Young Bond: SilverFin

Young Bond SilverFin

I’ve already taken a look at Charlie Higson’s horror novels in my reviews of The Enemy and The Dead but for today’s post I’m going to be talking about some of his earlier work. The Young Bond series tells the story of James Bond’s teenage years, while he was an Eton student in the 1930s. Although Ian Fleming Publications originally wanted each novel in the series to be penned by a different author, Charlie Higson ended up writing the initial run of five novels – SilverFin (2005), Blood Fever (2006), Double or Die (2007), Hurricane Gold (2007) and By Royal Command (2008). The first book of the second series, authored by Steve Cole, was released in 2014 and titled Shoot to Kill. For the purpose of this review, I’ll be looking at SilverFin only.

After spending a couple of years being home schooled, James Bond finds it difficult to get used to life at Eton. The uniform is itchy and uncomfortable and the strict rules just seem to beg to be broken. Worst of all, he finds himself singled out by a group of older students – lead by the handsome American George Hellebore – who are intent on making his life a living Hell.

During the holidays, James heads to Scotland to stay with his Aunt and Uncle. On the way, he befriends a cockney rogue called Red Kelly who is heading north in search of his cousin Alfie who has recently disappeared. As Bond gets used to life in the country, he learns that Alfie’s disappearance is not the only strange occurrence to happen in the area.

George’s father – Lord Randolph Hellebore – has taken up residence in a castle on Loch Silverfin and erected fences around the whole area, threatening death to all those who trespass. As James and Red explore, they learn that Hellebore is under investigation from the Pinkerton Detective Agency and observe his men feeding fresh meat to something living in the Loch. James knows that he needs to get inside the castle if he is to learn the truth of what has happened to Alfie, however what he discovers could be deadly…

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The Dead

The Dead

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for its prequel, The Enemy. You can read my review of this novel [here].

Please note that, as with my review of The Enemy, this review is based on the original UK version of the novel. I don’t know how different the American version of this story is but I do know that one major change is that the age of the infected is raised from anyone over the age of 14 to anyone over the age of 16. Please bare this in mind as you continue to read this review.

The Dead was written by Charlie Higson and first published in 2010. It forms the second part of The Enemy series and is preceded by The Enemy (2009) and followed by The Fear (2011), The Sacrifice (2012), The Fallen (2013) and The Hunted (2014). The final instalment – provisionally titled The End – is due for release next year. The series focuses on the survival of the children left in London after the adults become zombies.

Set a full year before events of the first novel, The Dead introduces us to a group of private school boys who have banded together after the outbreak transformed their teachers into zombies (largely known as sickos in this novel). When they realise that their supplies in the school are limited, the boys split into two groups – half heading into the country and half setting off towards London.

It is not long before the country group run into trouble and find themselves under attack by a large group of sickos. Although many of their number are killed, the rest are rescued by a bus-driving stranger. The adult driving – identifying himself as Greg – has somehow avoided infection and reluctantly offers to drive the group as far as London, reuniting with their friends along the way. However, life in London is no easier than what they have left behind. They soon discover that it will take all of their skills, strength and teamwork to survive and even then many of them will soon find themselves as dinner for the ravenous horde of sickos…

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The Enemy

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Please note that this review relates to the UK version of the novel. I understand that some changes were made to the story for its release in the USA (including raising the age of the infected to 16+) in order to better appeal to the American market.

The Enemy is a series of horror novels written by Charlie Higson. They follow the lives of a group of children in London as they are forced to survive in the aftermath of a terrible plague. The series is planned to run for seven novels, of which five have currently been published – The Enemy (2009), The Dead (2010), The Fear (2011), The Sacrifice (2012) and The Fallen (2013). This review focuses on the first book only.

The story focuses on two groups of children, dubbed the Waitrose Gang and the Morrisons Gang, who have been forced to band together for survival in a post-apocalyptic London. One year previously, a mysterious disease swept the globe and infected every person over the age of fourteen. The infected – referred to by the kids simply as ‘the grown-ups’ – quickly turned savage, forgetting who they were and mindlessly turning on their own families. Bands of these feral grown-ups now roam the streets of London, devouring any stray children that they find.

For the Waitrose Gang, life is getting increasingly hard. Their supplies are running low and every scouting mission grows more dangerous. When a mysterious kid in a patchwork coat shows up outside their den, they are at first suspicious of him but he brings with him the promise of a better life.

In Buckingham Palace, a group of survivors have built a utopia and invite all children to join them. However, to get to the palace they will have to face the grown-ups and embark on a long trek across the ruins of London. To make matters even worse, the grown-ups seem to be getting smarter. Lead by an overweight man in a T-shirt bearing the Cross of St. George, they are learning to use weapons and are banding together to form an army…

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