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 attempt by the title character, Alex Rider, to foil a plot of a Russian billionaire.
Alex Rider is currently in a hospital recovering from an assassination attempt caused by the terrorist organization Scorpia. One night, a group of four men arrive in the hospital in an attempt to kidnap Paul Drevin, the fourteen-year-old son of Nikolei Drevin, a Russian multibillionaire who is the mastermind of "Ark Angel", the first luxury hotel in outer space. Alex, in an attempt to rescue Paul, pretends to be Paul himself and overpowers the four men, before being knocked out by a fifth man.
Alex is captured by the men and taken to a tower. The men reveal themselves to be Force Three, an eco-terrorist group led by a man named Kaspar. Alex proves that he is not Paul Drevin, but Force Three burns the tower and leave Alex to die anyway; he escapes using a tightrope. In return for saving his son, Drevin invites him to come and stay in luxury with him for two weeks. When Alex arrives in Drevin's house, he befriends Paul, but decides to leave him and Drevin when they arrive in New York.
At the New York airport, Alex is taken to the CIA, who tells him that Drevin is a banker for many criminal organizations. The CIA recruits Alex to continue his vacation with Drevin to investigate him. When they arrive in Flamingo Bay, Drevin's private island, Drevin discovers that Alex is working for MI6 and learns of his CIA connections. Drevin decides to kill Alex while scuba diving. Alex becomes trapped in a sunken ship called the Mary Belle, but with the help of Tamara Knight, a CIA agent posing as Drevin's personal secretary, Alex escapes using a gadget that Smithers (a person that works for the MI6) gave him.
That night, Force Three arrive in Flamingo Bay and Alex and Tamara are captured. Tamara is imprisoned, while Alex is tied up in a chair and interrogated. Drevin tells Alex about his plan: He will send his own rocket, Gabriel 7, which contains a bomb, to outer space and destroy Ark Angel, causing it to fall to Earth and destroy Washington D.C. This will simultaneously destroy the evidence against him that the CIA have accumulated in the Pentagon, and also reclaim some of his money spent on the now regretted Ark Angel project. Drevin also reveals that he created Force Three in order for them to take the blame of destroying Ark Angel, thus proving Drevin's innocence. Force Three is shot dead by their leader Kaspar who travels to Ark Angel to ensure the bomb is placed.
Alex escapes, meeting again with the CIA, who arrive on the island. Drevin attempts to kill Alex, but accidentally shoots Paul instead. Infuriated, Drevin attempts escape using a seaplane, but Alex earlier tied it to canoes, causing it to crash and explode, killing him. The CIA orders Alex to disarm the bomb of Gabriel 7. Alex reluctantly agrees and travels to outer space using a second rocket. When Alex arrives, he sees Kaspar, who was sent to activate the bomb, and fights him. Alex eventually wins when Kaspar is stabbed in a major artery and dies. Alex places the bomb in a room in Ark Angel and escapes in an escape capsule. Instead of falling to Earth, Ark Angel is blown up completely. Alex falls back to Earth and lands on the eastern coast of Australia.
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.