Silverfin (Young Bond Series #1)

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Overview

What does it take to become the greatest secret agent the world has ever known? In this thrilling prequel to the adventures of James Bond, 007, readers meet a young boy whose inquisitive mind and determination set him on a path that will someday take him across the globe, in pursuit of the most dangerous criminals of all time.
When we first meet young James, he’s just started boarding school at Eton in the 1930s, and from there, the action moves to the Highlands of Scotland, ...
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Overview

What does it take to become the greatest secret agent the world has ever known? In this thrilling prequel to the adventures of James Bond, 007, readers meet a young boy whose inquisitive mind and determination set him on a path that will someday take him across the globe, in pursuit of the most dangerous criminals of all time.
When we first meet young James, he’s just started boarding school at Eton in the 1930s, and from there, the action moves to the Highlands of Scotland, where Alfie Kelly, a local boy, has gone missing. James teams up with the boy’s cousin, Red, to investigate the mystery, and they soon discover that Alfie’s disappearance is linked to a madman and his sinister plot for global power.
Acclaimed British author Charlie Higson has written a brilliantly crafted tale that reveals the unknown story of a boy who grew up to become one of the most iconic figures of our time. SilverFin is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that will mesmerize readers of all ages.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Young James Bond had no taste for the prim enclaves of Eton. Even as a teenager, this restless 13-year-old hated his stuffy prep school and longed for high adventure. Visiting relatives in the Scottish Highlands, he learns that a local boy has just gone missing. Jumping at the opportunity to join the hunt, the future 007 tracks clues to a medieval castle owned by Lord Hellebore, a maniacal, power-hungry aristocrat; then, with an impulsive decision that will change his entire life, he ventures into the lair of the madman. The repackaged release of a teen crowd-pleaser series.
Orlando Sentinel
A believable thriller about the boy behind Agent 007.
World
"A terrific adventure story."
Publishers Weekly
The name is Bond. James Bond. Everybody knows dashing agent 007, star of Ian Fleming's novels and the hit films. But what was James Bond like at age 14? Higson and Parker fill in some of the blanks with this vibrant recording. Listeners meet James as he's learning the ropes at the posh Eton boarding school in 1930s England. A school holiday sends him to Scotland where he spends time with his aunt and his dying uncle Max, who happens to be a former spy and who offers to teach James how to drive his classic Aston Martin. But R&R is quickly forgotten and mystery and intrigue are on the menu when James finds himself investigating the disappearance of a local boy, and a mad scientist's attempts to gain global domination via genetic experiments that include killer eels. And there's a blonde Bond beauty, too Wilder Lawless, who rides a horse called Martini. British actor Parker's crisp delivery and quick pacing will hold readers rapt, guiding them over a few overly long and somewhat predictable passages. Ages 10-up.(May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Meet Bond-James Bond-at 14, before he became the suave, lady-killing international spy. An orphan, he attends Eton and lives with his Aunt Charmian during school breaks. While the premise for this prequel sounds intriguing, it fails to deliver. Action, adventure, and mystery are not a part of the plot until the end. While visiting his dying Uncle Max in Scotland, James discovers that his enemy at Eton, George Hellebore, is visiting his father, Lord Randolph, who owns the castle in the same town. On the train to Scotland, James met Red Kelly and learned that Red's cousin Alphie is missing. Rumor has it he disappeared near Loch Silverfin, which is part of the Hellebore estate. It doesn't take long for James and Red to determine that Alphie's disappearance is connected to the castle. Red Kelly, Meatpacker, Wilder Lawless, and her horse, Martini, are interesting and quirky characters while James is positively dull. He is merely a part of the plot instead of a driving force. The book may appeal to serious Bond fans, but for students who are looking for mystery and adventure, Anthony Horowitz's "Alex Rider" books (Philomel) are a better choice.-Angela M. Boccuzzi-Reichert, Merton Williams Middle School, Hilton, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Higson sets his story in the 1930s as a young James Bond (only 14) embarks on a quest to solve the mystery of the missing Alphie Kelly. While at a boarding school in Eton, Bond first encounters George Hellebore and eventually his evil, overbearing, father. During a holiday trip to his aunt's home in northern Scotland, Bond's and Hellebore's lives become intertwined when Bond begins to suspect that something very suspicious is going on behind the gates of the Hellebore compound. Many coincidences and fortunate encounters (and some unfortunate ones) lead Bond inside the compound and to heart-pounding scenes that will keep readers turning the pages. At times, the episodes, with key characters being spotted just by chance, seem contrived, but those pass by quickly as the action moves beyond the ordinary into the action. A great read for fans of detective tales. (Fiction. 10-15)First printing of 150,000; $200,000 launch campaign
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786279104
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 11/14/2005
  • Series: Young Bond Series , #1
  • Pages: 514
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlie Higson
Charlie Higson is an acclaimed comedy writer, producer, actor, and genuine Bond aficionado. He is the author of the adult thrillers, Full Whack and King of the Ants, as well as the internationally best-selling Young Bond series: SilverFin, Blood Fever, and Hurricane Gold. He lives in London.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2010

    Silver Fin

    This book has some great things in it and some things that can be improved. One positive is that the author wrote in amazing detail. I could just picture the scene in my head at the exact moment it was taking place. I could imagine the characters, the castle, the loaded shot-gun, and Red Kelley's hair. It was amazing! Also, it had an interesting plot. You probably figured out that Lord Hellebore is a bad man and that James had to find a way to stop his plan, but did Hellebore stop him? One last positive in this book was the characters. The author uses realistic characters that act like everyday kids. They act like kids would today in my school. Now, I'll tell you about the negatives. One negative is that during the book there were parts like part one and part two. It was almost an immediate change from Eton school to Scotland. It kind of confused me. Something else that I didn't like was the things they did at Eton. They had terms for people and I didn't really catch on to all of those names too well. For example, some of these terms were a wet bob, a dry bob, and a slack bob. I did not remember which was which and I just got very confused. One last negative was Lord Hellebore had a brother that did experiments and he accidently turned his brother into an eel/man. Up to that point the book was realistic and was like something that could happen today, but when the brother turned into an eel/man it no longer was realistic. So, those are the positives and the negatives of this book.I think the author of this book was amazing! The author's writing was so clear I understood the plot right from the prologue. His topics and plots are also very clear because he uses so much detail. While he is describing the Hellebores' castle he spends about a whole page writing detail on it. It had a 10,000 volt fence surrounding the whole castle including their outside property. There was a giant lake told to have the great Silver Fin eel from a legend, a look-out tower with two guards looking for intruders, six guards patrolling the grounds and walking along the fence, and more! In this book the author writes in third person but I think it would be quite interesting to read it from James' standpoint because you could hear his thoughts on George, Red, and Lord Hellebore so that would be something the author could do differently if he made another book similar to this one. So, all in all, I think the author did an amazing job on this book.
    There are some similar novels you can check out. They are H.I.V.E., Alex rider series, and the rest of the James Bond series. Some other books that I enjoyed reading are the Harry Potter series. This series is about magic and Harry goes through seven years at Hogwarts castle. I also like the Lightning Thief series by Rich Riordan. These are fantasy books written about the Gods and their children growing up and having their powers and learning how to fight and defend themself. One last group of books is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. These books are a realistic fiction and what happens could happen to anyone any day. Some things that the author, Jeff Kinney, puts in the books are things that both the main character and I dislike, such as parents telling you to go outside instead of playing video games, parents not knowing how to take a picture with their new camera and then they try it and the picture is very bad. I hope that what you get out of this review is that you are ready to go by Silver Fin by Charlie Higson!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended for teenage males who like mystery and adventure

    The main character attends Eton (male boarding school in England for the rich and famous, the British Royal Family has attended for genrations.) The story takes place over the Easter Holidays and is set mainly in the Scottish Highlands. 2 boys are trying to solve the mystery of the disappearance of a third boy. The young snoops operate below the radar because the story is set in the 1930's. They have no supplies, no cell phone, no computer but neither does the evil scientist with the rich benefactor. The author is British and the language he uses is proper English and may be cumbersome for Americans. It is exciting in a low tech environment. Book 1 of a series.

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  • Posted November 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    good book

    you should read this book and the whole series this series is really good

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  • Posted February 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    James Bond Book 1

    A good start. But a shame the story had to be written in the 1930's. It should have been done in the 1970s to make it current.
    I would recommend Cherub books, Alex rider and Jason Steed first.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    This is a great book.

    This book is very exciting. I loved it.

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  • Posted June 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Compelling novel, not as complicated and good as Alex Rider though.

    This is a great book. Each book improves on each other. The breakthrough ones are Double or Die, Hurricane Gold, and By Royal Command (BRC only in UK for now). But this is the only one where Higson tries to copy Anthony Horowitz's (author of YA series Alex Rider) by giving unoriginal repulsive descriptions of disgusting things and brain information (like how a car works). I thought it was easy besides info on the cars, and I marvel at how James registers all that info.
    But forget about flaws. This book is action-packed and absorbing. Bond is different than Alex and Potter, and is very unique and likeable. You could see the Bond we know releasing by a bit. The Daniel Craig Bond is released during book 3 and continues on. The cover is attractive. My 17 year old bro only liked the final three, because he said they were Young Adult, and saying the first two are easy. But it isn't easier than Percy J and HP, it's just that Alex Rider raised the Young Adult thriller bar up too high.
    Awesome book. Buy it. Once you get to book 3, you'll love the books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2008

    Great series, great book

    This is the fisrt Young James Bond book, the 5th book By Royal Command comes out in three days, I cant wait, but this is the best so far.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2008

    A great book for all ages!

    ¿The names Bond, James Bond¿ We all know his name and we all know what he does. But what happened to him as a kid? Well, if you¿re interested in finding out I know just where to find out. It¿s in Charlie Higson¿s SilverFin. It¿s a great mystery and action packed novel that takes places in Scotland. There are parts where you gasp at the drama, laugh at the jokes, cry when it¿s sad, and felling James¿ other emotions. This is the type of book that you will never want to put down and when you do you will want to pick it right back up again. There is something for everybody to enjoy, whether it is the action, suspense, mystery, jokes, or countless other things. It has a well written plot line and paints a picture of each scene in your mind. No matter who reads it they will love it and will always want to read it and re-read it. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone that is a fan of Fleming¿s original James Bond books. -Dave

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2008

    WOW

    this book blew me away when i read it. an interesting book. the author(Charlie Higson) never ceased to amaze me. a thrill-a-minute book. i have to say that it made my heart skip a beat. no wonder bond is a SUPER spy. i think bond is a slippery to catch as on of those eels. i highly reccommend it to ages 8-13 year olds. this is a must read book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2008

    very outstanding!

    gah i couldnt stop reading this book! i recomend it to pre teens who love adventures!it is a adventure about james bond when he was a kid! just at first its very boring but dont stop and put it down its a very awesome book!if u have read it spread the gossip about it!it is a very good book to read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2008

    A reviewer

    The book Silverfin is 352 pages of Suspense. James is a boy with a brain of a man. In this book James faces many difficulties with Lord Hellebore. If you are getting this book on bargained price, dont give it up. You wont regret it. You mught think that the beginning is a little borng, but if you push yourself, you would like the book as you progress throgh the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2007

    A reviewer

    The prologue is amazingly written and the rest of the book is even better. I've been looking for a good book and I finally found the series I want to read. I recomend this book to anyone, my dad has even read it and he loved it as much as I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    Silverfin

    I thought it was a good book for young people who enjoy James Bond.It was very suspenseful,after it got started.If you can hang in there untill the action picks up,then it's a great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2007

    Silverfin

    Much less a Bond novel and more a mix of pure boy's tale and a Hardy Boys mystery 'with a little of the improbable thrown in', Silverfin is nonetheless enjoyable for about 2/3 of its length. As it nears completion, however, Silverfin firmly establishes that as a Bond novel 'young Bond it may be', it's not really up to the challenge. The plot is just a little too leisurely, with mild happenings and too little genuine suspense. The mad scientist/villain is more pulp cliche than Bond standard, and the 'creepy old castle' headquarters seems like an uninspired attempt to capture a 1930s child mystery flavor. Silverfin is also marked by a disturbing level of violence and cruelty toward animals, inappropriate for young readers. In sum, Silverfin is limited by several genre conventions that fail to gain the book any clear separation or distinction from past pulp adventures in this case, 'Jimmy' Bond emerges as just another entry in the boy hero roll call.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2007

    Still Reading It

    Still reading it, but so far it's really good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2007

    A reviewer

    If you knew what was best for yourself you would get this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2007

    sliverfin is WICKED!

    SliverFin is a really good book that everyone should read. It is very exciting and you wonder what happens next. It is an adventure story when James Bond is a teenaager.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2006

    Doesn't hold intrest

    This book was a boor! Waste of time and money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2006

    This one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read!!!!!

    Silverfin is absolutely AMAZING! It has the perfect balance of adventure, mystery, comedy, and laid-back talk to make it impossible to put down or get bored with. Higson also makes the story seem so realistic you almost want to look in an almanac to make sure that the events in the story didn't actually happen. I ended up looking over my shoulder half the time... I highly reccomend this book to teens and adults. You deffinitely won't regret it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2006

    Take several stars off that.

    Written like the recent alex rider book, except less action, no gadgets, and many many more 'luckily's. The book is also filled with hypocritical bull, on one page it mocks the villain who reveals the plan to his captured spy, a few pages over has the generic Randolph spilling his life story and master plan. It tries hard to not be the spy story, ending up merely as a very poor one.

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