Ark Angel (novel)
Release date

April 1, 2005 (UK); April 5, 2007 (North America)


352 (UK); 326 (North America)

Publication order
Preceded by
Followed by

Alex Rider is back - and this time there are no limits

—Ark Angel tagline

Ark Angel is the sixth book in the Alex Rider series by British author Anthony Horowitz.


The novel starts off with Alex Rider in a hospital recovering from an assassination attempt caused by the terrorist organization Scorpia. He meets a teen his age named Paul Drevin - son of Russian multibillionare Nikolei Drevin and host of the Ark Angel project - and forms an alliance with him. Later, one night, a group of four men arrive in the hospital in an attempt to kidnap Paul Drevin. 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 an abandoned apartment. 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 leaves Alex to die anyway - he escapes using a tightrope.

Apparently grateful for Paul being spared, Nikolei 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 numerous 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, by trapping him 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 while Alex and Tamara are captured. Tamara is imprisoned, while Alex is tied up to 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. The Force Three members are then shot dead by Kaspar, who travels to Ark Angel to ensure the bomb is placed.

Alex escapes, meeting again with the CIA, who arrive on the island. He ends up on the bottom of Drevin's estate's porch and meets up with Nikolei. Drevin then attempts to kill Alex but accidentally shoots Paul instead. Now infuriated, Drevin attempts escape using a seaplane, but Alex earlier tied it to canoes. The canoes gets caught in some trees, causing Drevin's plane to crash and explode, killing him. The CIA then asks 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 by a floating knife in a major artery and killed. 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, where the plot of Snakehead begins.


Factual errors

  • In this book, Alex uses a Lifepak 300 defibrillator to knock out Silver Tooth, however a Lifepak 300 should be able to detect the heart rhythm and prevent any release of electrical energy.


  • Lancashire Children's Book of the Year
  • Red House Children's Book Award
  • Doncaster Children's Book of the Year Award

Useful Links


Ark Angel Characters
Main Characters
Alex RiderAlan BluntTulip JonesJack StarbrightNikolei DrevinPaul DrevinMagnus Payne
Other Key Characters
Joe ByrneSmithersTamara KnightMax WebberEd ShulskyJohn Crawley