by Anthony Horowitz
If there wasnt another Alex Rider book coming out (Ark Angel
), I would be very depressed after reading this book. The very end of this fifth Alex Rider adventure seems to bring that promising, 14-year-old spys adventures to an abrupt and ruthless end. Ive seen some cliffhangers in my time, but the way this biggest, most exciting, and most deadly serious of Alex Riders adventures ends, is more like watching the hero plunge right off the cliff with nothing but sharp rocks and white water below. Its the kind of ending that makes you think, There had #$&-well better be another book after this, or Anthony Horowitz is going to be SORRY.
But as I said, its a big, exciting, serious adventure, and that ending is only the smallest part of it. The rest of it involves a boys quest for the truth about his dead father, his search for his own destiny, and the ultimate test of what he is made of good or evil. For after saving the worlds sorry butt four times, with hardly a thank you from Britains MI6 secret service, Alex Rider learns that his father was part of a worldwide terrorist organization called Scorpia. An organization that kills people for money. And worse, the spymasters who have been sending Alex into danger for his country, may be the very people responsible for his fathers death. So Alex follows the advice of a dying assassin...he joins Scorpia and begins his training as a killer.
What, no more saving the world?
Well, that remains to be seen. For Scorpia hasnt told Alex all the facts...including the fact that its current mission is to kill all the 12- and 13-year-old kids in London. Unwittingly, Alex becomes part of that plan. Then they put the boys not-very-promising killer instincts to the test. His first mission: to kill his own contact at MI6. His choice, fueled by grief and anger, is very simple: turn toward evil, once and for all...or die.
This is an example of the kind of suspense novel where you worry more about whether the main character ends up good or evil, than whether he lives or dies. Though, as I may have mentioned before, it is the living-or-dying bit that is going to leave you breathless with need to read Ark Angel.
Recommended Age: 14+
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