This Alex Rider book #4 returns to some semblance of reality, although once again Alex unspools a nuclear-bomb plot that almost results in international devastation. Determined to eliminate major drug producing areas of the world, a crazed international pop star almost succeeds. The interesting parts of this book are like the better parts of book #1 which focus on Alex, his family and his predicament working for M16 as a teenager. This book gives him a (beginning) girlfriend and brings him back into contact with the assasin Yassen Grigorivitch. The assasin doesn't go easy on him, but he also protects him through some emotional reaction of concern for Alex. Before he dies, he tells Alex he knew his father and that he wasn't a M16 agent. He was a paid assasin, one of the best in the world, and a man who had saved him in the Amazon jungle early in his career. He gives Alex a name and a city to search out his true story, not the one M16 has fed him. It does make you want to keep reading to see how he deals with the disillusion and new knowledge.