Investigations into the "accidental" deaths of two of the world's most powerful men have revealed just one link: both had a son attending Point Blanc Academy - an exclusive school for rebellious rich kids, run by the sinister Dr Grief and set high on an isolated mountain peak in the French Alps. Armed only with a false ID and a new collection of brilliantly disguised gadgets, Alex must infiltrate the academy as a pupil and establish the truth about what is really happening there.
Reviewed on 30th June 2012
The second Alex Rider book sees the reluctant teenager called back into action as an MI6 spy to infiltrate 'Point Blanc', a suspicious school in the Alps.
While it's very similar to the first story, the absence of an origin tale makes it feel quite a short book which can easily be read in a couple of days, and nothing like the meaty realism of Robert Muchamore's books which share a similar idea.
Horowitz's puns are awful and to me make his character seem less likeable each time one gets uttered, and there are a number of fantastical elements to the plot which I found a little distracting. I think the first book was a little outlandish but this seemed more so, which was particularly odd compared to the level of accuracy the author has gone to with model names for other elements.
Overall, a quick read which I thought could have been stronger, longer and deeper. I'll keep reading because the later books in the series look chunkier and I'm hoping things will pick up - after all, Chamber of Secrets was far from my favourite Harry Potter, so maybe this will be the same.