by Anthony Horowitz
The sixth caper by 14-year-old British super-spy Alex Rider begins by letting you off the hook that book 5, Scorpia
, set in you. For clearly, Alex did not die in the assassination attempt at the end of that book. He just barely survived. His friends at MI6 sent him to a luxury hospital to recuperate. Which puts him in the perfect position to stop a gang of murdering thugs from kidnapping the kid in the room next door. I almost said it was a lucky thing Alex was there, but luck had nothing to do with it. Even recovering from a near-fatal bullet wound can be part of his assignment!
As they so often do, one thing leads to another. Saving a powerful tycoons son from having his fingers cut off and mailed to Daddy leads to meeting the tycoon himself. Alex is soon the guest of a man whose plan to build a hotel in space is a joint venture with the British government. But when father, son, and guest land in New York as part of their whirlwind vacation during which Alex is supposed to recuperate the CIA takes him aside and tells him that the father, Mr. Drevin, is the head of a criminal empire that is about to be taken down. Suddenly Alex is on assignment again.
This time, all he is supposed to do is keep an eye out for signs that Drevin is preparing to escape from the long arm of the law. But things quickly get way more complicated. It turns out the billionaire has a monstrous plan to sacrifice thousands of lives to save his own fortune. No problem; with an alert, resourceful kid like Alex on the job, you know the situation will be handled. No one can survive fiendish attempts on his life like Alex; and no one can improvise a niftier way to foil the bad guy, using only a couple of gadgets and whatever happens to be lying around. The real problem is that, to save the Eastern U.S. from catastrophe, someone has to fly into outerspace and neutralize a timebomb. And only two available candidates will fit in the rocket: an orangutan...and Alex.
Its nice to see Alex back again, along with all his spook associates, having another thrilling adventure with over-the-top villains, zany gadgets, unusual forms of transportation, and above all, a teen James Bond who just wants to be a normal kid.
Recommended Age: 14+
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