Ark Angel by Anthony Horowitz

(Cover picture courtesy of BRHS Book Reviews.)

The sniper’s bullet nearly killed him.  But Alex Rider, teen superspy, survived—just in time to intercept a kidnapping of billionaire Nikolai Drevin’s son.  Drevin’s been targeted by a group of deadly eco-terrorists who think nothing of killing millions to achieve their goals.  Unless Alex can stop them in time…

This sixth volume in the Alex Rider series is pretty much the same as the previous five books: Alex goes out on a mission to save the world and succeeds.  Again.  And all at the tender age of fourteen.  Throw in some cliché characters, a few plot twists and a cliffhanger at the end to keep readers hooked and you’ve got the perfect James Bond knockoff series.

Anthony Horowitz really is a talented writer, especially when it comes to writing action novels, but he seriously needs to tone down the cliché.  I know that most of his audience, being tweens and young teens, does not care that the Alex Rider series is predictable, but Horowitz could at least make an effort to change things up once in a while.  True, I would rather that young adults be reading something rather than nothing at all, but that’s no excuse for lazy characterization.

As for the plot, it’s incredibly fast-paced with a couple of twists and a good cliffhanger at the end.  Anthony Horowitz balances description, interior monologue and dialogue perfectly for an action novel.  More experienced readers will be able to predict the ending, but then again I think everyone knows that Alex is going to save the world.  The main reason for reading this book is the heart pounding journey, rather than the predictable destination.

I give this book 3/5 stars.

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