First edition cover
|Series||Alex Rider series|
|Genre||Adventure, Spy novel, thriller novel|
|1 April 2005|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|ISBN||0-7445-8324-1 (first edition, paperback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.H7875 Ar 2005|
Ark Angel is the sixth book in the Alex Rider series written by British author Anthony Horowitz. The novel is a spy thriller which follows the successful attempt by the titular character, Alex Rider, as he foils a plot of a Russian billionaire.
Following the events of Scorpia, Alex Rider is in a hospital recovering from an assassination attempt. Four masked men come to the hospital attempting to kidnap Paul Drevin, the son of Russian billionaire Nikolei Drevin, who is financing a revolutionary space hotel named "Ark Angel". Alex, in an attempt to save Paul, pretends to be Paul and fights the men, defeating the 4 men, before being overpowered by a 5th man.
The man takes Alex to a flat where Alex discovers that the men belong to Force Three, an eco-terrorist group led by a man named Kaspar. Despite proving that he is not Paul Drevin, they confine Alex and set fire to the apartment. Alex escapes. Drevin invites him to come and stay for two weeks in luxury for saving his son. While at Drevin's home, Alex starts to befriend Paul, but decides to leave him and his father once they arrive in New York en route to Flamingo Bay.
At the New York airport, Alex is held up at customs and taken to the CIA. He is told that Drevin is a banker for a number of criminal organisations, and is forcibly recruited by the CIA to continue traveling with Drevin. Upon his arrival at Flamingo Bay, Drevin learns of Alex's CIA connections and decides to have him killed while scuba diving. Alex becomes trapped in a sunken ship named the Mary Belle, but with the help of Tamara Knight, an undercover CIA agent posing as Drevin's secretary, Alex escapes.
Alex and Tamara hide on the island but are captured shortly after Force Three arrive on the island. Drevin ties Alex up and then tells Alex that his rocket Gabriel 7 contains a bomb that will destroy Ark Angel, causing it to fall to Earth and destroy Washington, D.C. This will eradicate the evidence against him the CIA have accumulated in the Pentagon, as well as letting him reclaim some of his money spent on the (now regretted) Ark Angel project. Drevin also created Force Three so that they could take the fall for Ark Angel's destruction and kills them to maintain the illusion of an attack.
Alex escapes, meeting again with the CIA. They go back to the island to prevent the rocket from taking off, but fail. Drevin, fearing he will be captured, tries to get away in a seaplane but encounters Alex. Trying to shoot Alex, Drevin wounds his own son by accident. Trying to flee in the seaplane, Drevin plane is destroyed, killing him.
Alex then attempts to disarm the second rocket, since he is the only one small enough to fit inside the spacecraft. When Alex arrives, he sees Kaspar, who had been sent up earlier to activate the bomb, and fights him. Alex forces Kaspar to fall back on his own knife, dying. Alex moves the bomb and escapes on an escape capsule which splashes down in the sea near Australia. The bomb explodes and the satellite, instead of crashing onto Washington, is blown apart completely.
Philip Ardagh at The Guardian gave Ark Angel a positive review, stating "It's perfectly pitched at its readership. Ark Angel reads the way a children's thriller should read" and "This is a welcome new addition [to the series]." However, Joe Queenan of The New York Times gave the book a more negative review. Comparing it to Charlie Higson's Blood Fever, the reviewer criticised Ark Angel for having "zero intellectual content", calling Horowitz's prose style "clunky, uninspiring". He also described Alex as "oddly bland" and "humorless".
- "Ark Angel announced". Anthony Horowitz. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
- "Ark Angel in the USA". Anthony Horowitz news. February 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
- Philip Ardagh (9 April 2005). "Alex rides again". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-04-07.
- Queenan, Joe (18 June 2006). "Teenage Spy Books by Charlie Higson and Anthony Horowitz". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- Official website of the Alex Rider series
- Ark Angel at Walker Books
- Anthony Horowitz Official Website