Having just missed one hundred books in the first year of The Book Challenge, in 2010, I made the full tonne. Still reading, but without the challenge, take a look at the reviews for the books that I have read this year.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Book 8 - SilverFin

Book - SilverFin
Author - Charlie Higson
Year - 2005
Genre - Young Adult/Spy
Pages - 372
Series - Young Bond

Most people will know that one of cinema's longest serving characters - James Bond - was created by the author Ian Fleming.  Slightly fewer people will know that a few years back, Sebastian Faulks wrote a new book in the Bond chronology, furthering the legend.  Most people, such as myself, will not know however that there have been no fewer than six writers of the main Bond series of books, plus numerous other writers of film novelisations, short stories and spin offs.  These included names such as Kingsley Amis and Jeffery Deaver.  So when the decision was made a few years back to write a series of books focusing on a teenage Bond, they chose to write it... Charlie Higson.  Yes, the Charlie Higson from The Fast Show.

An interesting choice, but was it a wise one?  Well, having just read the first of this series, I have to say that yes, it was.  I have never read any of the original Bond books - although I have seen all of the films - but I hear that Higson managed to keep somewhat to the original style whilst still managing to write for young adults.  There is somehow still car chases, and set pieces and a stupidly named Bond girl (who for the first time ever, is actually a girl in age and not simply gender), and the whole thing is a lot of fun - if ludicrously far fetched.

Split into two parts, we meet up with Bond as he starts at Eton in the 1930s.  Orphaned, and not used to socialising with large groups of people, he struggles a little to fit in, but begins to make friends and deal with everyday school problems.  Our second half sees him take his holidays in Scotland, where he runs into one of his school bullies, and a fantastically over the top plot ensues.

There is no denying that there is a lot of silliness to this book, but it is all done in a very serious way that still manages to seem as though it is not being too self important.  In this way it is much like the films, and it became a real page turner - any book that you just have to keep reading to the very end despite it being 1:20am on a school night is worth a look - so I think that I shall try and grab a hold of the rest of the series.


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