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Point Blank (Alex Rider Series #2)

Point Blank (Alex Rider Series #2)

4.5 541
by Anthony Horowitz

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When an investigation into a series of mysterious deaths leads agents to an elite prep school for rebellious kids, MI6 assigns Alex Rider to the case. Before he knows it, Alex is hanging out with the sons of the rich and powerful, and something feels wrong. These former juvenile delinquents have turned well-behaved, studious—and identical—overnight. It's


When an investigation into a series of mysterious deaths leads agents to an elite prep school for rebellious kids, MI6 assigns Alex Rider to the case. Before he knows it, Alex is hanging out with the sons of the rich and powerful, and something feels wrong. These former juvenile delinquents have turned well-behaved, studious—and identical—overnight. It's up to Alex to find out who is masterminding this nefarious plot, before they find him.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Alex Rider is no ordinary fourteen-year-old West London schoolboy. He has no parents or any other relatives to speak of, so he's pretty much on his own. And he's been recruited to be the youngest spy for MI6, Britain's secret intelligence organization. MI6 needs Alex to investigate the murders of two of the world's wealthiest individuals. The case leads him to an undercover assignment as the son of one of the world's richest supermarket magnates. Relocated to an elite boarding school in the Swiss Alps, Alex uncovers a dastardly plot by the headmaster, Dr. Grief, who has his sights, no less, on taking over the entire world. Dr. Grief's diabolical plot involves the duplication of the sons of the world's most powerful men. With the help of spy gadgets that might make 007 green with envy, Alex is able to make some harrowing escapes to foil Dr. Grief's plans and make the world safe once more. This is the second in the "Alex Rider Adventure" series. 2001, Philomel Books,
— Christopher Moning
This fast-paced book is for the young James Bond and spy-adventure fan. The book is short enough for the reluctant reader and cuts to the chase to hold attention. Other readers might quickly tire of the larger-than-life action scenes and clichés such as the stereotypical mad-scientist villain. Readers who enjoyed the first book will enjoy Point Blank. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Philomel, 208p, $16.99. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer: Anna Yu, aka Anna Banana, Teen Reviewer SOURCE: VOYA, February 2002 (Vol. 24, No.6)
This is the next Alex Rider adventure after Stormbreaker (reviewed in KLIATT in May 2001), which has been identified as a sure bet to interest young adolescents, especially males. The story begins dramatically, but Alex doesn't appear until chapter two, so for highly impatient readers, this might be a slight problem. After that, however, it's all Alex, all action, all the time. He outmaneuvers teenage bullies and South African racists left over from the apartheid days. British Intelligence places him in the worst school situation ever, isolated in the Alps above Grenoble, where he is threatened by a fate worse than death (well, death after the students in biology class dissect him while he is still alive, without anesthetic). Like James Bond, he is given some useful gadgets that save him, and like James Bond, Alex has super-human stamina, courage, wit and intelligence. It's fun stuff for those who like thrilling reading. Category: Hardcover Fiction. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2001, Penguin Putnam, Philomel, 215p., $16.99. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; KLIATT SOURCE: KLIATT, March 2002 (Vol. 36, No. 2)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-10-After two influential businessmen die in separate freak accidents, MI6, England's spy network, once again calls upon 14-year-old Alex Rider to infiltrate Point Blanc, a private school in the French Alps for out-of-control, wealthy teens. Armed only with his wits and some 007-type devices, he stumbles upon an evil mad scientist's plot to take over the world using clones as replacements for prominent sons. Spy gadgets, chase scenes, mysteries, and a cliff-hanger ending will keep even reluctant readers interested in the second novel in this series. Familiarity with the first novel is not necessary as the plot fills in past information when needed, but many students will want to go back and read Stormbreaker (Philomel, 2001) to see how Alex first became involved with MI6.-Kim Carlson, Monticello High School, IA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Fasten your seat belts for the second installment in Anthony Horowitz's spy-thriller series starring 14-year-old British schoolboy and ace agent from MI6, Alex Rider. James Bond has nothing on this crafty kid, and it's lucky Alex is on the job. It seems that mad scientists still infest the planet and still want to rule the world. When readers first met Alex in Stormbreaker (2001), MI6 had sent him to spy school. This time they send him to an exclusive school for the recalcitrant sons of the super-rich. Disguised as the son of a British supermarket magnate, Alex learns that something extraordinarily odd is going on at the school. Yes indeed, the school's owner, the creepy South African apartheid supporter Dr. Grief, intends to take over the world by controlling his wealthy students. But who are his students? Is Dr. Grief using brainwashing, fear, or something more sinister on the boys? Can Alex escape from the fortress-like school before that sinister something happens to him? Horowitz devises a string of miraculous circumstances that keeps Alex alive and spying throughout. Spy thrillers appear too seldom in YA literature. With plenty of cliffhanger action, the Alex Rider adventures might help get young readers hooked. The unabashed fantasy imitates the James Bond movies more closely than the books, but it's all plenty of fun. (Fiction. 11-14)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Alex Rider Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.30(d)
610L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Anthony Horowitz's life might have been copied from the pages of Charles Dickens or the Brothers Grimm. Born in 1956 in Stanmore, Middlesex, to a family of wealth and status, Anthony was raised by nannies, surrounded by servants and chauffeurs. His father, a wealthy businessman, was, says Mr. Horowitz, "a fixer for Harold Wilson." What that means exactly is unclear — "My father was a very secretive man," he says— so an aura of suspicion and mystery surrounds both the word and the man. As unlikely as it might seem, Anthony's father, threatened with bankruptcy, withdrew all of his money from Swiss bank accounts in Zurich and deposited it in another account under a false name and then promptly died. His mother searched unsuccessfully for years in attempt to find the money, but it was never found. That too shaped Anthony's view of things. Today he says, "I think the only thing to do with money is spend it." His mother, whom he adored, eccentrically gave him a human skull for his 13th birthday. His grandmother, another Dickensian character, was mean-spirited and malevolent, a destructive force in his life. She was, he says, "a truly evil person", his first and worst arch villain. "My sister and I danced on her grave when she died," he now recalls.

A miserably unhappy and overweight child, Anthony had nowhere to turn for solace. "Family meals," he recalls, "had calories running into the thousands…. I was an astoundingly large, round child…." At the age of eight he was sent off to boarding school, a standard practice of the times and class in which he was raised. While being away from home came as an enormous relief, the school itself, Orley Farm, was a grand guignol horror with a headmaster who flogged the boys till they bled. "Once the headmaster told me to stand up in assembly and in front of the whole school said, 'This boy is so stupid he will not be coming to Christmas games tomorrow.' I have never totally recovered." To relieve his misery and that of the other boys, he not unsurprisingly made up tales of astounding revenge and retribution.

So how did an unhappy boy, from a privileged background, metamorphose into the creator of Alex Rider, fourteen-year-old spy for Britain's MI6? Although his childhood permanently damaged him, it also gave him a gift — it provided him with rich source material for his writing career. He found solace in boyhood in the escapism of the James Bond films, he says. He claims that his two sons now watch the James Bond films with the same tremendous enjoyment he did at their age. Bond's glamour translates perfectly to the 14-year-old psyche, the author says. "Bond had his cocktails, the car and the clothes. Kids are just as picky. It's got to be the right Nike trainers (sneakers), the right skateboard. And I genuinely think that 14-year-olds are the coolest people on the planet. It's this wonderful, golden age, just on the cusp of manhood when everything seems possible."

Alex Rider is unwillingly recruited at the age of fourteen to spy for the British secret service, MI6. Forced into situations that most average adults would find terrifying and probably fatal, young Alex rarely loses his cool although at times he doubts his own courage. Using his intelligence and creativity, and aided by non-lethal gadgets dreamed up by MI6's delightfully eccentric, overweight and disheveled Smithers, Alex is able to extricate himself from situations when all seems completely lost. What is perhaps more terrifying than the deeply dangerous missions he finds himself engaged in, is the attitude of his handlers at MI6, who view the boy as nothing more than an expendable asset.

The highly successful Alex Rider novels include Stormbreaker, Point Blank, Skeleton Key, and the recent Eagle Strike.

Anthony Horowitz is perhaps the busiest writer in England. He has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. He writes in a comfortable shed in his garden for up to ten hours per day. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he has also written episodes of several popular TV crime series, including Poirot, Murder in Mind, Midsomer Murders and Murder Most Horrid. He has written a television series Foyle's War, which recently aired in the United States, and he has written the libretto of a Broadway musical adapted from Dr. Seuss's book, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. His film script The Gathering has just finished production. And…oh yes…there are more Alex Rider novels in the works. Anthony has also written the Diamond Brothers series.

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Point Blank (Alex Rider Series #2) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 541 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a totally awesome book! I read it and I loved it! It is just like the first book. Really great I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new series to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didnt read the first one because it didnt look good but this one seems like a good book. Should i get it?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good! If you like action, read it!
epopp6 More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome! I never would have guessed this ending because it is not only crazy evil by the antagonist but it is something new that no one could have guessed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book because I had already read the first one a while back and knew it would be a good, action packed, and quick read for me when I wanted a break from all of the deep novels I keep finding. So far, I wasn't disappointed. It's a great read for me at a time like this . . there's just one little problem: I'm pretty sure I already know what the mystery is, and I'm on page 98. Like I said, though, it's just one small thing. I still like the book and I still think it's perfect for my little break from novels ;p
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anthony Horowitz is the best author he can keep you in suspense
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best i have read onmy nook
momofteenager More than 1 year ago
This is another wonderful book in the Alex Rider series. If you need to get your teenager to read more and want them to enjoy reading, this is the book (and series) for you.
Ryan Stine More than 1 year ago
This is a awesome book it got my heart racing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very intregging i heart this book
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the wait for the anticipated Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz gets shorter I have personaly read Stormbreaker more then five times since it came out. After I read the preview for Point Blank I was sure that Anthony Horowitz created another book that keep me strapped to my seat feeling the anxiety to turn the next page and see what happens.I have great expectations for Point Blank and hope to get it as soon as possible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about Alex Rider and, I think has a little more action and less begining but, it will be so confusing if you don't read the beginning first. I'd that most kids would like the serries alot and also adults who like action and can take slow beginings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tell me if this is a realistic fiction book reply if its yes hit yes if its fiction
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Totally awsome! More Alex Rider action, what could be better!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book it was a page turner and i never wanted it to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my favorites was hard to put down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an incredible book! I rented the first from our school's library, but had to buy this one because we were on spring break. I read it in less than a day and a half. It has all the danger and suspense you could want in a book.
Beat-Spanks More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Point blanc is what i think to be a five star book i give a thumbs up to anthony horowitz
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I still love how it ties into the last one
Anonymous 7 months ago