Book Review: Ark Angel by Anthony Horowitz

As you may know, I’ve got a stack of books I’m reading this summer. I haven’t found much time to write with #daddycamp12 and our other family adventures, but I did sit down yesterday and finish one of the books on my list. I’m in the middle of reading several others, but wanted to go ahead and post a review here.

I just finished Ark Angel by Anthony Horowitz, the 6th book in the Alex Rider series. While the book held my attention and was quite enjoyable, I found the book somewhat predictable. Perhaps, this is because I am now 6 books into the series and I’ve read a ton of spy thrillers, but the stories have become somewhat formulaic. That doesn’t make this a bad read, but it does take some of the surprise out of the plot twists. I don’t want to spoil the book because I think it’s a good read, but most of my predictions were spot on.

At the beginning of this story, Alex is recovering from a gunshot wound he received at the end of Scorpia (book 5). He’s recovering well in the hospital and scheduled for release when he stumbles into an attempted kidnapping of a fellow patient, Paul Drevin. Needless to say, Alex can’t avoid being snared into another dangerous scenario where he has to risk his life to save the world.

As a big fan of spy thrillers, I have thoroughly enjoyed this series of adventures for 14-year-old, MI6 agent Alex Rider. The stories move along at a great pace, and it’s easy to get lost in the plots. As a teacher, I also appreciate the way Alex often finds a use for some of his school learning (mostly physics–Do 14 year olds study that in London?) to help him escape when caught or trapped. The story is full of action, and according to the author’s note “everything in the story is meant to be within the bounds of possibility” (p. 326). I’m not sure about that, but it does make for a fun read. Fans of the James Bond, Scot Horvath, Alex Cross, or Mitch Rapp characters will enjoy these books as well. I know Sam, our ten-year-old son, has devoured the entire series, and I can understand why.

If you are looking for a spy adventure with a cool premise, wicked villains, fast action, and multiple twists, you should really consider this series. But beware, Sam and I have found the books hard to put down. In fact, I read this one cover-to-cover in one day. On Goodreads I rated the book 4 out of 5 stars.

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