died.
Ian Rider's death and his SAS turning are the significant contributors to his transformation. The loss of his uncle ignited curiosity, "'Doesn't that seem strange to you ... He always wore a seat belt."(pg. 11). Alex had spent the vast majority of his life with Ian rider and he was having difficulty accepting that Ian Rider did not have his seat belt on, "You know he was always careful," (pg. 11). This initiated his adventure of uncovering his uncle’s mystery begin and the cause of transforming Alex into a different person.
His SAS training is another factor that significantly contributes towards his transformation. Prior to his training, Alex never received the opportunity to use his talents or build confidence. The training allowed him to grow out